It’s not a party, ok? It’s a battle.
NOVEMBER 29, 2021
It’s not a party, okay? It’s a battle. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
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Thank you Matthew. I hope you had a great week-end. And I hope you guys heard a sermon that was as good as my pastor’s sermon. If you have your Bible open it to the eighth chapter of Acts as we continue with our study in Acts. We’re at a tipping point for the church in the book of Acts. Up to this point, they were a local church, doing local things, in a local way, and God had honored it. But God was getting ready for some major action. And as you move into the eighth chapter, you see it happening. Persecution rose against the church, and the normal things they were doing about church, all of a sudden became more difficult. And the Christians were forced out of Jerusalem into the world. And when they went, that’s what Jesus said, go into all the world, but the Greek means as you’re going into all the world make disciples. And so, we see that happening here, it happens with Philip. Let me read the text to you again, it’s a transitional text, and it’s verses 4 through 25 in the eighth chapter of Acts. Oh, it’s Monday, let’s pray first. Father, we come into your presence. Thank you for giving us your word and never lying to us, not even once. Thank you for your promises, for your truth, for your encouragement, for the reality of who you are. Father, be with those who are listening to this broadcast right now, for those that are weeping, the tears of pain, come alongside and be the comforter that you promise with your Spirit. For those who are laughing, remind us that you are a God who is free and joyous. And, you come alongside in the tears and the laughter. Father, we pray for the one who teaches on this broadcast, as always forgive him his sins cause there are many, we would see Jesus and him only. And we pray in Jesus name. Amen. Alright, at the fourth verse of the eighth chapter of Acts,
Now those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to a city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ. And the multitudes with one accord gave heed to what was said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs which he did. For unclean spirits came out of many who were possessed, crying with a loud voice, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was much joy in the city. But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the nation of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. They all gave heed to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is that power of God, which is called great.” And they gave heed to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs of great miracles performed, he was amazed. Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for it had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, “Give me also this power, that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that if possible the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come up on me.”
That was enough. That’s repentance.
Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
Now as you read that text, there are things that seem kind of strange, like magicians and magic and demons being cast out and screaming as they’re cast out and lame people dancing jigs and stuff happening, and it brings you to the understanding that something’s going on here that is different. Now, if you were listening last week, as we looked at this particular text, we went down two side roads and I would remind you if you weren’t listening. And you never listen to me. We saw first that we live in a supernatural world and universe, and that secondly, we saw that of those two worlds, the so-called natural world and the supernatural world the latter is far more real than the first. Okay. With that understanding, let’s dig into this text and see what we can see. First, I would suggest that God would have us as Christians see in our text, the fact that we are not involved in a party, but we’re involved in a battle and it’s a supernatural battle. You can look at verses four through nine and you see it clearly.
Those who were scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went to Samaria. Philip when they heard him saw the signs which he did. And unclean spirits came out of many, crying with a loud voice. Many who were paralyzed or lame were healed, and there was much joy in the city.
What’s going on? I’ll tell you what’s going on. This is a battle, and it’s a battle that’s been going for hundreds, thousands of years, back to the garden, when it started in Genesis 3. It was the Fall. And at the Fall there are two powers. Now, I don’t want you to think we’re dualists. You say, say what, a dualist is somebody that believes in the Eastern yang yang thing. You know, the teardrops in the circle, one is black and one is white. Christians don’t believe that. And the Bible doesn’t teach it. There used to be a saying that people would say, sometimes the devil is against you and God is for you and you get to cast the deciding vote. No, you don’t. You know, that implies that there are two great powers in the world and one is evil and one is good. And they fight all the time and the outcome isn’t yet determined. That’s a lie. It’s from the pit of hell and it smells like smoke. There aren’t two equal battles in the universe, okay. They’re equal powers, I’m doing the best I can, besides it’s the microphone. There is one power in the universe and that’s a sovereign God and the devil is his lackey. We had a great talk show a few weeks ago with a scholar in England who had written a commentary on the book of Job. His name was Christopher and he was a delight. And we talked about how you can trust God in the darkness. And we spent a long time during that program, talking about the book of Job. There aren’t answers in the book of Job. They’re just questions and then there’s God, and that’s enough. But in the first chapters of Job, Satan visits God, and God points out Job. And God says, have you seen my servant? And then the devil asks God’s permission to do what the rest of the book of Job is about. He asked God’s permission yeah, because listen to me, it’s a battle, but it’s not equal people battling. There’s one God. And in the end he wins and Satan is his lackey. You think about that. Amen.
That was Steve Brown, continuing to teach us from this pivotal chapter in Acts, very exciting. And by the way, I’ve mentioned this before, but we have a free booklet with Steve’s commentary on Acts and Romans called Through the Eyes of Grace, might want to check it out on the products page at www.keylife.org. So, I don’t know about you, but every Christmas, once the decorations are up, I think, man, this is so nice. I wish I had gotten these decorations up earlier. Well, preparing our homes for Christmas with decorations is great, of course. But preparing our hearts, that’s really way more important, right? Well, that’s why we’d like to mail you a free booklet called Christmas Meditations. It’s a newly reprinted collection of Steve’s writings on the real meaning of Christmas, the incarnation of God in Christ. The booklet also includes Scripture and devotional questions to help you focus and reflect on the impact of Christ’s coming. Get it right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] and ask for that booklet. If you’d like the mail your request, send it to
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