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Scripture Reading: Acts 8:1-5
The Persecuted Preach Christ
1. Acts 8:1: Purpose of persecution is to stop the movement! Attempts…
a. Threats, 4:17-18.
b. Imprisonment, 5:17-18.
c. Beatings, 5:40.
d. Disputing, 6:9-10.
e. Lies and false witnesses, 6:13.
f. Violence against the innocent, 7:57-58; 8:3.
2. Yet, the gospel and its messengers were not stopped, Acts 8:4 (5:39); Matt. 5:10-12.
3. Philip (6:5) takes the gospel to (the) city of Samaria.
a. 30 mi. N of Jerusalem.
b. Jesus traveled this area (Jno. 4:4; Lk. 17:11).
4. Conversions in Acts 8 (the result of preaching Christ, 8:5, 35).
a. Samaritans: Philip’s preaching (confirmed by miracles, 8:5-6, 12).
b. Simon: Believed and was baptized, 8:13.
c. Ethiopian: Believed and was baptized by Philip, 8:26-39.
I. PREACHING CHRIST SAVES SAMARITANS AND SIMON, Acts 8:5-25.
A. The Gospel in Samaria, 8:5-13, 25 (1:8).
1. Philip preached Christ to them, 8:5.
2. Why should they believe what Philip said?
a. Many Samaritans believed word of Jesus, Jno. 4:39-42.
b. Believed and obeyed when they saw Philip’s miracles, 8:6-8.
3. Contrast Simon’s false signs, Acts 8:9-11.
a. He had persuaded them he had the great power of God.[i]
b. Even Simon was persuaded by true miracles! 8:13
4. Preaching Christ, 8:5, 12:
a. The kingdom of God, cf. Lk. 1:32-33; Mk. 9:1; Jno. 18:36.
b. The name of Jesus Christ, Matt. 28:18; Acts 4:10-12.
c. Baptism: The plan of salvation, Acts 2:37-38 (8:35-36).
B. Simon: A Christian who Sinned, 8:14-24.
1. He was a Christian, 8:13.
2. His sin caused him to be lost, 8:18-23.
3. Repent and pray for forgiveness, 8:22, 24.
C. The Holy Spirit and Conversion.
1. Miracles confirmed the word, they did not save the lost.
2. Baptism “in the name of the Jesus” is not Holy Spirit baptism.
3. Gift of the Spirit is not a personal indwelling of the Spirit one receives when saved, Acts 2:38; 8:14-16 (3:19).
4. Receiving the word of God is equivalent to being “baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus”, 8:14, 16.
5. Miraculous gifts of the Spirit only obtained from the apostles, Acts 8:14-15, 17. Needed to secure the faith of the new Christians.
II. PREACHING CHRIST SAVES AN ETHIOPIAN, Acts 8:26-40.
A. God brought the Sinner into Contact with the Word of Christ, 8:26, 34-35. cf. 1 Tim. 4:16
B. Good Things that did not Save the Ethiopian.
1. He was a devoutly religious man, 8:27 (Acts 10:2; 11:14).
2. Merely reading Scripture, 8:28 (didn’t understand them, 8:31).
3. Wanting to understand the Scriptures, 8:30-31.
4. Talking about the Scriptures and asking questions, 8:32-34.
5. Belief alone, Acts 8:36-37.
C. The Ethiopian was Saved When He had the Faith to Obey the Word that was Preached to Him, 8:36-39.
1. Believed – Confessed his belief – Baptized – Rejoiced (saved).
2. He was saved when he obeyed: No ceremony, no waiting.
D. A Pattern for Personal Evangelism.
1. Start the conversation, 8:30.
2. Tell them what they need to hear, 8:35-36. You have to explain to them that they are lost, and Christ is the Savior!
3. Explain the plan of salvation, 8:36-37.
4. Explain the urgency, 8:36 (“close the deal”)!
1. Gospel spread throughout Samaria and as far as Ethiopia, 8:25, 39.
2. The power of the gospel is great, overcoming deceit, covetousness, unbelief and ignorance. It has the power to save you!
v. 9: Used sorcery to make himself appear to be some great person.
v. 10-11: Samaritans had listened to him as one who possessed the great power of God.
v. 11: They had been amazed by him for a long time.
1. What is the sorcery which Simon used?
a. PHARMAKIA (Eng., “pharmacy”): “The use of medicine, drugs, spells; then, poisoning; then, sorcery, Gal.5:20.” (Vine, IV:51-52)
b. “In sorcery, the use of drugs, whether simple or potent, was generally accompanied by incantations and appeals to occult powers, with the provision of various charms, amulets, etc., professedly designed to keep the applicant or patient from the attention and power of demons, but actually to impress the applicant with the mysterious resources and powers of the sorcerer.” (Ibid, 52)
2. Simon used drugs in a way as to convince people he had the power of God.
By: Joe R. Price
Posted: June 28, 2013