Passage: Acts 8
v1-3 - At the end of yesterday's chapter we were introduced to a respected young man named Saul. In today's opening verses, he begins his rampage of persecution. This causes the early church to scatter, effectively causing the church to expand out into the world. It's ironic that even as a persecutor the Holy Spirit used Paul to grow the church!
v4-8 - The deacon Philip begins his ministry by preaching in Samaria. More on him later in this chapter... (interesting the role that these two deacons, Stephen & Philip, had).
v9-25 - Simon was a showman with a big ego, but even he was convicted by Philip's preaching and believed in Jesus (v13), but his post conversion experienced is different than what we've seen in earlier chapters. The end of chap. 2 describes the new converts as being people who 'devoted themselves' to learning doctrine, building each other up, and participating in the sacraments (2:42), yet all we read about Simon is that he's 'astonished by great signs & miracles.' Simon's old self comes out when he attempts to buy the power of dispensing the Holy Spirit, but although he seems to be sorry, it's unclear as to whether he actually repents and continues to follow Jesus (v24).
v26-40 - Luke again picks up Philip's story, showing how the Holy Spirit used Philip to explain the gospel to the Ethiopian official. Philip uses the same method Peter has done in his sermons: starting with Old Testament scripture and explaining how it points to the saving work of Christ.
Old Testament References - Add even more value to your daily Bible reading by reading a related passage from the Old Testament
Read the same text the Ethiopian official was reading: Isaiah 53:1-12
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions. For every comment or reply you post, you will receive an entry for this month's prize.
This is the only chapter in the Bible that mentions Simon, so we don't know what happened to him after this. What do you think about his response in v24? Do you think it was genuine repentance? Is there anything else you wish he would have said? What lessons can you apply to your own life based on this episode about Simon?
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God is the King of the universe who saves us in the name of Jesus Christ (v12)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask that 'your heart be made right before God (v21)'
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED:
Watch the week 3 video - The REAL God sermon series