The Advancing Gospel

by | Oct 31, 2021 | 0 comments

These notes accompany the sermon found here.

Background on Samaritans:

The Northern Kingdom of Israel was defeated by Assyria in 722 B.C.  They scattered many of the Israelites there and settled foreigners in the land in their place.  See 2 Kings 17:24-41 for a description of the origin of “Samaritans.” Samaritans were despised by “true” Israelites in the days of Jesus and the Apostles.  See also  Acts 8:4-25, 9:31, 15:3; John 4; 2 Kings 23:19; 2 Chronicles 30:10-11; Jeremiah 31:5; Ezra 4:1-6; Luke 9:51-56, 10:30-37, 17:11-19; Matthew 10:5-6.

The Advance

  • This is a fulfillment of Acts 1:8. Just as Jesus predicted.
  • See also Acts 1:8, 6:5; Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 28:30-31.

The Resistance

  • Signs that Simon did not believe:
    • 21 “You have neither part nor lot in this matter.”
    • 21 “Your heart is not right before God.”
    • 22 “Repent…of this wickedness”
    • 22 “The intent of your heart”
    • 23 “Gall of bitterness”
    • 23 “Bond of iniquity”
    • 25 “Pray for me…”
  • See Ephesians 2:1-3; Matthew 12:24-30.

The Reinforcements

  • Acts 8:12-17, the Samaritans heard, were baptized, received the Holy Spirit later by the laying on of hands.
  • Acts 2:38, Peter preached, told the crowd to repent, be baptized, and they will receive the Spirit. Here, Peter is only describing what to do and what will happen.  He is not making an absolute chronology.
  • Acts 10:44-48, the Gentiles heard Peter’s preaching, received the Holy Spirit, and then were baptized.
  • Here in Acts 8, God withheld the Holy Spirit from the Samaritans until it could come through the Apostles themselves from Jerusalem. This made the source of the true gospel clear, and unified the church, fulfilling Jeremiah 50:4-5.
  • Salvation comes by hearing the Gospel, Romans 10:8-15, the drawing of God, John 6:44, 65, and the believing of the hearer, Mark 1:15, 16:16; John 1:12, 3:16-18, 11:25-27, 20:30-31. The Spirit is at work all through this process, John 3:3-8, 6:63; and all who believe receive the Spirit, Romans 8:9, John 14:17. Then the true believer obeys by getting baptized, Matthew 28:19, Acts 2:38.

The Results

  • Joy! Acts 8:8, 39.  (Zeph. 3:14ff.; Joel 2:21 ff.;, Zech. 9:9–10).  Psalm 5.  See also Luke 1:14, 10:20, 13:17, 15:5ff, 18:43, 24:52; Acts 5:41.


  • The Gospel is freely offered to everyone.
  • You are in his hands to bear fruit.
  • Salvation is exclusive to Jesus Christ.
  • The resistance is irrelevant.

Some Suggested Songs:

“Earth Invasion” by Skillet.

“Reformation Day” by Sovereign Grace Music.

“Across the Lands” by Stuart Townsend and Keith Getty.

About Eric Newcomer


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