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buy the gift

18 May

Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit (for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). Then Peter and John 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 so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money! You have no part or share in this, 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 the chains of wickedness.” Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may happen to me.” Now after Peter and John had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, proclaiming the good news to many villages of the Samaritans. (Acts 8:14-25, NRSV)

Let me give you silver for the ability to lay on hands and give the Holy Spirit!

Can you buy the gift of God? Baptism gives you a name from God, but not the Spirit and here we see the Spirit comes through the laying on of hands.

This is why in our baptism service, after the baptism, the baptized is marked with the cross of Christ and sealed by the Holy Spirit forever. Because John tells us that you must be born of water and of Spirit.

But this is not a gift you can buy or force. The Spirit moves as it will, and we do not control it.

So accept the gift, but don’t try to force it. Let the Spirit be in control.

 

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