Chapter Eight — Part Two: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 09/13/2021

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 8:14-25

1. Apostles Sent.
a. Acts 8:14 NKJV — Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them…
b. This is the first mention of any of the apostles leaving Jerusalem.
c. Acts 8:15-16 NKJV — …who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. 16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
d. Philip had preached Jesus to them, and they had been saved, healed, and baptized in water, but not the Holy Spirit.
e. Salvation and Holy Spirit baptism, with the evidence of speaking in other tongues and accompanied by spiritual gifts, are two separate experiences.
f. It is God’s will and plan for ALL to receive BOTH.
g. Acts 8:17 NKJV — Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
h. The ability to impart the baptism in the Holy Spirit is not confined to the apostles—anyone, who believes, can pray for it.
i. It can also be received without having hands laid on you—as on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-21) and in the case of Cornelius and his household (Acts 10:44-48).

2. Simon.
a. Acts 8:18-19 NKJV — And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, 19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
b. Undoubtedly, when people experienced Holy Spirit baptism, there was accompanying outward evidence—otherwise Simon would not have offered money for it.
c. Acts 8:20 NKJV — But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!
d. The Holy Spirit is the gift of God—it cannot be bought or sold for monetary gain.
e. Acts 8:21 NKJV — You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.
f. Only those, whose hearts are right with God, can partake of this blessing.
g. Acts 8:22-23 NKJV — Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”
h. Simon was saved, but not yet sanctified—he still needed to repent and be delivered of his former wickedness and have his mind renewed with the Word of God.
i. Bitterness (Greek — pikria) — bitter gall; extreme wickedness; a bitter root, and so producing a bitter fruit; metaph. bitterness, bitter hatred.
j. Ephesians 4:31-32 NKJV — Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. 32 And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.
k. Bitterness is contagious—if left unchecked, it defiles many.
l. Hebrews 12:14-15 NKJV — Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: 15 looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled.
m. Acts 8:24 NKJV — Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”
n. If Simon repented, it is not mentioned—only that he asked to be delivered of the things pronounced over him.
o. True repentance is a turning away from sin, and unrighteousness, submitting to the Word of God, and walking in a new path toward God and holiness.
p. Acts 8:25 NKJV — So when they had testified and preached the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel in many villages of the Samaritans.

3. Renewed Mind.
a. Your thought life and attitudes determine the course and outcome of your life.
b. Romans 12:1-2 NKJV — I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
c. Do not be conformed to this world’s system—do not pattern your life after the ungodly of this age.
d. You are transformed—transfigured—by the renewing of your mind.
e. It is a supernatural work that takes place, as you meditate on the Word and hide it in your heart.
f. Ephesians 4:17-24 NKJV — This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; 19 who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. 20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
g. If you allow the Word of God to dwell in you richly, the Holy Spirit will do a work in you, from the inside out.
h. You have to PUT OFF the old man (as in vs. 17-19) and PUT ON the new man (as in vs. 20-23).
i. You must learn to hate the sin and love and pursue righteousness.
j. Your life’s goal should be to have a heart that is right with God and be pleasing to Him alone (Colossians 1:9-10).