Acts – Portraits of Gospel Impact
Big Idea: The life of the community of God revolves around the gospel.
Christ’s people share the gospel freely.
Christ’s people long for the Holy Spirit.
Christ’s people are fulfilled by their God.
Share the gospel with those around us.
Desire the Holy Spirit to work powerfully in you.
Trust that Christ can satisfy all your desires.
Simon the magician is a figure who uses power to build his reputation and garner respect. People saw Simon’s power and assumed he worked powerfully on behalf of God. Upon hearing the gospel through Phillip, Simon professes faith in Christ. Despite his supposed conversion, however, Simon does not receive the Holy Spirit. Instead Simon attempts to bribe the apostles’ to give him the Holy Spirit. He is rebuked and condemned for such a request. Simon the magician’s problem is that he desired to harness the power of the spirit for his own purpose and glory.
Though the means we incorporate differ compared to Simon’s, many of us seek to harness the power of the Holy Spirit for our own glory. For those of us in ministry positions, we often seek the Holy Spirit’s power in us to bolster our image of success or control. Lay people often seek the Holy Spirit’s work to project a self-glorifying piety to others. For both groups, the Holy Spirit is a tool for use in glorifying oneself. In this, self-glorification is the chief desire of one’s heart...not Christ.
Through the gospel Jesus emptied himself of all perceived glory to die and be resurrected for the salvation of people for the glory of God. By rescuing us Christ has and will in the future glorify his people. The glory glory bestowed by God onto his people is a far greater glory than humans can garner on their own. When this is understood and trusted we no longer need to seek our own glory because Christ esteems on us all the glory we could ever dare desire. This in turn allows us to glorify God for his abundant mercies on his people.