What Money Can’t Buy (Acts 8:9-25)

I wonder if you ever think about why people don’t believe in Jesus and what it would take to convince them. Do we need a well-reasoned argument? Do we need an amazing testimony? Do we need good evidence that will convince people to believe?

Sometimes we think, “People would believe if only, we had something. If we had more young families at church. If we had a more attractive building. If we had better advertising. If we had a young minister. Then people would listen.”

Or maybe people would believe if only we did something. “Maybe if we did it the way that we used to, we’d have the same results and church would be bursting at the seams every week.” Or maybe we look at the churches that are bursting at the seams, and we think, “Well, if we did what they’re doing, then people would believe.”

Notice that when we think in these ways, it makes it all about us, and how people would believe if we did something or if we were something, rather than making it about what God does, how God gives faith to people, and how we are called to take part in what He is doing.

There are two warnings in the passage (Acts 8:9-25):

  1. Beware thinking of yourself as somebody (v9-13)
  2. Beware thinking that you can control God (v14-24)

They might not seem like dangers to us, but I hope to convince you of that.

Sunday 21st October 2018

Review Questions

  • Why was Simon called “Great” (v9-11)?
  • Simon’s power _____________ people (v11)
  • Philip’s message ____________ people (v7)
  • Simon’s message was about ________ (v9)
  • What was Philip’s message about (v5, 12)?
  • What was Simon’s ‘faith’ missing?
  • Why didn’t the Samaritans receive the Holy Spirit at first (v14-17)?
  • What did Simon want (v18-19)?
  • How might I try to control God?
  • What attitude motivated Simon (v23)?
  • Whose glory do I desire?

Application questions:

  • A question I have:
  • A truth to share:
  • Something to pray about:
  • How I should live: