Acts 8:17-20: “Then Peter and John laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit. Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money, saying, Give me also this power so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to Him. May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain God’s gift with Money.”
The world says that everything is for sale; that money makes the world go round; and that if you have money, you can have anything and everything. Today, we can buy almost anything with money. We can even buy love for a little while. But consider this—if you have to buy it, then it’s not real because what happens when the money runs out? More times than we care to admit, when the money runs out, the love runs out shortly thereafter. Money can even buy so-called friends. When you have money, you will hear the phrase “Ride or die—I am with you to the end,” but if money runs out before the end, they are gone the “ride dies”. You are deleted from Facebook, and your calls are blocked. They just do not have time for you.
I am so glad that Paul, in the text today, has given us great news and has given us hope. I do not have to be Oprah, Donald Trump, or a Pro Football player who has billions of dollars in order to receive a healing from God, to have a peace of mind, to have direction in my life, or to have joy in my life. All I need is the Holy Spirit, which is not for sale. Neither the Holy Spirit nor the blessings of God are available for purchase or resale. When God decides to give it to me, I can have it all—with no money in the bank and no collateral. The question was asked, “Would you rather have a million dollars or the Holy Spirit?” If we choose a million dollars, then we can have some fun for a little while and buy plenty “stuff”. But that will run out. If we choose the Holy Spirit, we have more than a million dollars. What we have is priceless!
The Holy Spirit is the very Presence of God dwelling within believers. The Holy Spirit is God, and we cannot buy God. We cannot put God on our payroll. We do not have God in our back pocket, as they say, to grant us favor or to “take care of our haters”. In fact, we can upset God thinking that we can buy Him. That is the way the world thinks, and God says we are in the world but not of the world.
In the text, Simon, the sorcerer, was very popular in Samaria. He had the people strongly believing in magical powers. Then Philip, a very powerful man of God came along. He was a man just like you and I, but he was filled with the Power of God—Power that he did not and could not buy. You and I can have that same power. Philip, through powerful preaching and the performance of many miracles, persuaded many Samaritans, including Simon, to believe in the true God, and Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Because Philip’s power was greater than his, Simon wanted what Philip had and offered to buy it. Simon was operating on his old belief system and grave spiritual immaturity, convinced that money could buy anything. As people of God, we should want people to want what we have—the Spirit that lives inside of us. We should let them know that that within us is free, yet priceless. You do not have to jump through hoops or send your utility bill or rent money to anyone to obtain it.
The Holy Spirit is not for sale. Why do we need it? In Zechariah 4:6, we see that the Holy Spirit is the Arm of the power of God. So he said to me, “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of Hosts.” Philippians 4:13 reads, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” We need the Holy Spirit, but it is important that we understand that the Holy Spirit is not for sale. How can I get it if I cannot buy it? Just ask. And once we ask and believe, He (God) is more than willing to oblige. He Desires that all will come to Him. When we do, we are filled with the Holy Spirit by faith. His Holy Spirit is a Gift to us from God, Himself, the Giver of every good and perfect gift. That gift if not obtained by works, so that no one can boast. Aren’t you glad about that? During this season of Thanksgiving, let us remember to give thanks for the wonderful Gift of the Precious Holy Spirit, for which we could not pay. It was, and still is FREE!!!