Thursday, January 07, 2010

Sermon Background Noise: Acts 8

This week's sermon is from Acts 8:14-17. The story is about Simon Magus, the magician who was baptized, and then offered money to have the power to give the Holy Spirit.

* This week's soundtrack includes U2's "Grace." The Holy Spirit is not something you can earn or buy. Although Simon should be commended for desiring the power to give the Holy Spirit, it was not Peter's to grant or sell. It was gift. As leaders in the church, we should rely on God's grace rather than our abilities or the latest gimmicks.

* The Catholic Encyclopedia provides wonderful reference material from a Roman Catholic perspective dated from 1913. Although scholarship and Vatican II has happened in the meantime, it still provides a good look on the tradition. Here is an article on Simon Magus from the Catholic Encyclopedia.

* John Calvin's commentaries on the story can be found here, here and here.

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