Acts 8-9 (The Daily Walk Bible).

People debate over whether Simon was actually saved or not (8:9-24). At the very least he completely misunderstood the role of the Spirit and His work. Simon thought that he could purchase the power of God and presumably use if for his own glory and fame! But it may be more correct to think of him as a false prophet. He intellectually understood about Jesus, and was even baptized, but his heart was never changed, he never truly repented, and he could not understand or teach the truth about the kingdom of God. We are constantly warned to be on guard against people like that:

1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Did you remember that the name Barnabas means “son of encouragement” (4:36)? Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us that Barnabas is the one that brings Paul to the other apostles and defends him. Can you think of any way that you can be an encouragement to/for someone today?

From “Paul and His Letters” by John B. Polhill

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