There are two kingdoms: the kingdom of darkness ruled by satan and the kingdom of God ruled by Jesus. Because of our first parents sin,
all are born into the kingdom of darkness and are sinners by nature and choice. We are not passive in our rebellion against God. Rather, we are complicit in the works of the enemy, rebelling against God’s perfect rule and authority—living as if we were king. Therefore all people need to be born again into the kingdom of God by grace through faith in Jesus. After salvation, Christians are to be baptized as an outer witness of their inner faith. All those in Jesus’ kingdom are given eternal spiritual blessings, and the greatest blessing God gives is the gift of Himself—the gift of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God and he is present with and in each believer. He sovereignly and graciously gives us new birth (John 3:8). He helps us know what is right and wrong (John 15:8). He pours the love of God into our hearts (Rom. 5:5). He gives us life as we work to say “no” to sin and “yes” to Jesus (Rom. 8:11). He helps us understand the Bible (1 Cor. 2:10). And He works in us so that we live lives that produce good fruit to the glory of God (Gal. 5:22-23). Lastly, life in Jesus’ kingdom is one lived under authority, not in authority, focussed on the glory of God, not the glory of yourself, and it is lived enslaved to righteousness, not to sin. Do you know there are two kingdoms? Have you entered Jesus’ kingdom through faith and baptism?
ACTS 8:9-25 9 But there was a man named Simon,
who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great. 10 They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.” 11 And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. 12 But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ,they were baptized, both men and women. 13 Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed. 14 Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, 15 who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit,16 for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 17 Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit. 18 Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,19 saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” 20 But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money! 21 You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. 22 Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. 23 For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” 24 And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.” 25 Now when they had testified and spoken the word of the Lord, they returned to Jerusalem,preaching the gospel to many villages of the Samaritans.
1. Was there anything from the sermon or the big idea that stood out to you or challenged you? What questions do you have? 2. What stands out to you in Acts 8:9-25 and why?
There are two kingdoms: the kingdom of darkness ruled by satan and the kingdom of God ruled by Jesus.
3. What are the dangers in not believing or living as though there are two kingdoms? Try and be specific. What are some common lies that people believe in our culture?
All those in Jesus’ kingdom are given eternal spiritual blessings, and the greatest blessing God gives is the gift of Himself—the gift of the Holy Spirit.
4. Which of the above mentioned ways that the Holy Spirit works in and through us is new to you? Which few are you most thankful for and why? 5. What do we learn about Simon the magician from verses 18-25? Why do you think Peter gave him such a strong rebuke? Start off by spend some time praying for one another. After that, pray for the lost to be saved by Jesus, praying for your city, and praying for Jesus to build His church in Checotah, Eufaula, and Muskogee.
The gospel is not good news that God makes you great. Rather, the gospel is good news that the great God has forgiven you, transferred you to His kingdom, and blessed you with Himself. Joy to us, glory to Jesus!
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