Daily Word

Simon’s sin baggage | Acts 8:14-25

14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that the people of Samaria had accepted God’s message, they sent Peter and John there. 15 As soon as they arrived, they prayed for these new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. 16 The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them, for they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then Peter and John laid their hands upon these believers, and they received the Holy Spirit.

18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given when the apostles laid their hands on people, he offered them money to buy this power. 19 “Let me have this power, too,” he exclaimed, “so that when I lay my hands on people, they will receive the Holy Spirit!”

20 But Peter replied, “May your money be destroyed with you for thinking God’s gift can be bought! 21 You can have no part in this, for your heart is not right with God. 22 Repent of your wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive your evil thoughts, 23 for I can see that you are full of bitter jealousy and are held captive by sin.”

24 “Pray to the Lord for me,” Simon exclaimed, “that these terrible things you’ve said won’t happen to me!”

25 After testifying and preaching the word of the Lord in Samaria, Peter and John returned to Jerusalem. And they stopped in many Samaritan villages along the way to preach the Good News.

Acts 8:14-25 (NLT) 中文

Persecution increases

Major persecution is spreading with the martyrdom of Steven. Many, like Philip, are fleeing Jerusalem for other areas in Judea and Samaria. As Philip is preaching and doing miracles, many are amazed, believe and are baptized. A guy named Simon the Sorcerer also is amazed and believes and is baptized. But he’s got baggage!

Peter & John validate

Remember in Acts 3:1-10 when Peter and John went to the temple to pray, saw a lame man and healed him? These two pillars of the early church are now sent to Samaria to witness the work of God. This served to validate the conversion of the Samaritans and keep the church united.

Timing of the Holy Spirit

Seeing that “The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon any of them” (v16), they prayed for them to receive the Holy Spirit…and they did. You may ask, as I, why the delay in them receiving the Holy Spirit? That is, why did the Spirit not come at the time of salvation? Or does that mean the receiving of the Spirit is a separate act from salvation and sealing by the Spirit?

“Often, the empowering and filling of the Holy Spirit is received as hands are laid on a person and prayer is offered for them (Acts 9:17, 1 Timothy 4:14, 2 Timothy 1:6).” (enduringword.com) But here and Acts 2 and 10:44, the Spirit comes after faith. There are differing explanations for this delay so for the sake of brevity, here are two: enduringword.com’s and planobiblechapel.org’s. Check them out.

Simon’s sin

Simon has a lot of baggage from his former life as a sorcerer, doing the work of the Devil. This is revealed in an ugly way. Peter rebukes him quite severely and quickly – having possibly gained insight through a gift of knowledge. The old man in Simon needs to be cut off. Left unchecked, it could ruin his new life and even lead him back to his old ways. Thankfully, it seems Simon sincerely receives the rebuke and seeks to change. Some might think it is not sincere, that he was motivated by fear of punishment. 


  • Let us not be too harsh on Simon lest we condemn ourselves. How often have we acted in selfish arrogance? Have we even done some wonderful ministry, and taken at least partial credit for it? Guilty as charged! 
  • How are you dealing with your “old man”? Are you cutting it off lest it ruin your new life in Christ and lead you back to your old ways?
Old baggage stacked up. Image from pxfuel.com

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