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Money, Magic, and a Moral Mishap

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Sermon on Acts 8:9-25

Theme:  God’s power comes free

Goal:  to encourage God’s people that his power is free.

Need:  we fall often into the same questions asked by


Introduction:  I loved the movie Star Wars.  And the movie Matrix.  Both have a similar theme of one specially gifted with certain powers can do amazing things.  I wanted to have those powers because they looked cool.

1.                  The problems Today: 

a.                 Jealousy- we want what someone else has.

b.                 Pride- we want something because it will make us look really good.

c.                  Other Powers over God.

d.                 No courage to say no when someone is doing bad.

2.            The problems for Simon the Sorcerer.

a.                 Jealousy-Pride:  Vs 18-19.  18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money 19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” [1]

b.                Other Powers over God.  –vs 20-2320 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! 21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord. Perhaps he will forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. 23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.” [2]

Bitterness:  The actual word Peter uses is one they would know from the Old Testament.  Dueteronomy 29:18.  18Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison.

i.                          Bitterness comes from seeking out strength in things other than God. 

ii.                        Money and Power- Simon shows us that money and power have been tied together since the beginning.  Simon thinks money will gain him power.  But it can’t.

3.            The truth: 

a.                 The power of the Holy Spirit is a gift of God, not a product.  Simon was wrong to try and buy the power to give the Holy Spirit

b.                 The Holy Spirit gave Peter the courage to stand up and say that something was wrong.

4.            The truth today: 

a.                 We need to commit ourselves not to the power of the Holy Spirit, but the relationship that we have through Christ in his name.  The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to first of all be Holy and true to loving God with all oru heart.  The HolY Spirit inspires us to love our neighbour. And its in the context of the growning relationship with Christ and with others that we can use the gifts and the power given through the Holy Spirit.

b.                 We need to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit to correct the wrong that we see around us.  Jake and Alex story.  Jake was going to steal a jewelry box to give to his girl friend. 

Conclusion:  don’t love power.  Love Jesus. 

Since we believe in the Power of God and the Holy Spirit we are going to confess our faith using the words of the Apostle’s Creed together.  Because we don’t rely on anything more than Jesus Christ and faith through the Holy Spirit.


[1]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ac 8:18-19). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

[2]The Holy Bible : New International Version. 1996, c1984 (Ac 8:20-23). Grand Rapids: Zondervan.

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