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05/11/14 - Who's Got the Power

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Who’s Got The Power: Acts 8:9-17

A Characterization of Simon
A Curiosity of Simon
A Competitor of Simon

1. A Characterization of Simon
9But 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. 10They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” 11And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.
Acts 8:9-11 (ESV)

Being called “Great” bears the connotation of a divine power.

Emphasis is made upon the attention Simon received.

7For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?
1 Corinthians 4:7 (ESV)

2. A Curiosity of Simon
12But 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. 13Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
Acts 8:12-13 (ESV)

The verb “continued” implies that Simon connected himself to Philip as one would a “rock star.”

4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not being merely human? 5What then is Apollos? What is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, as the Lord assigned to each. 6I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.
1 Corinthians 3:4-7 (ESV)

3. A Competitor of Simon
14Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.
Acts 8:14-17 (ESV)

One could compare the contrast of Simon’s magic power with the Apostles to that of Moses’ power with Pharaoh’s magicians.

8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Acts 1:8 (ESV)

Though not explicitly stated, it would be expected the affirmation that the Spirit had fallen on the believers in Samaria would be the same as Acts 2 and Acts 10, namely “speaking in tongues.”