by K Neill Foster
for November 15, 2019
|Believing and Baptized--but Not Right|
Text: "Simon himself believed and was baptized" Acts 8:13.
Simon the Sorcerer is a major figure in this eighth chapter of Acts. He is one of the new believers, and he has followed the Lord in baptism. Indeed, he is a follower of Jesus.
Then, somehow the passions of his old life in the occult surge forward. And he sees the dramatic supernatural power of Philip and observes the empowering ministry of the Apostles as they lay hands on new believers and they are filled with the Holy Spirit. Simon covets such power. In fact, he offers money to get it.
Perhaps in his old life that had been the way things worked --money will get you what you want. But now, in this New Way, things are different.
Peter rebukes Simon publicly and severely: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! . . . .Your heart is not right with God."
But this man is a believer! This man is baptized! What do you mean--he is not right with God? Such is the plain impact of the text. It demonstrates very clearly that conversion and baptism do not ipso facto mean that a person is thoroughly right with God.
Charles G. Finney was a famous evangelist whose ministry exhibited awesome spiritual power. He had been filled with the Holy Spirit --no question about that, but he had an interesting habit of asking a most uncomfortable question when he preached: "Are you thoroughly right with God?"
Simon wasn't right. Are you?