The Power Of God - [Acts 8: 9-25]


Tuesday Guy preaches The Power Of God - [Acts 8: 9-25]


Now we invite you to take your Bibles and open them to Acts chapter 8.
Acts chapter 8. We're going to be looking at verses 9 through 25 this morning.
You know, in preparing this message, I followed all the standard procedures.
I read the passage, I studied the passage, and then I entered the power of God into a search engine, because that's, you know, what else are you going to do?
I came up with this. Apologies ahead of time.
The power of God, this is from a website, the power of God is at work in our world. So far so good.
Learn how to experience the power of God and become a vessel of the glory of God to the world.
That went south fast. Next, how to experience the power of God and become a vessel of the glory of God to the world.
Now, I could tease that out, I could dress it up, I could make it kind of walk in all fours for a bit, but it gets worse.
Guillermo Maldonado is an apostle of Jesus Christ. You remember him?
He's an apostle of Jesus Christ who heard the audible voice of God, another warning, who commanded him to teach
God's children about the power of God. If you hear an audible voice and you're not reading scripture to yourself, you're automatically in trouble.
And then if it tells you to say something other than the gospel and about Jesus Christ, you're in bigger trouble.
He goes on, Jesus Christ walked in incredible power and instructed his followers to do the same.
Is that true? No. What he told his followers to do was do what?
To preach the gospel. First to Jerusalem, then Judea, Samaria, and the rest of the world.
But how come, they ask, so many Christian, that's a sick because it's supposed to be
Christians, don't experience the power of God. Because most
Christians read the Bible and understand what the power of God is. But the page went on to show how the apostle slays people, that's air quote apostle, for you kids out there.
He slays people in the spirit, heals even blindness, and performs other wonders. Of course, the page directly, quoting, minimizes the need for, they're like, don't worry about theology.
Of course they're saying that. This is all about experiencing the power of God. You don't need to study, you need to experience.
But you know what? In order to experience the power of God, per this website, I had to sign up for their email list.
I declined to do that. I mean, I'm a glutton for punishment, but not that much punishment.
Let's go to our text. This is what the world says, or what some people, what some frauds say is the power of God.
Let's see what the power of God actually is. Let's go to our text, Acts 8 verses, well, beginning in verse 9.
But there was a man named Simon who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great.
They all paid attention to him from the least to the greatest saying, this man is the power of God that is called great.
And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.
But when they believed Philip, as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women, even
Simon himself believed. And after being baptized, he continued with Philip and seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them
Peter and John who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the
Holy Spirit for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the
Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the
Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles hands, he offered the money saying, give me this power also so that anyone on whom
I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him, may your silver perish with you because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money.
You have neither part nor lot in this matter for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours and pray to the
Lord that if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.
And Simon answered, pray for me to the Lord that nothing of what you said may come upon me.
Now when they had, I'll have to turn to the text here.
Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem preaching the gospel to many villages of the
Samaritans. I apologize, but there was a hole punch right through that testified. So they did something fine.
I don't, I couldn't tell what it was. I was left to speculate, which I don't like to do.
So now to just review where we are, the acts of the apostles or the acts of the
Holy Spirit. That's Luke's historical account of the early years of the church. Ultimately is the outworking of the work of the
Holy Spirit through the apostles as they carry out the charge that was given to them in Acts 1 verse 8.
This is the Lord Jesus speaking. He says, but you talk into the apostles will receive power when the
Holy Spirit has come upon you. That happened at Pentecost. And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all
Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth. So at the end of chapter seven, we saw the murder of Stephen who had testified.
I mean, imagine standing before a bunch of Jewish leaders and giving them the litany of Israel's failures to obey the
Lord. So he gives them this long history of Israel's unfaithfulness culminating in what he called the betrayal and murder of the righteous one,
Jesus Christ. They're enraged. They take Stephen outside the city and they stone him to death with Saul holding their coats and approving heartily.
Last time, as we look to verses four to eight, and this is, you know, the persecution has begun.
The church gets scattered. It's in Judea and Samaria. The church is no longer just able to focus in Jerusalem.
And last time, as we looked at verses four to eight of Acts 8, it is fair to say that the
Lord indeed brought persecution upon the church. And, you know, you may wonder why.
Why would the Lord do that? And we could think, you know, why would the Lord bring persecution today? Well, to refine the church.
And in that day, did he refine the church? Yes. But really what he did was say, you know, enough of this hanging out in Jerusalem.
I understand you guys are having a great time of fellowship and teaching, but it's time to get busy.
Time to get on with the work that you've been given. The Holy Spirit had not come out upon them so that they could just chill in Jerusalem.
So Philip goes to Samaria, and he causes quite a stir. And he brought much joy, gathering crowds, preaching the gospel to them, and seeing people being what?
Delivered of demons, healed, people who had been paralyzed or lame or no longer paralyzed or lame.
That would make a lot of people happy. And that story is going to continue this morning because we're going to see a bit of a,
I guess we could say, satanic response to the work of God among the
Samaritans. And this morning, I have five phrases about the power of God.
And this section really is about the men of God preaching the gospel of God in the power of God, the
Holy Spirit. It's about the men of God preaching the gospel of God in the power of God, the
Holy Spirit. So our first power statement, the fake power of, again, air quotes, two air quotes in one sermon, the fake power of God in verses 9 through 11.
And this, again, is a response to what Philip is doing in Samaria. But contrast, there was a man named
Simon who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great.
They all paid attention to him from the least to the greatest, saying, this man is the power of God that is called great.
And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with their magic.
So again, this is the same city where Philip has been gathering these big crowds to hear his preaching, to cast out demons.
And along comes this man, Simon, also known as Simon Magus or Simon the
Magician. Now, true confession, because I like to confess to you,
I like card tricks. I like sleight of hand. I don't do any sleight of hand.
I do like, I do one trick, one. And it's what the magicians, air quotes again, third time, magicians call a force.
In other words, I force you to pick the right card. Which is fun for me, but I like those kind of things.
I even watch shows where they, magicians judge other magicians and try to guess how they do the magic that they do.
But that's not the kind of magic that Simon is doing. His magic is more in a line with pagan practices or witchcraft.
You ever see that bumper sticker? I saw one here earlier this week that said, my other car is a broom.
And you know, it's one thing if somebody's joking. It's another thing when I go, I think that person's serious. But Simon, our text tells us, had amazed the
Samaritan people for quite some time. One dictionary defines it this way, to cause to be in a state in which things seem to make little sense, to confuse, to astound.
And I get that way when I watch some of these illusionists, you know, when they do these things, like they make, you know, a building disappear or whatever, and I'm like, how do you do that?
Well, they don't do it. They just make it seem like they did it. But he was using dark arts, potions, spells, those kind of things.
People who saw his act believed that he had supernatural powers. That's why they called him the power of God.
And for verse 9, we can readily see that if Simon had a marketing department, right, if there were posters up around town, it would say what?
Simon the Great. Indeed, he thought of himself that way, and the
Samaritans did too. In fact, in verse 10, they thought he was basically divine. Listen to one man this week who said that he was something of a
Messiah figure, and he had a massive following.
We can assume that he was quite well -off, as a matter of fact, just because of his influence and the way people would follow him.
He was quite the showman. So that's the false power of God, this
Simon, and now we see the true power of God. The gospel is the true power of God, by the way, in case you wondered.
If we just think even in terms of Romans 1 .16, that's the power of God.
Verse 12, but when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God in the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized, he continued with Philip, and seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
Now, there's a turnaround, right? The people of Samaria are amazed by what Simon does.
He follows Philip around and sees what Philip's doing, and he is amazed. The magician is impressed by this new magic that he sees.
Again, he's making a great living in Samaria, but he knew something that the
Samaritans did not know, and that's that he was not really a god. He was nothing but a fake, a fraud, a cheat, a swindler.
He was good at it, but he was as fake as could be. I mean, when you watch like, and not that you would, because you're more sanctified than I am, but if you've ever seen a movie about magic, and they kind of go behind the scenes and they show you what they do, it's very developed, or it's very organized, very orchestrated, and it's this whole great big mechanism that they use to make what appears to be magic happen.
But one day, Simon goes out to do his show, and the crowd is thundered. There aren't as many people as there used to be.
There used to be throngs of people, and he's like, okay, is there something wrong with me? What's going on?
He starts hearing about Simon. Simon, Simon, Simon, I'm sorry.
He starts hearing about Philip, this Greek -speaking Jew. Simon goes to check out his new competition, but Philip is not doing magic.
Philip is preaching about Jesus Christ. He's drawing crowds by healing, by casting out demons, that's true, but he's telling them about Jesus Christ, this
Jew, who other Jews put to death. Now, we need to keep in mind who the
Samaritans are. They're half -Jews, they're part -Jews, and the
Jews hate them, and the Samaritans hate the Jews. The Samaritans are not allowed in the temple, they're not even allowed in Jerusalem, and so they create kind of a parallel religion with their own temple, their own set of beliefs, but it's all based on Judaism.
When Philip comes along and starts preaching about Jesus Christ, our gut response would be the
Samaritans are never going to go for this. You're preaching a Jew to people who hate Jews.
That's not going to go well. But it does go well. Why? Sure, you could say, well, because he does these signs and wonders,
I think that helps. But we know from other examples in Scripture that signs and wonders accompany new messengers and new messages to authenticate them.
So Philip's using the power of God to present the message of God, to present the gospel, to proclaim
Christ to these people who need Christ. Philip isn't looking for financial gain, his motivation is completely different than Simon's.
He was telling the crowds how they could enter, our texts tell us, the kingdom of God by believing in this
Jesus, who is truly divine and truly man, who'd never sinned, yet paid the price for sin for all who believed in him.
And Philip was doing things Simon could only dream of, real miracles. He was healing people and delivering them.
Now our text tells us that there were obviously many coming to faith in Jesus. I mean, let's put it this way, is the word many appearing in the text?
No. But would Simon have even noticed that Philip was doing this if Simon just went and did his show, and everybody kept showing up, and the same things were going on over and over again?
No. Philip, all of a sudden, is the number one draw in Samaria. So we know that many are coming to faith in Christ.
You know, you read that and you just think, if only there was some kind of way we could know what
Philip was doing, so that we could take that program and we could appropriate it for West Boylston, and we could see men and women coming to faith in Christ.
Well, we have that same program, it's called the Gospel. That's our program, the
Gospel. What's most astonishing here is that Simon himself,
Simon the Great, Simon this magician, Simon this pagan, is said to believe and he is baptized.
But see what he does then? He continued with Philip, says he's amazed by what
Philip's doing, he's mesmerized by what Philip's doing. Now we have to pause for a moment.
Is Simon saved? Our text tells us he believed. What does that mean?
I want to turn for just a moment to Matthew chapter 13, the parable of the sower.
I won't read that, but I do want to go to the parable of the sower explained in verse 18.
Here then, the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, that's what he's heard, the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.
This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, and I believe this is
Simon, this is the one who hears the word, he hears it, and immediately receives it with joy.
Yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
He sees everybody else getting saved. He likes what Philip's saying, more importantly, he's amazed by what
Philip's doing. So he says, I believe too. Did he?
I think our text will tell us no. Go back to Acts, I think our text will tell us no.
Let's consider for a moment before we go back fully to the text, let's think about what faith is.
Theologically speaking, it's this three components, knowledge, assent, trust.
Knowledge, assent, trust. The Latin words are really cool, but I'll just stick with knowledge, assent, and trust.
Genuine faith is informed, it knows. So that's the first point, knowledge.
It's not a leap of faith, it's not this Kierkegaardian leap of faith, leap into the dark.
One must understand the person and work of Christ. You must believe that he's truly God and truly man.
You must understand that he's sinless, that he bore the wrath of God for our sins.
You must understand that he's raised on the third day. If you don't understand these things, if you don't know them, then you can't be saved.
If you don't understand at all that you're a sinner, you can't be saved. So there's certain basic things that you have to understand.
But more importantly than just believing, or I'm sorry, than knowing, is assent to those truths.
Genuine faith is also a conviction that the knowledge one possesses is factually true and personally beneficial.
In other words, I believe what you are saying, I can see that it is 100 % correct, it's biblical, and I believe that it has benefit for me.
I believe that Christ died for me. One must believe that Jesus can actually save you from sin and grant you righteousness.
The third component, trust. Genuine faith casts itself upon Jesus alone.
Intellectual assent is not enough. We know that. Why? Because, James says, the demons believe, they understand the truth, and what do they do?
They tremble. And it seems Simon understood that Jesus was proposed as a savior, but is certain that he did not trust him.
He did not have the third component. He did not have trust. And that's playing by what
Peter says to him in verse 21, that his heart is not right. Folks, if you get saved, you may not feel all the time like you're saved.
You may struggle in various things, but Peter isn't going to be supernatural, not that Peter could do anything these days, but he's not going to be supernaturally empowered to listen to you and say, your heart is not right.
Many Samaritans believe the gospel, but Simon, sadly, had not.
He was fixated by the power of God. He saw what Philip was doing, and he wanted to be able to do the same thing.
He misunderstood the power of God. So we've seen, one, the fake power of God, two, the true power of God, which is the gospel, and three, now displaying the power of God.
I have two Vs, two subpoints that start with V here. First verifying the report.
First verifying the report. Look at verse 14. Now, when the apostles of Jerusalem, or at Jerusalem, heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them
Peter and John. Now we don't know exactly how they heard. The text doesn't say, you know, today probably
Philip would be up there typing a little email. Brothers, things are going so well.
People are coming to Christ daily. I'm baptizing them, and it's just amazing, and oh, footnote.
The most famous guy up here, Simon the Magician, he made a profession of faith, and I baptize him.
Simon, yeah, Simon the Great, and you can almost, you know, imagine the response.
That's great, brother. We're on our way. We're going to check this out. It's trust but verify time.
There was a desire, certainly because the Lord had commanded this, there was a desire to see people come to Christ, the
Samaritans, but they had to go and sort things out, and if it was true, if all these people were coming to Christ, then there was going to need to be a church established, and the apostles had to be involved in that.
So the second V, vindicating the salvation of the
Samaritans. Look at verse 15. Peter and John who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the
Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the
Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the
Holy Spirit. Now there are a lot of things we could draw out of this.
I'm not going to go into the whole baptism thing. If you want to know that, you can talk to me later about it.
But if we just think about big picture, they're praying for them to receive the
Holy Spirit. We know that every Christian, once they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, they receive the
Holy Spirit. So what is this all about? If we, again, just take a real basic look at it, how would we know that anybody had been saved back then?
What was the evidence of it? And it usually meant that somebody was speaking in tongues.
That there was a visible sign that accompanied the Holy Spirit at this time.
And it's probable, as S. Lewis Johnson proposed, that the
Samaritans had yet to speak in tongues. And you say, well, wait a minute, I don't see tongues anywhere in here.
He makes an argument, I think it's a pretty compelling one. Acts 2, Pentecost, tongues. Acts 10,
Cornelius' house, tongues. Acts 19, disciples of John the Baptist, tongues.
And even though it's not explicit here, it seems the most reasonable explanation for the delay in the manifestation, the display of the power of the
Holy Spirit. It says, the Holy Spirit had not yet fallen on any of them.
Well, what does that mean? And I think that's the most plausible answer here. Well, Scott read it earlier, not this chapter, but he read
Isaiah. We've been going through Isaiah chapter by chapter by chapter. I want you to turn to Isaiah chapter 28.
You know, sometimes we read, we just read all these judgments and we go judgment, judgment, judgment. Yeah, I get it.
There's a lot of judgment. It's against Jerusalem. It's against the Egyptians. It's against Assyria, you know, judgment, judgment, judgment, judgment.
But Isaiah chapter 28, there's a judgment I think that is particularly helpful, even prophetic for this passage here today.
Listen to Isaiah 28 verses 11 and 12. For by people of strange lips and with a foreign tongue, the
Lord will speak to this people. Who's this people? It's the
Jews. To whom he has said, this is rest.
Give rest to the weary, and this is a repose. Listen, yet they would not hear.
What does that sound like? Come unto me all you who are weary, and I will what?
Give you things to do. Weary and heavy burdened, no, and I will give you rest.
Jesus came to the Jews and said, I will give you rest, and what did they do? Yet they would not hear.
They would not believe. Strange lips, the
Samaritans. And how are the Samaritans going to speak?
They're going to speak in glossolalia, foreign tongues, a work of the
Spirit, meaning known languages proclaimed, and they're proclaiming not gibberish like you see on TV, but truths about Jesus Christ.
Look again at verse 12, again, as I said, this is rest, give rest to the weary, and this is repose.
The Jews have rejected the rest that Jesus offered, and these displays of the power of the
Holy Spirit in the speaking of known languages fulfilled this word of God to Isaiah.
Let's go back to Acts now. The apostles, Christ's ordained messengers, pray for these
Samaritan believers, and they receive the Holy Spirit in the,
I want to say community, but in the vicinity of Peter and John, Philip, Jews, so that this word from Isaiah could be fulfilled.
Again, think in bigger picture, centuries of bitter division between the
Samaritans and the Jews, racial hostility. And now what?
Brothers and sisters in Christ, all of their issues resolved, they're now one in Christ.
The church expands into a place where, you know, from the
Jewish mindset, you would never go, and it's done with the full acknowledgement and approval of the apostles themselves.
This is God's kind of stamp of approval on the Samaritans. But what about poor old
Simon? He's going to try to purchase the power of God.
That's our fourth power statement. He's going to try to purchase the power of God.
He sees it as a business opportunity. Look at verse 18. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, saying, give me this power also, so that anyone on whom
I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit. You can basically hear the wheels turning in his head.
If they can do that, if they can make these people say things in known languages that they've not been trained in, man, if I could do that, that would be a pretty good addition to my show.
I'll tell you what. I'll make you guys an offer. I'll give you some money, and I'll take the franchise up here in Samaria, and you guys can keep your little franchise down there in Jerusalem.
How does that sound? This is totally a business proposition. He didn't know how they were doing it.
But to him, magic, which is what this was in his mind, was a business. Magicians sold spells.
They sold potions. They sold books about magic. The only question is, or was, how much?
What's it worth to you? And if you recall, and we haven't gotten there yet in Acts, but in Acts 19 .19,
Paul preaches the gospel in Ephesus. What happens? Many people, including, the text tells us, a number of those who had practiced magic arts brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all.
And they counted the value of them and found it to come to 50 ,000 pieces of silver.
There was big money in this. So we can be sure that what
Simon made, the offer that he made, seemed like a good amount to him. Seemed like a reasonable offer.
But the offer gets refused. Because Simon is deceived about the nature of it.
Verse 20, But Peter said to him, May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money.
Daryl Bach said this. He said, essentially what Peter says is, May destruction take your money with you.
You're on your way to hell, and take your silver with you. This is not some kind of insult.
This is a condemnation. It's a demonstration that Simon's profession of faith was just that.
It was just a profession. He was just mouthing the words. He had not been born again. It might seem agreeable to him.
But he had his own agenda. He was still on his way to eternal destruction.
To hell. Simon had believed the manifestation of the
Spirit's power. It was a transferable ability that anyone could have.
Simon was a living embodiment of Matthew 6 .24. No one can serve two masters.
For either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.
You cannot serve God and money. For him it was easy. He didn't understand who
God was, but he understood what money was. He loved the money and not
Christ. Peter says about the Holy Spirit that he is the gift of God.
That's good for us to think about. He is a comforter. A paraclete.
One who comes alongside. He's the third person of the Trinity. And he's the gift of God.
The Heidelberg Catechism puts it this way. Question number 53. What do you believe concerning the
Holy Spirit? First, he is, together with Father and the Son, true and eternal
God. Second, he is also given to me to make me, by true faith, share in Christ.
And all his benefits. To comfort me and to remain with me forever. He is both
God and the gift of God to every believer. Simon is also disfellowshipped.
Look at verse 21. You have neither part nor lot in this matter.
That's kind of an Old Testament phrase. Meaning, like you've been, you never had, if the will was being read, you had no reason to think you were going to be in the will.
And you're not in the will. You don't have any part in this. And he goes on to say, for your heart is not right before God.
Kistemacher says he is completely unqualified to receive the Holy Spirit and to become a teacher of the good news.
Why? Because he's not saved. He was utterly excluded from the community of believers.
He had desired power and authority, but his motives were as twisted as his heart. In verses 22 to 23, he's disabused of his wrong thinking.
Peter says, repent therefore of this wickedness of yours and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.
For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity.
In other words, he is in chains, he's enslaved to sin. Peter's given him a very blunt assessment of his spiritual condition.
But as we think about Peter, we know that great sin can be forgiven, right? Peter knows that, so he says, if possible, that you may be forgiven.
Maybe he can be forgiven. Peter had been forgiven. Peter's not going to tell
Simon that there's absolutely no way he can be forgiven. This isn't, by the way, the sin against the
Holy Spirit that cannot be forgiven. That would be to see a miracle done by Christ and then assign it to Satan.
He tells Simon to repent because one cannot repent without believing. He could have told him to believe, but he tells him to repent.
You can't repent without believing, and you can't believe without repenting. So both are true, and he commands him to repent.
And in verse 24, the final D sub -point, Simon is distraught.
Simon answered, pray for me to the Lord that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.
Not, I repent. Not, I've been wrong. But just don't let it happen as you want it to happen or as you said that it will happen.
And you know what's interesting is that some scholars think that this is Simon actually repenting. In fact, John Calvin thought that he repented here.
So the next time you hear Calvinists are just cold -hearted, I think that was very generous of John Calvin.
But Luke's not entirely clear, and we can't really know. As one man said, we'll know on the day of judgment.
I doubt we'll be waiting to see if Simon comes down the aisle or not. I'm rather dubious of that.
But our fifth power statement in closing.
Returning in the power of God. Returning in the power of God, verse 25. Now when they had testified, talking about the apostles, and spoken the word of the
Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
Now I said the apostles, but it very well seems likely, based on the text that comes, that Philip went with them.
But just imagine, they've seen God change so many lives up in Samaria.
And they're going back to Jerusalem. It's pretty obvious, they're pretty happy.
They're pretty amped up. Why? Because they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the
Samaritans. In other words, they don't just go in a straight line, you know, let's just get home. It's like, well let's go to this village, and this village isn't that far away.
And let's just go and preach Christ. Maybe more Samaritans will get saved.
Maybe God is going to move, and continue to move, among the Samaritans.
Well, concluding. We know that every believer, every believer, experiences the power of God.
When he causes you to be born again. When he transforms you and gives you a new heart.
When you believe, the Bible tells us you are a new creation in Christ. You've been recreated.
You've been made over. What we don't do today is speak in tongues.
Because that gift of the Holy Spirit is no longer needed. As I said, it was to verify that these men were what?
Actual messengers with an actual true message from the Lord. What is the power of God?
The power of God is demonstrated. It's worked through the message of God, the
Gospel. And when God transforms you, you have knowledge, assent, and trust.
You have an absolute trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. In his life, death, and resurrection for your benefit.
Knowing that once he has saved you, he will keep you.
And that you will go to heaven. No longer condemned, no longer under the wrath of God.
But eternally belonging to him as his child. Well, let's pray. Our Father in heaven.
Lord, as we think about this whole arc with Simon the
Magician. We're mindful of our own faults.
Our own proclivities. Our own activities before we're saved.
How we focus on ourselves. And think of ourselves as great.
As the most important. But Father, you, by the
Gospel, by the power of your Holy Spirit. Convict us of sin. Show us our true state.
That we're not great, that we're needy. You break us.
And then you open our eyes to let us see Jesus Christ for who he is. God.
Savior. The one who died for our sins and removed them as far as the east is from the west.
For anyone here today. Who does not yet know you.
Who has not experienced that power of God. I pray that today would be that day.
Father, thank you for the Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for the Gospel. Thank you that you transform lives still.
By men speaking words. We pray for this and pray for each one here.