Pentecost in Acts: Acts 8:1-25 Full of Self or Full of the Holy Spirit?

After Stephen was stoned to death, persecution grew against the early believers. Much of it was at the hand of Saul who later became the Apostle Paul. Many believers were put in prison. Those who were not imprisoned spread out from Jerusalem witnessing of Jesus and His resurrection wherever they went. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and declared Jesus. Signs followed him, demons were cast out of people. Simon the sorcerer, who practiced magic in the city, bringing glory to himself. The people living there saw his feats and said, “ God had made him great.” When the people saw and heard from Philip what was real and true. They believed in Jesus and were baptized. Even Simon believed.

Peter and John were sent to Samaria because they had heard the people had not had the Holy Spirit fall on them. So they came to pray for them to receive the Holy Spirit. As they prayed for the people to receive the Holy Spirit, Simon the sorcerer was amazed. He offered money to be able to pray for people like that. Peter rebuked him because the gift of God cannot be bought with money.

The Holy Spirit is a gift to us. His indwelling is not something we can buy with our own influence or power. He comes to those who are seeking to be filled with Him for the glory of God. He comes to testify of Jesus and magnify Jesus through us. Simon the sorcerer was about himself, not God.

These believers had been baptized in Jesus name but the Holy Spirit had not yet come upon them as the apostles had experienced at Pentecost. That is why Peter and John came to pray for them. They needed to know about the gift of being filled with the Holy Spirit.

May we examine our hearts. Are we as Simon the sorcerer, full of ourselves. Do we think only of our plans and our glory? Or are we as the apostles, full of the Holy Spirit, testifying of God everywhere we go, bringing glory to Him in our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit? Are we full of the Holy Spirit?

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