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The Invaluable Gift Of The Holy Spirit

Acts 8:18-24-And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money, 19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost. 20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

The narrative of Simon the Sorcerer, as recounted in Acts 8:18-24, serves as a poignant reminder of the sacredness of the Holy Spirit’s gift and the futility of attempting to commodify the divine.

The Invaluable Gift of the Holy Spirit

In the Book of Acts, the apostles Peter and John laid hands on new believers, and they received the Holy Spirit. Simon, witnessing this, offered money to obtain this power, not understanding the true nature of God’s gift. Peter rebuked him, telling him that his heart was not right before God and that he should repent of this wickedness (Acts 8:20-22). This incident underscores a fundamental truth: the Holy Spirit cannot be bought or sold; it is a gift from God to those who believe.

Scriptural Support

Numerous verses reinforce the idea that the Holy Spirit is a gift given freely by God:

  • Ephesians 2:8-9 – For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.
  • Luke 11:13 – If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?
  • 2 Corinthians 9:15 – Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

These verses emphasize that the Holy Spirit is imparted to believers as an act of divine grace, not as a result of human effort or monetary exchange.

The Folly of Simon the Sorcerer

Simon the Sorcerer’s attempt to purchase the Holy Spirit reveals a profound misunderstanding of the nature of God’s gifts. Simon, known for practicing sorcery in the city of Samaria, was amazed by the miracles and signs performed by the apostles (Acts 8:9-13). His desire to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit was not just a misstep; it was an affront to the sovereignty of God, treating the divine as a commodity.

The Sovereignty of God’s Gifts

The incident with Simon the Sorcerer serves as a stark reminder that God’s gifts are not subject to human control. The Holy Spirit is bestowed according to God’s will, and it operates beyond the confines of human transaction. This truth is echoed throughout scripture:

  • Romans 11:29 – For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
  • James 1:17 – Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

The Grace of the Holy Spirit

The grace of the Holy Spirit is a central theme in Christian theology. It is through the Holy Spirit that believers are regenerated, sanctified, and empowered to live godly lives. The Spirit intercedes for us (Romans 8:26-27), guides us into all truth (John 16:13), and produces the fruit of the Spirit in our lives (Galatians 5:22-23).

The Response of Repentance

Peter’s response to Simon was not only a rebuke but also an invitation to repentance. This reflects the broader biblical narrative of God’s willingness to forgive and restore those who turn back to Him. The story of Simon the Sorcerer invites us to reflect on our own need for repentance and the graciousness of God’s forgiveness.

This expanded reflection on the account of Simon the Sorcerer and the Holy Spirit invites us to consider the depth of God’s grace and the proper response to His unmerited gifts. It is a call to cherish the spiritual over the material and to seek a heart aligned with God’s will.

Reflective Questions

  1. How do we, in our own lives, try to ‘purchase’ favor with God, and what does this reveal about our understanding of grace?
  2. In what ways can we cultivate a heart that truly appreciates the freely given gift of the Holy Spirit?

“O Lord, my God, I fully acknowledge that Your gifts are not for sale, and Your blessings are not for barter. I realize that You Spirit can only be received by Grace. Pour Your Holy Spirit afresh upon me, that I may experience the fullness of Your presence. Teach me to continue to value the priceless over the temporal and to seek Your face above all else. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior, Amen.”

About C D SWANSON

C D SWANSON is an Author of 22 plus books, freelance writer, contributor to various websites, including The Bottom Line Ministries/Faith News. She's an active member of Faithwriters- and has her online website/ministry for over 15 years. It is her greatest joy to write what’s in her heart, and thus her favorite form of expression is in her devotionals. She and her husband share a deep love of God and dote on their fur baby Mickey. Retired Director from Long Term Healthcare Industry, she continues to be an advocate for many. To check out other writings of this author you can go here:

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4 comments

  1. amen cd.. the question is.. was simon truly saved?

  2. Very good thought Keith! Thanks for that comment!
    Excellent to ponder – We have had discussions about that with contrasting thoughts.
    God Bless~

  3. Perhaps the position of power Simon had over others as the scriptures states that they would proclaim him to be someone great may have played an important place in his heart that he didn’t want to give up. To attribute Simon’s power to that which came from God had to be seen as an offense to the living God that needed to be corrected Beothuk everyone.
    Pride in this title could have been a means of causing him to fall into sin. He had to come to the conclusion that his power was not from God so obvious it had to be a tool of satan because the Bible speaks of his works as sorcery ( magic arts) like that in the days of the Egyptian enchanters of the Pharaoh in the days of Moses.
    Now the reality was submission to what gift the Holy Spirit would use at work in his life as the scripture states that Simon also believed.
    He was told to repent of his wickedness as Peter said that Simon was poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.
    A lesson for any one who finds jealousy in our heart when we want something that we aren’t given but others are chosen to receive those gifts because of the plan He has for them.
    Of course if we could chose such things than we could easily use them for our own purposes that could destroy our lives.
    .

    • Hello Cora,
      Thank you for your input! Very well said and put – I appreciate you taking time to comment and to offer more affirmation to the article and other ways to contemplate Simon.
      God BLess you~

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