26/2/2023 [Book of Acts 38

The Crisis of Simony <Ac 8:18-25>



* Simony refers to the “purchase or sale of ecclesiastical office”.

* For some time Simon had practiced sorcery in the city, boasting that he was someone great.

* Simon was astonished by the miracles performed by Philip.

* Later on, Simon was also amazed by the apostles laying hands on people such that they received the Holy Spirit.

* Simon attempted to offer money to buy this gift, thus this act became known as “simony”.

* Acts like simony appeared in different forms in church history.

* In particular, such corruption was prevalent during the Dark Ages, eventually leading to the unity of the Church and State.

* So did Simon truly believe?

* The truth shows that what he believed was not the Christ preached by Philip, but the power manifested by Philip.

* Eventually, he became Simon Magus of the early churches, and was the founder of the gnostic heresy.


Read <Ac 8:18-25>


1. <v18-19> Simon’s wrong foundation of faith

* All along, Simon was attracted to outward phenomenon/power.

* Simon was not following Christ, but power.

* Today, we may also fall into following power, knowledge, messages, music, etc.

* Here, Simon also treated the Holy Spirit as a form of power, and wished to buy with money.

* Ponder: Do we commit the same mistake today?


2. <v20-21> Simon had no part in God’s word

* First, how many people today are like Peter, who rebuked the buying and selling of sacred things?

* Simon’s root problem was not his actions, but his heart was not right.

* Therefore, Simon could not form a relationship with God’s word.

* Such a person’s heart is after himself, instead of after the Lord.

* <1 Ti 4:16>: Watch your life and doctrine closely…because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.


3. <v22-23> Simon was bound by sin

* Peter rebuked Simon in order to make him repent.

* In asking people to repent, must clearly point out their sins (the evil in human heart).

* Sin often plunges people into bitterness.


4. <v24> Simon did not repent

* Simon was only afraid of suffering the consequences, but he did not fear God.

* <1 Jn 4:18>: There is no fear in love…


5. <v25> The apostles continued to preach the gospel to the Samaritans

* When the apostles confirmed that God’s redemption had come upon the Samaritans, they continued to preach to this people.