But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!”
The Spirit’s ministry is to glorify Jesus. His glory stands in relation to Him being entitled to the Father’s favor, blessings, and promises, having obtained them as the Son of Man through His righteous life and sacrificial death. That includes the gift of the Holy Spirt.
Thus, when Simon offered money to receive the Spirit, he struck at the very heart of the gospel and Jesus’ glory, which is about God’s free grace to undeserving sinners. Everything we receive from the Father is for the sake of His Son. We don’t deserve it and cannot earn it. That humbles man and exalts His Son—He’s always the Benefactor and we’re always the beneficiaries.
Was Simon’s case an isolated incident in the history of the church? During the reformation, Johann Tetzel sold indulgences for the dead: “As soon as the gold in the casket rings, the rescued soul to heaven springs.” He even made it rhyme as a marketing ploy. Many fell for that lie and opened their wallet.
How about today? Are we still trying to “buy” God’s favor, blessings, and promises with money or “good” works? You only have to turn on some of the religious broadcasting and hear how you can obtain God’s special blessing through your “seed” donation. Johann Tetzel has just changed his name. Actually, we only have to look into our own heart to realize that, many times, we still try to earn God’s free gifts.
Today’s devotional is from It’s All about Jesus, a one-year devotional about the person and work of Jesus Christ.
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