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John 4:39 - 42 compared to ....

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by wpe3bql, Sep 30, 2015.

  1. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql Member

    May 15, 2015
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    ..... Acts 8:5 - 25.

    This quarter our SS class is covering some of the more interesting events in Acts.

    In my preparation for the upcoming lesson that our class will cover that's entitled "The Ministry of the Spirit," which was developed by John Alva Owston, who apparently is on the staff of the Union Gospel Press, he sees the events in Acts 8:4 - 25 as a fulfilment of the last part of Acts 1:8, "Ye shall be witnesses to Me [Jesus] in .... Samaria."

    Commentator John B. Polhill, in his commentary on Acts--which is Volume 26 of The New American Commentary[(c) 1992 by Broadman & Holman; ISBN 978-08054-0126-4.]writes:

    "From a Jewish perspective, the Samaritans were a sort of tertium quid, neither Jew nor Gentile.

    They were descended from the northern tribes of Israel, the old kingdom of 'Israel' that had fallen to the Assyrians in 722 B.C. Those who were not taken captive to Assyria but remained in the land intermarried extensively with the native Canaanite population and the peoples whom the Assyrians resettled in the conquered territory.

    These Samaritan descendants of the old northern tribes considered themselves still to be the people of God. They had their own form of the Pentateuch for their Holy Scriptures, circumcised their sons, and built a temple on Mt. Gerazim to rival the one in Jerusalem (cf. John 4:20).

    The Jewish prejudice against the Samaritans was well known by the times of the NT Gospels and Acts."

    While Owston doesn't go into this to any great detail, he sort of indicates that the Samaritans who came to Christ as a result of the testimony of the converted prostitute woman at the well's witnessing were--at least to some extent "quasi-believers" but hadn't as yet been the recipients of the Holy Spirit, which was probably due to the fact that when Jesus Himself was with the Samaritan woman, the Holy Spirit hadn't been given out to any believers since the coming of the HS 'in power' at Pentecost hadn't as yet occurred.

    I'd love to read what y'all have to say not only about this, but also the controversial issue of whether or not "Simon" in Acts 8:18 - 24 was truly saved.
  2. Darrell C

    Darrell C Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Jan 30, 2010
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    A thought or two to consider in the general question about Samaritans:

    John 4:19-22

    King James Version (KJV)

    19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.

    20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.

    21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.

    22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.

    It would seem that Christ denies the validity of formal worship as offered by Samaritans, which fits the pattern of what we see in the History of the Northern Kingdom.

    I take this to be a validation of the Law itself and the demand that it be followed as it was presented, not changed to suit the beliefs or culture.

    "Salvation is of the Jews" simply meaning that it was through Israel that the Redemptive Plan would unfold, all other religious practices being irrelevant to God's prescribed will.

    One other issue I would set before you would be whether the racist attitude of the Jews against both Samaritan and Gentile (and Scripture makes the distinction at times, though when salvation in Christ is referred to we do not see the three made one, but the twain, Jew and Greek (euphemistic for Gentile)) denies the separation that was a reality in that Age, Israel being the People of God and Gentiles pictured as outside that unique relationship.

    Matthew 10:5-7

    King James Version (KJV)

    5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:

    6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

    7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

    Matthew 15:23-24

    King James Version (KJV)

    23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.

    24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

    Now few would dare to charge the Lord as being racist here, but it remains that He did not send His disciples to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom to Samaritans or Gentiles. Just as we see in the Law, those Gentiles and Samaritans that approached Christ were received, and not turned away, but, that doesn't mean we neglect the specific ministry Christ had to Israel. He was to redeem Israel, after all, and restore her to her former glory.

    So no racism need be imposed, simply understanding that in Scripture there are specific ministries which we do a disservice to if we apply a general application throughout the course of Redemptive History. Christ's ministry to the world can be seen to be separate from His specific ministry to Israel.

    The word "lost" refers to destruction, and that was, and still is the state of Israel...they were in a state of destruction, and that is Who Christ came to redeem.


    Acts 8:20-24

    King James Version (KJV)

    20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.

    21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.

    22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

    23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.

    24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.

    Reasons to question conversion on the part of Simon:

    1. He thought the gift of God, which is salvation, could be purchased with money. Now some will object that it is the gift of transferring/imparting the Holy Ghost in view...and that's the point. It denies an understanding of God actually saving men, and corresponds more to a view that might have as a comparison that believes cleansing or repentance can be obtained through external washing, rather than testify of cleansing or repentance having taken place internally.

    2. Simon had "neither part nor lot in this matter.

    3. Simon's heart was not right in the sight of God.

    4.Simon is called to repentance, unusual for someone just saved. Not impossible, but unusual.

    5. Simon was "in the gall of bitterness."

    6. Simon was in the bond of iniquity.

    7. Simon refused to turn to God, but prayed intercession on the part of the Apostles, which still shows he looked to salvation through men. Rather than personally turning to God himself in light of his sin.

    Having said that, it is not impossible that Simon was saved, and simply carnal. I tend to lean towards the view he was not, and thus the reasons are given to support that view, but, I am not going to be dogmatic and deny the possibility that Simon was saved, and simply exceedingly sinful. As a new convert, it would not be expected that his former habits and mindset would have immediately disappeared, which would have impacted his behavior. But, he refuses to heed Peter's rebuke, at least, as far as we are told about it.

    God bless.