The bible tells us that we must believe on the Lord Jesus and we will be saved, we are also taught that Baptism is part of the process of salvation. However! Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8 fulfilled these 2 outward acts, but since his heart was not right, he had no part in the Holy Spirit. He was still full of bitterness, wickedness and iniquity. He never stopped his sorcery and evil ways; according to scripture, he had no part in God’s kingdom even though outwardly he made the steps, because inwardly there was no change.
Let’s look at the story of Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8:9-29.
Simon was well know in Samaria for his astonishing acts of sorcery, witchcraft and great supernatural power. He claimed he was great, that his power and magical art was from God. Now at this time, Philip was preaching God’s Word and the testimony of Jesus to the people of Samaria , he did great signs and wonders – healing the sick, healing the paralyzed, casting out demons- and because of this, there was great joy in Samaria and many believed in Jesus.
Sorcery, witchcraft, omens, calling on spirits and the dead is strictly forbidden by God. If Simon had this power, it was satanic and any power or sign of this kind is not of God.
Simon the sorcerer heard the words of Philip as he testified of the Lord Jesus Christ and SIMON BELIEVED , SIMON was BAPTISED and Simon continued to listen and follow Philip as a believer. He watched Philip and was amazed at the miracles and signs he saw Philip do in the name of Jesus.
So the scripture goes on to tell us that after the people believed and were baptized, that Peter and John came to Samaria to lay hands on the believers that they would receive the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw this power come on people, he offered the apostles money for this power.
Here’s were wisdom is needed – Simon was scolded and reprimanded- He is told (even though he was a believer and was baptized) that he
- – has no portion in the matter of the Holy Spirit
- – His heart was still wicked
- -His heart was not right before the Lord
- -He was poisoned by bitterness and
- – bound by iniquities – his sinful ways
What is the message here? Your heart MUST be right with the Lord or your salvation prayer and public church baptism is meaningless and in vain. Same with the sacraments – they don’t give you the ticket to heaven that the church wishes it did – of course the sacraments were put in place with good meaning – but unless we have a right heart, a changed heart – it’s all worthless and in vain. We need to change -our heart- our ways and our walk. We need to be righteous, holy, and forgive everyone who offends us. We need to live a life far away from sin that entangles you and weighs you down – bitterness, unforgiveness, witchcraft, sorcery, cursing, drunkenness, sexual sins, fulfilling your own lusts and all that goes against God. We must walk in love and humbleness, thinking of others more than ourselves and our own agendas. Consider the verse in James 1:26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless. The true path requires daily effort to work out your salvation and stay away from sin that can trip you and lead you along the wrong path. Jesus said the true path is narrow and FEW make it, the path to destruction is wide and broad and MANY enter it.
Peter goes on to instruct Simon-
- Repent of your wickedness
- Pray to God that He would forgive you
You can’t keep living the same life you did , you need to change.
The Scripture says that Simon could not receive the Power of the Holy Spirit and we know that the Holy Spirit seals us for the day of Salvation. We know he was full of sin -unrepented and unforgiven sin, so with that in mind, was his soul saved? If he wasn’t forgiven, there is NO WAY he could go before the Lord.
Galations 5 tells us that anyone involved in the following sins have NO PART IN THE KINGDOM OF GOD: The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Based on that scripture, Simon’s salvation still had not been worked out. Are you a Christian involved in any of the above sins?
Jesus came to teach the repentance of sins and salvation, yet even though Simon took the outward steps, he had not yet taken the inward steps of stopping his life of sin, repenting from it and asking God for forgiveness.
Did you once walk with the Lord, but have turned you back on Him?
It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit, who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age and who have fallen away, to be brought back to repentance. To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned. Even though we speak like this, dear friends, we are convinced of better things in your case—the things that have to do with salvation. God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them. We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized. We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised. Heb 6:4-10
- Ephesians 4:30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
- 1 Thessalonians 1:5 because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. You know how we lived among you for your sake.
- 1 Thessalonians 4:8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.
- Titus 3:5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
We need to stop making our own rules, our own ways and stop making excuses for the evil we are involved in. Run from sin, repent of your wickedness, ask God for forgiveness and work our your salvation with fear and trembling! Stand unashamed in your walk with the Lord even though everyone is against you – God is with you….forever…….