Acts + Letters Lesson 6 Day 3

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Acts 8:9-40


Peter, Simon the magos, Philip, and the Ethiopian

6. Simon the magos

Simon practiced magic. The Greek uses the same word magos as in Matthew 2:1 (wise men who studied the stars.)

His name may indicate he was of Jewish or Samaritan descent. The mixture of the Jewish and pagan traditions of Samaria allowed Simon to claim he bewitched by “the great power of God.”

Bewitched the people of Samaria.–Literally, threw them into the state of trance or ecstasy; set them beside themselves, or out of their wits. The structure of the sentence shows that the “city” is not identical with Samaria, and that the latter name is used, as elsewhere, for the region.

Philip believed Simon was sincere or he wouldn’t have baptized him.

Something extraordinary occurred when Peter and John laid hands on the new believers to receive the Holy Spirit. That something impressed Simon, and his desire to perform signs and wonders for profit returned. Or perhaps this was his intention all along.

Peter’s “scathing rebuke (v. 21) leaves us uncertain about where Simon really stood with God. Furthermore, the early writings of church history continue to depict Simon as a father of heresies.” “The word “simony” which is the buying and selling of church offices and influence, originates here.” (Spirit-filled Life Bible footnote p. 1640)

7. What I learn from these accounts —

God did not give up on the land of Israel or the offspring of Abraham in Samaria.

Both Philip and Stephen, appointed to serve the church family in practical ways, preached the gospel under the power of the Holy Spirit, healed the sick and injured, and cast out demons.

Simon didn’t ask to receive the Holy Spirit. He selfishly offered Peter and John money, saying, “Give me also this power, that whomever I lay my hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:19 WEB)

Instead of repenting as Peter instructed, Simon asked Peter to pray for him. This sounds like someone who does not have a relationship with Jesus. He saw Peter as a man who had supernatural power. He still didn’t seem to understand the difference between the occult and Christianity.

8. a. Isaiah 53:7-8 and the Ethiopian

An angel of the Lord directed Philip to travel south from Jerusalem to Gaza, and he got up and went.

When Philip encountered this man from Ethiopia as the Spirit instructed, he was reading Isaiah.

The Ethiopian was hungry for God’s Word. Typically, the scroll would cost him a lot of money, so it showed that he really wanted to read and know God’s word.

The passage he is reading aloud contain prophetic words about Jesus’ sacrifice. He is the lamb that was slain.

The eunuch believed and was baptized.

b. God primarily leads me to share these Bible studies.

I need to do a better job of staying on track so I share them in a timely manner.

I’m also praying for financial supply and assistance to pay for hosting and maintaining the growing amount of content on this website.

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My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 6 Day 3