Persecuted for their faith in the resurrected Christ, Christians were scattered throughout Judea, busy advancing the gospel as part of their fulfillment of the great commission.
“14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them, 15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.” (Acts 8:14-16)
In the city of Samaria, after hearing the gospel preached by Phillip, many were saved through faith in Jesus. When the apostles, who continued to serve from Jerusalem heard of the work being done in Samaria, they sent out Peter and John to complete the divinely appointed mission.
“17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:17)
Believers in Samaria were saved by their faith, then they were baptized in water. So to complete the fulfillment of God’s plan, the apostles laid hands on those saved to empower them with spiritual gifts through baptism in the Holy Spirit.
“18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:18-19)
Because he was not among those whom Peter and John laid hands on, Simon resorted to bribe to acquire the gifts bestowed upon those chosen by the apostles to receive the Holy Spirit.
“20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! 21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. 22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” 24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.” (Acts 8:20-24)
Peter discerned Simon was driven by greed rather than purpose, as such the apostle called him out as misguided and as having no part of the spiritual gifts imparted on other believers in Samaria. Then, Peter invited Simon to repent of his sin so he could be delivered from the bitterness and iniquity that dwelled within him.
“25 So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.” (Acts 8:25)
As they returned to Jerusalem, Peter and John continued their mission in Samaria by preaching the word of God and testifying to the lost, sharing the truth about the life, death and resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre