Peter had a friend named Simon who lived in the city of Samaria. Simon was quite wealthy but Peter was poor—that is by tangible criterion. Peter didn't mind.
With great power, Peter's partner had preached the Words of God in Samaria. This Word from the Lord waxed eloquent in the city. Holy Ghost power fell upon men and women. These Words of God did things "exceeding abundantly" above all that the people of Samaria could even ask or think. The power displayed by them was according (after the exact manner) to the power working in them. The glory of God in the church at Samaria shone brightly.
Simon, before he met Peter, practiced magic for gain and alleged that he was a powerful man. By both, he deceived his neighbors. a bewitching power held their attention in arrest. Simon loved the power emanating from his opulent lifestyle. The converging duo of wealth and power seemed expedient. However, when his neighbors began calling out to Christ and asking for baptism in the name of Jesus, Simon did too.
Simon wondered about the phenomenal things that he saw God do. He wanted this power, but something was still extremely wrong inside his heart. His "seat of affections" was corrupted. Love of money lingered alive there. The consequence was a satisfied savoring of the control it secured. Either he had not yet learned the teachings of Jesus, openly declaring riches to possess a deceitful, corruptive, and binding power—or else he ignored it. Simon even supposed that God esteemed his money. Obviously, Simon defended in his heart that God could use his money, to do His work.
And then, Simon made a critical mistake. He resorted upon his unconverted desires believing his wealth bequeathed power to God. Blinded to the reality that Holy Spirit control is very, very different than he knew, he offered money to obtain it. Trapped in such deception, Simon erred greatly.
yes, it was true about his former counterfeit power, but not about the power Peter shared. What a wretched picture Simon exposed. So sincere he was, but so very sincerely wrong. How sad!
Peter cherished his friend Simon. Perhaps there was yet hope? His only recourse was to admonish him in the name of Jesus. He knew Simon must have the truth lest he continue in error. His only option was to tell Simon the naked, untouched truth. His flaring statement appeared harsh. Out of passionate commitment and unselfish devotion to Simon, he rebuked him. With intense fervor, Peter confronted him about how mistaken he was regarding money and the gifts of God. Peter told Simon that if he did not repent two things would perish— both Simon and his money together! He said it like this "thy money perish with thee because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money. Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perchance the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee. For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity." Peter's reprimanding words were unquestionably clear.
The power of God in my life or yours can never be purchased. Money can never be used to purchase power for anyone else's life either. God could do all His work without a single one of Simon's coins. Money and its use in this sinful world as Jesus had taught Peter in His economic lessons is unavoidable, but it can do "no good thing" (Matt 19:16-23). Fundamentally, God does not need mammon to accomplish His great work and to think so as Simon thought, at once renders it completely useless for Kingdom building. Sacrifices alone God can use but nothing less. What Simon really misunderstood was that money is not neutral.
Could it be that Simon is still alive?
— Greencastle PA