Did Peter Preach Conditional Forgiveness to Simon the Sorcerer? (Acts eight:22) – Escape to Reality


If God loves you, God forgives you, and God loves you certainly!

God’s forgiveness is revealed in the matchless and unrepeatable sacrifice of the One particular who died for all sin. In Christ, you are eternally and unconditionally forgiven.

Excellent news, no?

It is a liberating truth, but lots of haven’t heard it. They’re bringing sacrifices of tears and confession and they are attempting to earn what God has freely supplied. Their efforts are all for naught. Grace can not be bought it can only be received by faith. So thank the Lord for his forgiveness and reside cost-free.

But what about…

Anytime I inform men and women that God’s forgiveness is comprehensive and unconditional, I invariably get hit with inquiries like these:

My answers to these inquiries can be located in the hyperlinks above. But what about when Peter stated this to Simon the Sorcerer:

Hence repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if probable, the intention of your heart may perhaps be forgiven you. (Act eight:22)

May possibly be forgiven. That does not sound like unconditional forgiveness. It sort of sounds like Simon has to do stuff to merit forgiveness.

Did Peter not get the gospel memo?

Simon’s silver

Simon was an occult practitioner who, along with other Samaritans, heard the gospel, believed and was baptized (Act eight:13). When Peter came to town to pray for the baptism of the Holy Spirit, Simon was amazed at the outcomes. He wanted to lay hands and pray for men and women as well, so he presented Peter dollars. Peter flipped out:

May possibly your silver perish with you, for the reason that you believed you could receive the present of God with dollars! You have no component or portion in this matter, for your heart is not proper prior to God. (Act eight:20-21)

From this gem of a story, some have concluded that the Lord’s forgiveness is not a certain factor. “Simon was told to repent and pray and even then there have been no assure that the Lord would forgive him.”

Whoa. Slow down. Study that forgiveness verse once again:

Hence repent of this wickedness of yours, and pray the Lord that, if probable, the intention of your heart may perhaps be forgiven you. (Act eight:22)

Will Simon be forgiven? That is the incorrect query for the reason that the gospel declares Simon is forgiven. His forgiveness is an immutable truth. If God is no longer holding our sins against us, he is no longer counting Simon’s sin. Right here we are not speaking about Simon the forgiven sinner, but the wicked intention of his heart.

Simon had an encounter with the grace of God. He believed, got baptized, but then he produced a error. I hope that sounds familiar for the reason that we all make blunders. It is just that our blunders do not lead to a scolding from the most intense apostle of them all.

Simon’s stinkin’ thinkin’

“Repent,” stated Peter. In other words, “Change the way you consider.” Simon believed he could obtain his way into the Holy Spirit’s ministry. Yes, that was stupid, but it was in all probability how he had operated in the previous. He in all probability got his education in the occult arts by paying men and women to teach him.

Certainly that method would not function in the kingdom of God and Peter told him so. “If you think God can be purchased, you have no share in the Spirit’s ministry.”

Like each single a single of us, Simon required to throw off the old and place on the new. He required to cease relying on his personal understanding and start walking in the new way of the Spirit.

Peter stated, “Pray that the intention of your heart may perhaps be forgiven you.” What requires to be forgiven? Not the man but the deed, or rather the intention behind it. With the discernment of the Holy Spirit, Peter got proper to the heart of the challenge.

“Simon, you do not know what you are saying and your motives are incorrect. You much better pray that your screwy notions can be ‘removed and disregarded’” (to quote the Amplified Bible).

The problem is not no matter if God can alter us, but no matter if we want to alter. Will we let go of what has served us in the previous (dollars, in Simon’s case)? Will we commit ourselves to the grace of a very good God and enable the Spirit to alter the intentions of our heart?

Simony vs grace

We appear at Simon and consider, “What a fool to consider he could obtain the grace of God with dollars.” However lots of of us are attempting to obtain grace with dead operates. “If I confess, God will forgive me. If I do very good, God will bless me.” It is the identical sin and it would make Peter furious. “May your dead operates perish with you.”

Peter would inform us that we want to repent of our unbelief, renew our minds and ask God to assist alter the intentions or thoughts of our hearts. Am I saying that men and women who engage in dead operates are unforgiven? Of course not. But they are walking in the old techniques of flesh when they could be frolicking in the much better way of the Spirit. They’re operating in worry rather of faith.

But Simon answered and stated, “Pray to the Lord for me yourselves, so that nothing at all of what you have stated may perhaps come upon me.” (Act eight:24)

The final factor the Bible says about Simon is encouraging. It shows us that he had a teachable heart. He didn’t reject Peter’s exhortation, but he asked for assist.

When it comes to grace, asking for assist is a single of the smartest factors you can do. You do not want to ask God to forgive you (he currently did) or appreciate you (he currently does). Alternatively, ask him to assist you get the word of his grace. Thank him for Jesus by way of whom all blessings flow, and praise him for his lovingkindness.

You are loved. You are forgiven. Think it.


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