The Holy Spirit and the Samaritans (Acts 8:16-19)
Scripture: Acts 8:16-19
We discuss the response of the Samaritans to Christ in light of the narrative unity of Luke/Acts. In Luke 9 James and John wanted to call down fire to destroy the obstinate Samaritans. But in Acts 8, Samaritans come to Christ through Philip’s preaching. In God’s providence, John was one of the apostles who came to pray for the Samaritans to receive the Holy Spirit. God reversed the situation from rejection to faith and the apostles witnessed God’s purpose. This is not a narrative about a second blessing, but about the apostles receiving repentant Samaritans into full fellowship. We also discuss Simon’s desire to buy the power to impart the Holy Spirit. This pagan notion has many counterparts in contemporary practice. We must not think like pagans.
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