A MAN WHO TRIED TO BUY THE POWER OF GOD

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[Acts:8:5-25].

Lesson No.: 
126
Class: 
Elementary
Memory Verse: 

“By their fruits ye shall know them”  (Matthew 7:20).

Notes: 

Simon the Sorcerer
North of Jerusalem about thirty miles, lay a city called Samaria. In that city lived a man named Simon. For many years Simon had done cunning tricks, which the people could not understand. And because he was able to do what seemed to be miracles, the people thought he was a great person, and that he had great power with God. But Simon was a very wicked man. He did not receive this power from God, but from Satan. The wicked one does give some ungodly people power to do strange deeds. However, the power of God is greater and stronger than the power of Satan. The Bible tells us the Lord is not pleased with people who “tell fortunes” or have anything to do with witchcraft.

In the City of Jerusalem the Christians were being treated very cruelly. A young man, named Saul, became bitter enemy of the good people. He went from house to house searching for men and women who worshiped God, and he had them put in prison. Many of the Christians left Jerusalem and went to other cities to live.

Christianity Spreads
This cruel treatment of the Christians did not do away with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It caused it to spread faster than ever. The people who fled from Jerusalem did not hide, like cowards, but everywhere they went they talked about Jesus.

A preacher named Philip came to Samaria to preach the Gospel! The people of Samaria listened to Philip preach Christ to them. Perhaps many of them never before had heard the Story of Jesus and His power to save from sin. When they saw Philip work miracles among them in the name of Jesus, they wondered at the great power God had given him. They saw the sick healed and the lame made to walk. The hearts of those people were made happy, for in verse 8 we read: “There was great joy in that city.” Both men and women were baptized in water.

Then Simon also came to hear Philip preach, and saw the sick healed and the lame made to walk, and those who were bound with unclean spirits set free. Simon saw that the power that Philip had was greater than his own. So Simon, too, joined the company of believers and was baptized in water.

Later on Peter and John also went to Samaria to help Philip with the work of the Lord. Peter and John prayed and laid their hands on the believers and they received the Holy Ghost.

Blessings that Money Cannot Buy
When Simon saw that the people crowded around the three workers, Peter, John, and Philip, he decided that he wanted this great power that they had. Perhaps he thought if he could pay a few Naira to these preachers and receive what they had, he could go and earn a great deal of money by working miracles before the people. So Simon offered them some money. But Peter said to Simon, “Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money . . . thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.” Peter meant that if Simon did not repent of his sins, he would perish with his money. Perhaps Simon had great riches but his money could not buy for him these blessings from Heaven. Simon then asked Peter to pray for him. He did not want to suffer the terrible things that Peter had warned him of.

No one can buy God’s blessings with money – God does not need our money. He owns the whole world. We read in [Psalms:50:10], “For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills.” Jesus wants our heart. When we come to Jesus it matters not whether we are rich or poor – everyone must pay the same price. We must give Him our heart and our love. We must have the Blood of Jesus upon our heart in order to enter Heaven. Silver and gold cannot buy a moment of time in Heaven. Our hearts must be made white and clean through the Blood of Jesus Christ.

Questions: 

1. Where did Philip go to preach? [Acts:8:5].
2. What man lived in the city of Samaria? [Acts:8:9].
3. What two men were sent to Samaria? [Acts:8:14].
4. Peter told what man that his heart was not right with God? [Acts:8:21].
5. Who wanted Peter to pray for him? [Acts:8:24].