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The Gospel is Preached to Samaria

February 22, 2015 Speaker: John Bell Series: Acts

Passage: Acts 8:5–8:25

The Gospel is Preached to Samaria
Act 8:5-25

THE BIG PICTURE: Philip’s gospel proclamation in the city of Samaria is used by God to save many Samaritans in fulfillment of God’s promises to restore his people, seen here in the inclusion of Samaria (the Northern Kingdom) under the reign of the Davidic King, Jesus.

Outline of the text

1. Phillip evangelizes the city of Samaria (5-8)

2. Simon professes faith (9-13)

3. The confirming work of Peter and John in giving the Spirit (14-17)

4. Simon tries to buy power (18-24)

5. Peter and John evangelize many Samaritan villages (25)

* Listed below are the places where Luke either explicitly mentions tongues in connection with the Spirit, or at least (as in chapter 8) hints at them. Note that at least one apostle is present in every episode.

We find four passages:

1. The initial experience of the Spirit at Pentecost, where the Spirit was poured out on Jews (Acts 2:4).

2. This chapter, where the Spirit comes upon Samaritans (Acts 8:18)

3. The episode with Cornelius and his household, who are all Gentiles (Acts 10:44)

4. The disciples of John the Baptist in Ephesus, who are living in a kind of salvation-historical warp (Acts 19).

In each case Luke is introducing a new group, until as the gospel expands throughout the empire there are no new groups left.

And in each case – 3 of them explicitly, once implied - the manifestation of the Spirit’s presence in tongues is part of a corporate experience.

Never in Acts is this the experience of an individual convert, even though Luke has many opportunities for reducing the scale from the group to the individual (such as Lydia and the Philippian Jailer + 20 more)

* Taken from D.A. Carson’s Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12-14