Happy 4th of July!! Today is the USA's 231st birthday. I hope you are able to spend it with special people in your life.
Today’s reading gives us the message that no amount of money can buy salvation, forgiveness of sin, or God's power. These are only gained by repentance and true belief in Christ as the Savior.
In today’s reading Simon wishes to buy the gift of the Holy Spirit. "When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money and said, 'Give me also this ability...'" (verse 18, 19).
Today's reading gives us the word 'simony'. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines simony as, "the buying or selling of a church office or ecclesiastical preferment". Sadly, people have not abandoned simony down through the centuries. Martin Luther was enraged by this practice. This practice was one of the causes for the reformation and the establishment of Protestant denominations. In other words, this practice was a cause of the splitting of the Church.
Church history has shown that persecution from outside the Church did not hurt the Church - in fact it usually scattered the believers and helped spread the gospel. What hurt the Church, and continues to hurt it today, is people on the inside professing to be believers when they are not believers. Jesus was betrayed from the inside. . He was betrayed to the Jewish authorities (his nation) by one of his disciples. He was betrayed by his nation to the Roman Empire so he could be crucified. Simon had all the outward signs of being a follower but it was not an inward genuine faith.
Today’s reading explains to us how crucial it is to build our faith through acts and true belief not through buying our way into the Lord’s favor.
Wishing you the best in your walk with Christ,