Acts 8:18-19 “And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.”
Here in this passage, Simon seems cast in a bad light. At the outset, we know him to be a sorcerer who has bewitched the whole city with his demonic powers. As Philip and his group preached, many in the town came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
Then, Simon believed as well.
We hear that Peter and John came to Samaria to continue the work of discipleship the new converts. In their dispensation, the Holy Spirit was conferred on them by the laying on of hands.
Simon saw it, and something within him stirred to desire the power that Peter and John displayed. Peter sharply rebukes him, and we hear only Simon’s response.
Acts 8:24 “Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.”
It seems Simon truly repented and desired to know the way of Christ. Yet, we can think further on his case.
One might ask if Simon remained humble, teachable, and found what God had for his life. We might wonder if he ever became a preacher teacher, evangelist, pastor, deacon, musician, or just a faithful lay person in the church newly formed.
We know that Peter and John came to baptize, teach, and preach more fully the way for these new converts to walk.
Following up on those who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ is imperative. Discipleship or the teaching of the doctrines and practical steps of faith for new converts is sadly lacking in our churches today.
When a church body is grounded in biblical doctrine, daily walking with God, and serving, God can move on the church as one body, fully functioning.
But if there are factions, fractions, and divisions, the body cannot move properly. Our enemy, Satan, knows how to create division. He did it to the angels in Heaven. That is why he was cast out of Heaven.
That is why the need for discipleship is crucial. Not only do we arm the new believer with truth, but we also walk with them, showing what the child of God needs to avoid the snares and temptations of the devil.
In our passage, Simon needed to know that the spirits he seemingly controlled, controlled him. They could not stop him from being saved. Now that he was an adversary and not an agent, they sought to destroy him.
It is said, old habits die hard. Such is the way of sin in our lives. We must see it plainly for what it truly is – an offense to God. It was the reason Christ suffered so on the cross.
Though you and I are bound by time, our present and future sins added to the weight placed on Jesus that day He paid for all sin. It is hard for us to fully comprehend or understand that God already knew what sins committed from the time of Adam until the end of time.
Yet, God is not bound by time as we understand. More personally, we should meditate on the fact that we here in the present have a choice.
Will we knowingly add to the sin weight placed on Christ with our choices today?
Will we see the love and sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s crucifixion as a deterrent to choosing sin today? We hold the gift of salvation near and dear to our hearts. But, do we couple that with the price it took to obtain it for us?
Are we as ungrateful children who receive such goodness and return demands of comfort, pleasure, and ease in this life? The apostle Paul knew that the relationship he had with God came at such a significant cost. His desire for a close relationship offered the same.
Philippians 3:9-11 “And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”
Simon needed to learn how to have a heart and desire, like Paul. We, elders and senior saints in the church, must take up the mantle to pass on what we know to the younger generation.
Every young person should find a mentor. Someone they can trust and confide their doubts, their fears, and their innermost thoughts. Someone they can ask questions without feeling like they are being beaten into submission or made to conform to some image they don’t understand or with which they may not agree.
Discipleship requires training and retraining. Teaching, conversation, and debate are a part of the process. Often, we are satisfied to tell someone, “Just do as I say,” when what the young person might see in us is not in agreement.
I want to think he learned about a close, personal walk with God. I want to believe that Simon became a teacher to the youth on how not to fall for the devil’s tricks. It may be that he sought out those caught in the same bonds and taught them, Jesus.
We will never know the potential of life if we fail first to invest, train, and disciple.
Someone took the time for you. We should return the kindness by helping some soul in need.