a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary
Select a resource above

1And Saul approved of their killing him.

Saul Persecutes the Church

That day a severe persecution began against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout the countryside of Judea and Samaria. 2Devout men buried Stephen and made loud lamentation over him. 3But Saul was ravaging the church by entering house after house; dragging off both men and women, he committed them to prison.

Philip Preaches in Samaria

4 Now those who were scattered went from place to place, proclaiming the word. 5Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. 6The crowds with one accord listened eagerly to what was said by Philip, hearing and seeing the signs that he did, 7for unclean spirits, crying with loud shrieks, came out of many who were possessed; and many others who were paralyzed or lame were cured. 8So there was great joy in that city.

9 Now a certain man named Simon had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he was someone great. 10All of them, from the least to the greatest, listened to him eagerly, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” 11And they listened eagerly to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. 12But when they believed Philip, who was proclaiming the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13Even Simon himself believed. After being baptized, he stayed constantly with Philip and was amazed when he saw the signs and great miracles that took place.

14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15The two went down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit 16(for as yet the Spirit had not come upon any of them; they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus). 17Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. 18Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, 19saying, “Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with money! 21You have no part or share in this, for your heart is not right before God. 22Repent therefore of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and the chains of wickedness.” 24Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may happen to me.”

25 Now after Peter and John had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem, proclaiming the good news to many villages of the Samaritans.

Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch

26 Then an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Get up and go toward the south to the road that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” (This is a wilderness road.) 27So he got up and went. Now there was an Ethiopian eunuch, a court official of the Candace, queen of the Ethiopians, in charge of her entire treasury. He had come to Jerusalem to worship 28and was returning home; seated in his chariot, he was reading the prophet Isaiah. 29Then the Spirit said to Philip, “Go over to this chariot and join it.” 30So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading the prophet Isaiah. He asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?” 31He replied, “How can I, unless someone guides me?” And he invited Philip to get in and sit beside him. 32Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:

“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,

and like a lamb silent before its shearer,

so he does not open his mouth.


In his humiliation justice was denied him.

Who can describe his generation?

For his life is taken away from the earth.”

34 The eunuch asked Philip, “About whom, may I ask you, does the prophet say this, about himself or about someone else?” 35Then Philip began to speak, and starting with this scripture, he proclaimed to him the good news about Jesus. 36As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?” 38He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip baptized him. 39When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord snatched Philip away; the eunuch saw him no more, and went on his way rejoicing. 40But Philip found himself at Azotus, and as he was passing through the region, he proclaimed the good news to all the towns until he came to Caesarea.


21. Thou hast no part. Some do frame this sentence otherwise, that Simon is not partaker of grace, because he setteth a price thereof. But the other reading which we have followed is more usual, to wit, that that reason be joined to the former member. And surely it is better to knit the two sentences together, thus, Thy money perish with thee, because thou thinkest that the inestimable gift of the Spirit can be bought with money. Whereas the old interpreter had put, in this word; Erasmus translated it more fitly, in this business; for Peter’s meaning is, that that sacrilegious person hath nothing to do in all that administration, who doth wickedly profane the same.

Furthermore both the Papists, and also the old divines, have disputed much concerning simony; but that which the Papists call simony doth not agree with Simon’s fact. Simon would have bought the grace of the Spirit with money; the Papists apply the crime of simony unto their idle revenues; and yet I speak not this that I may extenuate those horrible sins which reign at this day in Popery, in buying and selling spiritual promotions. Now, this wickedness is filthy enough of itself, in that they hold such a mart in the Church of God. And in the mean season, we must note the true definition of simony, to wit, that it is a wicked buying and selling of the gifts of the Spirit, or some other such like thing, whilst that a man abuseth them unto ambition or other corruptions. Though I confess that all those imitate Simon who strive to attain unto the government of the Church by unlawful means; which thing we see committed at this day without shame, as if it were lawful; and we can scarce find one priest in all Popery which is not manifestly a simoniacal person in this respect; because none can put up his head amongst them, 522522     “Quando nullus illuc emergere potest,” since no man can rise there. but he must creep in by indirect means. Although we must confess, (which thing even children see, to our great shame,) that this vice is too common even amongst the false professors of the gospel.

But let us remember, first, to the end we may be free from the infection of Simon, that the gifts of the Spirit are not gotten with money, but that they are given of the free and mere goodness of God, and that for the edifying of the Church; that is, that every man may study to help his brethren according to the measure of his ability; that every man may bestow 523523     “Modeste conferat,” may modesty bestow. that about the common good of the Church which he hath received; and that the excellency of no man may hinder, but that Christ may excel all. Notwithstanding, it may seem a marvelous matter, that Peter excludeth Simon from being a partaker of the Spirit, as concerning special gifts; because his heart is not right before God. For the wickedness of Judas did not let him from having the gifts of the Spirit in great measure; neither had the gifts of the Spirit been so corrupted amongst the Corinthians, if their heart had been right in the sight of God. Therefore that reason which Peter allegeth seemeth insufficient; because many men excel oftentimes in the gifts of the Spirit, who have an unclean heart. But, first of all, there followeth no absurdity, if God give such graces to men which are unworthy thereof. Secondly, Peter prescribeth no general rule in this place, but because the Church alone is for the most part made partaker of the gifts of the Spirit, he pronounceth that Simon, who is a stranger to Christ, is unworthy to have the same graces given him, (which are bestowed upon the faithful,) as if he were one of God’s household. Moreover, he had blasphemed those gifts whereof he is deprived.

VIEWNAME is study