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THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES - Chapter 8 - Verse 20

Verse 20. Thy money perish with thee. This is an expression of the horror and indignation of Peter at the base offer of Simon. It is not to be understood as an imprecation on Simon. The main idea is the apostle's contempt for the money, as if he regarded it as of no value. "Let your money go to destruction. We abhor your impious offer. We can freely see any amount of money destroyed, before we will be tempted to sell the gift of the Holy Ghost." But there was here also an expression of his belief that Simon also would perish. It was a declaration that he was hastening to ruin, and as if this was certain, Peter says, let your money perish too.

The gift of God. That which he has given, or conferred as a favour. The idea was absurd that that which God himself gives as a sovereign could be purchased. It was impious to think of attempting to buy with worthless gold that which was of so inestimable value. The gift of God here means the extraordinary influences of the Holy Ghost, Ac 10:45; 11:17. How can we pay a price to God? All that we can give, the silver, and the gold, and the cattle on a thousand hills, belong to him already. We have nothing which we can present for his favours. And yet there are many who seek to purchase the favour of God. Some do it by alms and prayers; some by penance and fasting; some by attempting to make their own hearts better, and by self-righteousness; and some by penitence and tears. All these will not purchase his favour. Salvation, like every other blessing, will be his gift; and if ever received, we must be willing to accept it on his own terms, at his own time, and in his own way. We are without merit; and if saved, it will be by the sovereign grace of God.

{e} "because thou thought" 2 Ki 5:15,16; Mt 10:8

{f} "gift of God" Ac 10:45; 11:17

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