There is a story in Acts which is told about Simon, the Magician. He had previously practiced magic or sorcery, which amazed the people. Simon considered himself great and the people all paid attention to him and regarded him as ‘the power of God.’ After a while, Philip preached the gospel of Jesus Christ and the people believed and were baptised. “Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed” (Acts 8:13). When the apostles heard that Samaria had received the gospel, they sent Peter and John who went there to pray for the people to receive the Holy Spirit. The people were baptised, but had not yet received the baptism by fire.
When Simon saw that the spirit was given to the people through the laying on of hands by the Apostles, he offered them money. “saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit”” (Acts 8:19). Peter rebuked Simon and said, ‘may your silver perish with you.’ This was because Simon thought that he could receive the anointing of God with money. Peter told him that he would not receive the gift of God because his heart was not right before God. He was instructed to repent of this wickedness and pray so that God would forgive him. Peter commented that Simon had the gall of bitterness and the bond of iniquity. He begged Peter to pray for him that what he said would not happen to him.
The Apostles in Acts performed many great signs, wonders and miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit and using the name and authority of Jesus Christ. Before their arrival in Samaria, Simon had the attention, fame and popularity of the people. This was to the extend that the people regarded him as having the ‘great power of God. Nevertheless, when Philip showed up and peached the gospel, the eyes of the people were opened. They realised the true and living God and saw even greater signs and wonders than what Simon had performed. Simon also appeared to have converted but was not fully transformed. Within him was the desire for power and possibly to have his fame restored.
He thought he could entice the apostles with money to receive the grace and anointing on their lives. I have heard ministers before encourage people to sow a seed in order to receive from their anointing. Such things are not to happen in the body of Christ, as the gifts of the spirit cannot be purchased with money. We should desire the sincere gifts of the spirit (1 Corinthians 14:1) and seek the face of God to be filled. It is when we seek God with a pure and sincere heart, then we will be filled. The motives of our hearts are also important as the gifts are given for the edification of the church. Spiritual gifts are not given to make us famous or popular, but for the establishment of the kingdom of God.
Published by Anneta Pinto-Young
I am a trained Social Worker who currently provides professional leadership on a programme to support Social Work students and Newly Qualified Social Workers entering the Social Work Profession. Born and raised in Jamaica in a Christian family where my father is an ordained Pastor and Deacon who has served for over 50 years in the ministry. My father is also a trained musician and our family can be described as a musical family. I grew up in a small farming community in St. Peter’s, St. Andrew and my parents also have a small farm. I credit my gift of writing to my father who I watched and listened to over the years as he wrote sermons, poems and other recitals in his capacity in ministry. English has always been an easy subject for me and over the years I have developed an increased interest in writing. I am a Trainer, I sing and have a passion for worship, the spoken word and the free flow of the prophetic anointing. I am married to my best friend Andrew Christopher Young who is an advanced Musician and whose music you can find on YouTube and Facebook. I am a trained Coach and Mentor and I love experimenting with food so I love cooking. I enjoy trying cultural dishes from across the world and I view food as an entry into cultures and languages. View all posts by Anneta Pinto-Young
Published October 4, 2023- October 4, 2023
Republished with permission from Blogs.crossmap.com, featuring inspiring Bible verses about Desiring Gifts.