1. After His resurrection, Jesus gave the Great Commission to the apostles (Mark 16:15-16). 2. (Acts 1:8) Jesus gave the apostles a specific plan for carrying out the Great Commission. 3. Throughout the remainder of Acts, Luke showed how this mission was fulfilled. 4. In conjunction with this, Luke wrote about a number of conversions that occurred. 5. (Acts 8:5-25) Luke showed how many people in Samaria became Christians. Discussion: I. PHILIP ENJOYED GREAT SUCCESS IN SAMARIA
A. (vs.5) Philip went to Samaria. 1. He had been a servant of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 6:5-6). 2. He left Jerusalem with many others because of persecution (Acts 8:1). 3. From Jerusalem he traveled to Samaria. B. In Samaria, Philip preached Christ (vs.5b, 12). C. The people in Samaria listened to Philip because of the miracles he performed (vs.6-8). D. Consequently, men and women were baptized in Samaria (vs.12). E. Simon, a sorcerer, became a Christian (vs.9-11, 13). II. PETER AND JOHN VISITED SAMARIA
A. (vs.14-17) Peter and John prayed for and laid their hands on the Christians in Samaria, and they received the Holy Spirit. B. Philip had baptized them in the Lord's name. C. However, only the apostles could lay hands on Christians so they could receive the Holy Spirit [Paul did the same thing in Ephesus -- Acts 19:6]. III. SIMON SINNED
A. (vs.18-19) Simon wanted to buy the power to lay hands on people so they could receive the Holy Spirit. B. (vs.20-23) Peter rebuked Simon. C. (vs.24) Simon requested prayer on his behalf (1 John 1:9). IV. (vs.25) PETER AND JOHN RETURNED TO JERUSALEM
A. As they did so, they preached to other Samaritans. B. The Lord's plan given in Acts 1:8 was being implemented. Conclusion:
1. We can learn valuable information by studying the examples of conversion recorded in Acts. 2. We need to be very familiar with them because they are excellent teaching tools. 3. They also reinforce what the apostle Paul wrote Romans 1:16-17.