TOPIC:"Simon the Counterfeit Convert"
by Rev. Dr. Reg Dunlap
"But there was a certain man, called Simon, who previously in the same city used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one" (Acts 8:9).
In reading the book of Acts we are introduced to one of the most fascinating individuals in all of the Bible. He was known as "Simon the Sorcerer" or "Simon the Magician." Whereas Simon Peter preached the Gospel, this Simon practiced sorcery and witchcraft in the city of Samaria and through such demonic power a great number of his countrymen started to follow him. Perhaps they thought of him as possessing deity - a sacred god through whom the God of Heaven worked wondrous miracles.
Simon according to verse 9 paraded himself as "some great one" and the people believed him. We read these words of Luke in verse 10: "To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God." So Simon won over the city of Samaria through his unscrupulous acts. The crowds gathered around him to behold his wonder-working tricks. For a short period of time this charlatan had a prosperous business. But his shabby business came to a sudden end when Philip the Evangelist appeared on the scene. It states in verse 5: "Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them" Listen to me: Nothing will light up the perversion of truth more than the sound preaching of God's Word.
Now when Christ is preached you can be certain that something is going to happen. There will either be a riot or a revival. Revival came to Samaria. And the man God used to bring about that spiritual awakening was this Spirit-filled deacon by the name of Philip. The fruitful results of his preaching may be found in verse 6: "And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did." Then also in verse 12: "But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the Kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women."
Realizing that he was going to be discovered as a fraud, Simon in desperation decided to become religious. He decided to join in the revival that was taking place. But in doing so it only revealed his true character. Let me show you what I mean.
Consider, first of all, that Simon professed a SAVING FAITH that was UNCONVINCING. It states in verse 13: "Then Simon himself believed also; and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip." And then continuing in the same verse we read this very interesting statement . . .