We continue with our sermon series “The church goes out”. Preaching from Nathan Gordon and our service will be led by Brian Dickson.
Unfinished business/Recap from last week ch.6-7
The word of God in action – v8-10 & ch. 7
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
- The word of God produces wisdom, knowledge, and perseverance
- The word of God produces the character of Christ
- Stephen, despite opposition from the Sanhedrin, stood his ground and defended his faith in Jesus Christ
- Stephen, whilst being stoned, prayed that God would forgive those stoning him
Luke described Stephen as a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit
Challenge: The word of God comes alive when we internalise and demonstrate the Bible through our daily lives. Bible-bashing is not the call for the church, but through showing God’s love, the light of Christ shines and points people to Jesus.
Like Stephen, is our desire to be full of faith and the Holy Spirit?
As we explore chapter 8, what can we glean from the activity of the Holy Spirt amongst the early church believer’s and what can we apply to our lives today?
The World is drinking from a faulty fountain – v10-11
- The Samaritans were looking for satisfaction in the wrong place
- Simon believed he was great but was unable to satisfy the thirst of the people in Samaria
- The people believed Simon was a great power of God
- They gave Simon their undivided attention
- The situation is reminiscent of John 4 & the woman at Jacob’s well
When we receive the word of God and the good news of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit indwells our lives and deposits an appetite to serve and worship God.
Challenge: Like the Samaritans, are we looking for satisfaction in the wrong places or wrong people? Is the Holy Spirit guiding our lives and steering us in the right direction towards Jesus?
The importance of The Holy Spirit in CONTEXT – v14-24
- Simon was more interested in the experience rather than the fruit/work of the Holy Spirit (v18-19)
- Being led by the Holy Spirit produces growth and maturity
- The history book of Acts records varied experiences of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
- The experience of the Samaritans is not always normative to every believer’s encounter.
- Every believer who professes faith in Jesus Christ and repents of their sins, is indwelt by the Holy Spirit.
- See other examples; Acts 2:4, John 15:26, Romans 8:9, Acts 1:5, 1 Cor 12:13, Acts 11:15
Challenge – we must be cautious not to be overwhelmed by the signs and wonders, rather than applying the gift of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives.
Ultimately the Holy Spirit fills our lives to develop growth and maturity in our walks with God. May our prayer today seek the fulness of the holy spirit to lead and guide is into truth.
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the spirit,19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1) Discuss the roles of Stephen & Phillip, who were initially called to serve tables in Acts 6:5; how did their roles change in chapters 7 & 8? Have you experienced role changes in your life as a Christian?
2) Do you believe Simon was genuinely converted? Discuss your reasons for or against it.
3) Discuss why the experience of the Holy Spirit filling the Samaritans in Acts 8 is not always normative to every believer today?
4) Could demonic powers be mistaken as Godly powers today?
5) How can we allow the Holy Spirit to fully enrich and lead our daily lives in our current context today?
Sermon Title: Can you be a Christian and not filled with the spirit?
Bible Reading: Acts 8:1-24
Preacher: Nathan Gordon
Worship Leader: Brian Dickson