Not for Sale

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  25:29
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Acts 8:21 CSB
21 You have no part or share in this matter, because your heart is not right before God.

Context: Where does this fit in the Big Picture of God's Glory?

Philip is traveling about, sharing the Gospel. First in a Samaritan town, then on the road

Overview: What's going on here?

Revisit both stories.
Address the “Simon Magus as the father of all heresy” tradition
Address “simony” as a sin that shows up later and screws up the church
Hit the Ethiopian Eunuch—don’t dwell on the Eunuch part.
Don’t dwell too much on Candace or project forward to Axum.
Well, two things. We often hit the second story as an emphasis on eliminating racial barriers to the Gospel.
And that’s a valid idea, but by now, if you don’t understand that the Gospel is for everyone, every tribe, tongue, and nation, then I’m not sure you need one more sermon focused on it. I’m just going to assume you understand that.
Also important here, though, is the contrast in the two stories: in Samaria, the Apostles are there, Simon Magus is offering money for the Holy Spirit.
Aside: YOU CANNOT BUY THE FAVOR OF GOD. You cannot rent the favor of God. You can give out of obedience; you can give out of joy; you can give out of support for the mission and the cause---and you should.
But never convince yourself that you are giving because God can be bought.

Reflection: Why does this matter?

Acts 8:32–33 CSB
32 Now the Scripture passage he was reading was this: He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb is silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. 33 In his humiliation justice was denied him. Who will describe his generation? For his life is taken from the earth.
The primary point here is JESUS. He matters. He was the lamb, slain for us.
And we are the answer to the question: Who will describe his generation?
We will.

Expectations: What do we do about it?

First: have you believed? Admit that you are a sheep who has strayed, and that He died for you.
Second: Individually, your money is worth very little. Attempting to buy the Holy Spirit brings a curse. And note that, whatever else was going, there was no indication that the apostles ever fussed that the TREASURY DIRECTOR for the Ethiopian Empire left without dropping a dime. (Compare to Namaan the Syrian in 2 Kings 5)
Third: as a church, where are we? How tempted would we be to take Simon’s money? Or to chase after the Eunuch and ask for a recurring contribution?
And how do we handle the interruptions of our plans? We’ll do this…no, we’ll do that…here is where the Spirit is leading.
Do we build the flex into our lives to be able to obey?
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