Today’s Passage: Acts 8
This Sunday morning, we’re continuing our mini-series looking at the person of the Holy Spirit. As we saw last week, our relationship with God is not meant to be one sided. God is for us, and cares about us. And God speaks. If God lives with us by His Spirit, then why would we expect God to do otherwise?
The Spirit of God who lives with us, however, is also the One who empowers us. Through the Spirit, the church is gifted with all that she needs to be God’s ambassador to the world. Our God is powerful. Nothing and nobody can stand between God and His purposes being fulfilled. Jesus once said that those who believed in Him would do even greater things than He had done. (John 14:12-14). Before ascending to the heavens, Jesus promised his followers that they would be clothed with power from on high (Luke 24:49). And on the day of Pentecost, this promise was fulfilled – the Spirit of God was poured out on God’s people.
By His Spirit and through His people, God has done and continues to do amazing things. The sick have been healed. Demons have been cast out. People have come to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. The book of Acts makes clear that the power of God’s Kingdom wasn’t stopped by Jesus’ death, resurrection and ascension – it is still taking ground. As Paul wrote, the Kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power (1 Corithians 4:20).
And this is still the case today. So, we might ask, how do we obtain this power?
In Acts 8, we read of the Spirit’s moving with power among the Samaritans. Firstly through the work of Philip, and then through the arrival of Peter and John. And we meet a man from that area – Simon – who wanted exactly that: to obtain the power of God.
But is this actually the right question?