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August 9, 2022 6:00 am
Pastor Rick teaches from the book of the Acts
Will there to increase the chance of salvation doesn't always happen as quickly as we want. The way that we want be ministering to somebody for years and some other Christian comes in and closes the deal. What is that everything is present in you calling out a safe unsafe I can get your suffering may be part of God's plan because that's what it takes. Not because God gets a thrill out of our suffering that is never the case. This is cross reference radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the book of acts. Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about cross reference radio. Specifically, you can get a free copy of this teaching, but for now let's join Pastor Rick in the book of acts chapter 8 as he begins a brand-new study called power to preach the book of acts chapter 8 verses 9 to 25 there was a certain man called Simon previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonish the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great, whom they all gave he from the least to the greatest thing this man is the great power of God, and they heated him because yet astonish them with his sorceries for a long time, but when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God in the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. Then Simon himself also believe, and when he was baptized. He continued with Philip and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done. Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them when they had come down, prayed for them, they might receive the Holy Spirit for as yet he had fallen upon none of them they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid hands on them and they receive the Holy Spirit. And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles hands, the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, give me this power also that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit. But Peter said to him your money perish with you because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money. You have neither partner portion in this matter of your heart, your heart is not right side of God. Repent therefore of this. Your wickedness and pray God, if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven. You rise see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound in iniquity. Then Simon answered and said, pray to the Lord for me and none of these things which you have spoken may come upon me. So when they had testified, and preach the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samarian's now last session.
In acts we read about the apostles, or the persecution that broke out in Jerusalem and that the believers were persecuted to preach and spread them out. Well now that we're going to see in this chapter the power to preach Satan thought the church was in retreat is wrong again. The gospel is being spread. Now in this section of Scripture, there are some debated portions and it's always unpleasant to deal with them, so I'll try to be quick when it comes to that, because I'm not trying to convince you to see it my way. I'm sharing with you as I believe the spirit of God shared with me and you make your your call after that.
But God allowed the believers to be persecuted and use this persecution so they could preach the gospel in areas that they otherwise would not have been so quick to visit and so here we receive the need not only for opportunity to preach what power to preach. Philip had the opportunity and he had the power and at the time the Christians that were fleeing Jerusalem because of the persecution they didn't know they were winning.
We know that with 2000 years later we read this story was to look at that man this is great that you know Satan was really the one and that was losing territory with the Christians at the time they felt that they were being chased, they were and they did something with it. They were too busy trying to survive and to escape persecution to see what God was doing will know better you come under pressure in your life. Your life starts falling apart things going the way you never wanted them to go. You may miss that God is doing something. Nonetheless, these these these things are here for our edification. Not only is the Old Testament here for our edification, but so is the New Testament we know there outcome.
We know that they lost the battle won the war.
Maybe you are in a battle spiritual battle, hopefully at least at some point, your spiritual battle for others and not just yourself. Maybe it's a lost soul.
Maybe it's the loved one. Maybe it's a child feel like you losing the battle.
Remember God put you and your Christianity, your personal relationship with Christ. God put you and that relationship into their lives, whether they know it or not respected and not receive it or not, you should know what you should respected.
We should all receive this will there to increase the chance of salvation doesn't always happen as quickly as we want. The way that we want the ministry to somebody for years and some other Christian comes in and closes the deal with what is that everything is present in you calling out a safe unsafe I can get your suffering may be part of God's plan because that's what it takes. Not because God gets a thrill out of our suffering that is never the case, but because that's what it takes to defeat the wickedness that is here suffering.
He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his pain, his stripes we have been made whole. As our example Christ suffering for others. The big differences he didn't have to.
He could just say no I'll stay here in heaven I'm not going on but he does come. So again, you may feel defeated. The Satan really is losing ground. If you keep your head in the game. In this chapter we see four groups receiving salvation well and in the book of acts, not this chapter in the book of acts and it's it's it's comprehensive. It covers mankind wish you the Jews have been saved that all way back to chapter 2, the Samaritans, they are being saved and was seeing that in the Jews the Samaritans were, you know, the mixed breed. They were half Jewish and half Gentile. That's they were this mixed breed of people. So we see the Jews and those who are Jew, Gentile, getting safe, then will see a proselyte somebody who came to Judaism, but is a Gentile and they took up the Jewish religion, Judaism they get say that person in this chapter happens to be an Ethiopian will get that some other time and then we get to chapter 10 we see the full-blown Gentiles getting say so to the book of acts we see the gospel, you know, again Satan thinking he's stopping it out. We see just marching forward people getting safe and God saying this is a special group that gets saved June Gentile mixed religious convert, you come to Christ to get saved is a special class is a pecking order is no longer Jew or Gentile slave or free Scythian or barbarian. All are in Christ.
These are the lessons that fly off the pages and are received by anyone who is willing to dig for them is willing to have them do something with them when you go out you share the gospel with anybody. God puts in front of you living it out. Look now in verse nine we got a lot here. You better get going, but there were certain there was a certain man called Simon who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonish the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great. Well, as converts are being made.
Complications are arising this is going to be a complication. Nobody sees it yet, but is there Simon was a master of tricks and illusions, and he had postured himself as being somebody who was a go to guy for spiritual advice. There is no mention of his healing anyone. There is no mention of his helping anyone know spiritual activity is mentioned about this assignment, only that he wowed the crowd says here who previously practiced sorcery in the city. Now that is critical to understanding what's going on in this section because it says keep previously practiced, which means at some point he abandons this somewhat week, we come to it. Of course, to get say this is an indication assignment abandoned the sinful life and I'm embraced Christ, and that it was genuine. See, now we getting into the debate. There are many very good Bible teachers, many of my teachers in the word rope through books they don't share this opinion. Some of the others do. If any of you would like to write them a letter to let them know they're wrong and I'm right I would appreciate it looks gospel chapter 9 when the disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, do you want us to command fire come down from heaven and consume them, just as Elijah did. So are you reading this verse about bringing fire down on people want cooperating with Christ because I think it's a mindset that many Christians fall into just like James and John. We want to kind of bulldoze people into hell when we come across the characters you guys and how he's in hell is the rich young ruler is going to hell. Jesus told to follow him. He's gone it will. That's not how the story reads cry he said what I have to do to get to heaven is his alluvial follow the law voices. These things are done for my you what I still lack. Granted, he didn't go far enough. As far as serving the Lord, but it doesn't condemn him to hell and is the same with Simon here. There are those that just think that this man was a fraud, he never was saved because he practiced sorcery and he makes his tremendous blunder well yet he made a big blunder and Peter goes what we would call ballistic that ate the whole story Peter Lee gives us the whole story.
And so, again because of the seriousness of his era.
There many Christians that factor out the seriousness of grace sinners in the hands of a graceful God. He is sure God has the capacity for wrath, but that's that's a heat not how he approaches us when you got saved God and say I want to kill you is offering is Gracie's you know is the goodness of God.
That led me to repentance that Paul and some made hard cases. God may have to with health. Consider palimony what donkey's talking to them you you think that would've just ended everything for balance disorder gone home and just got in the bed after what would you do if your pet started talking to some of you, would you just entering the dialogue to be so happy about it but if slick stop doing that coming first thing the dog would save four dogs you know you can't tell anybody this so Simon makes a goof up all medical fees, persecuting Christians, but he gets forgiven. Simon can be forgiven to that because Simon says this worse. I figured you like that. This word sorcery here. While there really are two words in the New Testament that are translated sorcery. The Greek word here is where we get our English word magic from the other words we get our English word pharmacy from from Achaea and this one Maggie all and so what does it mean, what's the difference between the two. Well, of course, sorcery in the Old Testament condemned and is condemned in the New Testament if you mean my sorcery contacting the spiritual realm not coming to God were trying to you know of the occult.
We would call it.
That certainly is gets no pardon from God.
He gets condemnation but it does seem that Simon was more into illusions exists, plastering himself as though he was this spiritual sage, but not necessarily concocting potions and conjuring up spells and things like that alignment is so false prophet that will meet in chapter 13 that he was into sorcery and he would not be did not tolerate Saul Paul the apostle coming into his territory and there was that confrontation and Paul smote him line for period of time we get to chapter 19 we come across the sons of Skiba, who also decided that they were going to dip and dab into the spiritual realm they were ill-prepared and and there ended up physically with a beating, but there's no indication of Simon doing anything more, but then be dazzling. The people making himself to be somebody in the people support disguise impressive.
You should see what he could do a rabbit and it out so just keeping that in mind, you can say will could he have been into the occult shore, but I think he was a fraud, he was a phony baloney and he was getting away with it and will come back to these verses are all get repeat that that he is pretending to sleight-of-hand. Well, I should add. Philip would've really had his hands full with this guy was deep into the dark arts. So we come to the bottom of verse nine that. Speaking of Simon he astonish the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great and there it is these imposter look at media, he lays Chinese, promoting himself, these people loving it and making money because of shore from this. Philip preached Christ, and Simon preached himself. One of the big differences between the believer and the make believer. Verse 10 to whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest thing this man is the great power of God.
Well, this will Simon want to be one of these people to accept them and they were mesmerized by what he was doing and it doesn't detail again for us what he was doing, but let's just say this to say he's levitating people can impress people don't know that there's no sleight-of-hand. I don't think he was levitating anybody like I stick with the rabbit in the hat one, but because he doesn't seem to be this great character and the year he is a self-made village spiritual advisor. You may disagree would disagree with that and that that's okay. I would agree with you, then both be wrong. Verse 11 is checking on and they hated him because he astonish them with his sorceries for a long time. So again he's not producing any that healing and he probably he's just, you know, doing these things they're looking at it they can see it.
What should've been. They would better have been served had he been preaching truth to them. But there's nothing, nothing like that going on and when Philip comes it will be the preaching of the word that turns everything around with signs and wonders miracle of spiritual truth defeating will defeat these this mesmerizing these mesmerizing wonders of Simon the miracle of spiritual truth, and it is a miracle. When a soul converts from the world from the cell from sin to Jesus Christ. When Paul says faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God is a miracle all the right to the Ephesians warning them. We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, and the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting of Ephesus was a huge city to whom he was writing at the time and he knew that there were men like Simon and far worse than Simon and he's telling the Christians that don't be wowed by things that are true. Stick to the unbroken witness of your scripture that goes back to Adam verse 12, but when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God in the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized as a whatever it was, a Simon was into it was also decided by truth.
Drew shows up and just overcomes that we will get two of those in acts that are into sorcery into the occult will have those that are demonically influenced or and all possessed but I don't think that's again so much the case here. Philip's arrival and work notified the people that they were incomplete. Maybe you go to church your churchgoer. That's all you do you not family, yet you have to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. You have to recognize that you lack something without him more than life, lack salvation security that comes from Jesus Christ himself and Philip's arrival notifies the people that they you look you might have Simon all asked of Mr. Cornell and their responding to that Satan says who wants to be a millionaire crisis was 11 who wants to be born again. Both men and women were baptized doing nothing vague about that faith alone in Jesus alone that to gets baptized to be able to say Christ. Christ died in my place as me, took my sin my punishment my punishment for my sin.
He took it on himself so that I would not have to suffer. He is the Savior, but before he is my Savior. He is Lord.
He is always been Lord he is Lord from eternity past, and he will be Lord into into eternity future. Those are the ones that get baptized in water and if you believe Jesus Christ is that to you, your Lord and your Savior and you have not been baptized. What you waiting for now, we do not encourage the use to get baptized nor do we discourage them.
We only want to be part of the process of a genuine baptism, then I say want to get back that's my friends getting baptized to create that kind of environment for them. A lot of people don't really see little four euros going to really understand what's going on as far baptism as yet understand Christ as your Savior.
You are a sinner. What what it means to be baptized. What it is preaching you to preach a sermon. All you have to do is go to chop chop square in Saudi Arabia get baptized and that's where find out what happens to you kill you, you won't even dry off before they kill you because it means something mean something to help L hates to see people sound lining up with the believers. This is my uniform. This is the Army. I march with this is the kingdom that I belong to. This is where my primary citizenship is so if you are a Christian you love the Lord Jesus Christ you believe in salvation through Christ alone faith alone in Christ alone.
By the word of God. The media baptized, you get one of the pastors that I was you every seven people decide to get there at the service. No I would not, but if you do preach about you anyway. The early church was very serious about this, where there was conversion there was baptism verse 13 than Simon himself also believe, and when he was baptized. He continued Philip and was amazing the miracles and signs which were done yet as he couldn't duplicate that I met I could do little rabbit thing, but I can do this.
It says, then Simon himself also believe that is what the Bible says the Bible does not say, but his belief was not genuine.
Calvinist will come back and add that later with no right to reject that initial statement from Luke under the Holy Spirit's authority just because he makes his tremendous blunder in a few minutes will you versus and why should we be surprised that a new convert has a theological error makes the above theological spiritual faux pas. Why should we be surprised. Was he supposed to be converted. Also, neither theologian Luke explicitly says Simon believed that he was baptized and having introduced Simon as one who was previously into sorcery in verse nine.
It connects perfectly.
I'm going to this because you have these all study Bibles and other commentaries and you read them and they think they just slam Simon and II disagree with them just because they write a book to get you know get to be part of a book is mean automatically right be kooky that by that logic. Every book ever written is of the authority of what is right and wrong is looking at it objectively, which I think many well-meaning commentators on certain parts of theology are not objective anymore because they gotten to a doctrinal camp in a written books about it. Think I can leave anyway if the Samaritans belief was genuine unto salvation. Just like it says then why isn't Simons also with no reason to doubt it that his faith led to his baptism was genuine unto his salvation is says and was amazing.
The miracles and the signs which were done. Sylvia Mazer is now amazed himself not to crave miracles, signs and wonders as a gateway to faith. We except Jesus preached on this very Christ concisely said to Thomas, lessening you, Thomas. You see it you got it, but there's going to be others that haven't seen what you have seen and taken to believe by faith. That's what I'm after move you've been listening to cross reference radio daily radio ministry pastor Rick asked of Calvary Chapel in Mechanicsville, Virginia. As we mentioned at the beginning of today's broadcast.
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