Monday, May 25, 2015

Lesson - Simon, The Sorcerer

VERSES:  Acts 8:5-25

MEMORY VERSE:    Acts 8:8    "And there was great joy in that city."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  Review Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John which are the first four books of the New Testament.

PRAYER:   Pray that our hearts will always be pure and clean from sin. 

SPECIAL SONG:   Be Patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Large Activity (see below), Bible map showing Samaria

  • The church of the first century was growing. We remember that, because the Christians were being persecuted in Jerusalem, they went everywhere preaching the Word. They scattered through all the regions of Samaria and Judea.
  • During this time, Philip went into Samaria and preached to the people about Christ. When the people heard what Philip was preaching and saw the miracles that he was doing, the people believed. Because the people believed and listened to God's Word, there was great joy in the city.
  • But there was one man named Simon who was a sorcerer which was something like a magician. He used tricks and slight of hand to pretend he could do many signs and wonders. All the people in the city believed that Simon was a great person because of his trickery and that he was a man who had the great power of God. The people listened to whatever Simon said, believed him, and thought he was a great person because he had tricked them for so long.
  • While the people saw Philip performing miracles of healing lame and paralyzed people that they personally had known, then they were convinced that Philip was from God and both men and women were baptized. Simon believed and was baptized, too, and continued to follow Philip, wondering how Philip could do the miracles that he saw him do.
  • When the apostles who were still in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the Word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, Peter and John prayed for the people because they could see while the people were already baptized, the Holy Spirit had not come. So, Peter and John laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. When Simon saw that the Holy Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money, so he, too, could have that same power. He said, "Give me this power."
  • But Peter said to Simon, "Your money will perish with you because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money. You are not included in any of this because your heart is not right with God! Repent or have godly sorrow and pray that God will forgive you of this wickedness. I can see that you are in the bond of sin!" Simon was sorry for what he had asked and requested that Peter pray to the Lord for him, so that none of the things that Peter had said would happen to Simon.
  • When Peter and John had preached the Word of the Lord to the many villages in Samaria, they returned to Jerusalem. Next time we will see what happened to Philip!
"Older Student" Tips:
  • These early days of the first century church were unusual. The apostles and men like Philip needed to perform miracles because they had to prove that they were from God. Simon had been tricking the people with tricks; Simon was not sent from God to preach to the people and perform miracles. He was deceiving the people through trickery! In order for the people to know who was from God and who was not, they needed to have credentials or something to prove that God had sent them. Their credentials were performing miracles.
  • We do not need miracles or the laying on of the apostles' hands today because we have the complete Bible, the Old and New Testaments. God's Word is all we need today (2 Timothy 3:16, 17). Today, if someone wants to know if what is said is true, they simply go to the Bible and read. People could not do that in those times; the entire Bible had not been written, yet.
  • One good lesson we can learn from the story about Simon, the sorcerer, is that once someone is baptized and then they sin, they do not need to be baptized again, they only need to do what Peter told Simon to do when he sinned. What did Peter tell Simon? Repent and pray for forgiveness. That is what Christians need to do when they sin (Romans 3:23).
  • 1 John 1:7-10 are good verses about sin. Do we all sin? (Re-read Romans 3:23). What cleanses us from all sin? What happens when we say we have no sin? God forgives Christians of sins, but what must they do first? (Confess or admit their sins). If we say we have not sinned, what do we make God? 
ACTIVITY:   Simon's Sin
Materials needed:  9" x 12" construction paper (any light color), crayons.
  1. Hand out paper.
  2. Fold paper in half, length-wise.
  3. Fold again in half, length-wise.
  4. Unfold.
  5. Trace on folded lines.
  6. Draw a line from the top line to the bottom of the paper 2" from the left edge.
  7. In TOP PANEL:  Write "Thy heart is not right..." and "Acts 8:5-25."
  8. In SECOND PANEL:  Write "Who?" in first small box. Write "Simon, the sorcerer" in the second box.
  9. In THIRD PANEL:  Write "Sin?" in the first small box. Write "Wanted to buy power from the apostles" in the second box.
  10. In FOURTH PANEL:  Write "Solution?" in the first small box. Write "Repent and Pray" in second box.
  11. Fold up before leaving class.