Unlocking Miracles with the Spirit's Power | Acts 8

Unlocking Miracles with the Spirit's Power | Acts 8

Jun 05, 2024


Sermon Introduction

Many people have some type of safe in their homes, filled with essential documents and other important and valuable items. The safe is secured by either a combination lock or a key to keep out those who are not allowed to open it. As the safe keeper, you need to remember that combination or have the key in a safe place.
But what happens if you forget the combination or lose the key? Your only remedy may be to call a professional locksmith, who has the tools and know-how to open the safe. In our lives, we often face situations that seem locked, with solutions beyond our ability to find.
We long for miracles of healing, breakthrough, or peace, but don’t know how to access them. Just like the locksmith with the right combination or key, the Holy Spirit holds the key and the power to unlock the miracles we seek.

Acts 1:8a (ESV)
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses …

Jesus is talking about the power that comes through Spirit baptism. This supernatural power is power to be witnesses, but is power for every situation that needs a miracle.
The Holy Spirit equips us with divine power to break through our limitations and access God’s promises.

John 14:26 (ESV)
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

This verse emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit as our guide and teacher. The Spirit helps us recall Jesus’ teachings, ensuring that we stay grounded in God’s truth.
When we face life’s challenges, the Holy Spirit brings to mind God’s promises, providing wisdom to unlock God’s miracles.

Romans 8:26 (ESV)
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

We all sometimes face situations where we don’t even know how to pray. Or our prayers seem to have no effect on the locked circumstance. The verse shows us that the Spirit, through the gift of tongues, can pray through us the perfect prayer to unlock God’s miracle power in the situation.
Today, we are going to explore how the Spirit’s power unlocks the miracles that we need in our lives and the lives of others. Just as the locksmith opened the safe, the Holy Spirit is ready to unlock God’s miraculous power in our circumstances. By relying on the Holy Spirit, we can unlock the miracles that God has in store for our lives.

The Spirit’s Power Overcomes Barriers

Acts 8:1 (ESV)
And Saul approved of his execution. And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles.

Stephen, the first Christian martyr, had just been stoned to death by the Jewish council. Saul was actively persecuting all the believers in Jerusalem and putting them in prison. So, many of the believers fled from Jerusalem to other places.
But they did not just run and hide; they continued to promote the gospel wherever they went.

Acts 8:5 (ESV)
Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.

A believer named Philip was sent to the city of Samaria. Samaria was a place typically avoided by the Jews as their beliefs were different. Yet, Jesus had ministered in Samaria, and Philip was led to go to this different culture.
He began to share with them how Jesus Christ, the Messiah, had died for them and risen from the tomb. How did the Spirit’s power help Philip to make an impact in this foreign city?

Acts 8:6-7 (ESV)
And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.

The crowds of people paid attention to Philip because of his words and the signs he did. In the book of Acts, signs refer to supernatural miracles that were done through the Holy Spirit. These verses make it clear that they heard Philip’s message with their ears and saw the miraculous signs with their eyes.
Philip did the same kind of miracles that Jesus did. The kind of miracles that Jesus said all His followers could do. First mentioned is the casting out of unclean spirits or demons from people. Demons cause all kinds of physical, emotional, and spiritual disorders in people.
What demons cause in people’s lives cannot be cured with physical medicine. People can only be set free from demonic bondage through the Spirit’s power. Many others who were physically paralyzed or lame were healed through the Spirit’s power. What was the result of Philip’s witness and miraculous signs?

Acts 8:12 (ESV)
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.

The people listening to Philip chose to believe in Jesus Christ and become Christians. All who believed were quickly water baptized, both men and women. What was happening? We would describe it as a revival or an awakening.
Just as the Holy Spirit empowered Philip to overcome barriers, we too can rely on the Spirit to break down obstacles in our lives and the lives of others. What barriers or obstacles are you facing in your life? It might be family or friends that aren’t believers or are struggling with various addictions.
The power of the Spirit can bring healing to relationships and freedom from bondages. First of all, you need to be full of the Holy Spirit. We’ll talk more about that in a few minutes. Next, you need to use the power of prayer, both praying on your own and praying in person for others.
Finally, the Holy Spirit will give you the words to say that can change lives and relationships. The Spirit’s power overcomes barriers.

The Spirit’s Power Brings Healing & Freedom

Acts 8:7 (ESV)
For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.

What do unclean spirits or demons do in people’s lives? They bring people into bondage in one form or another. We see in Scripture that people can have various degrees of demonization.
There are innumerable angels and demons all around us, but we can’t normally see them, as they are spirits. The Spirit’s power can set people free from spiritual and physical ailments as happened here.

Acts 8:9, 13 (ESV)
But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, … Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.

Simon was a person who practiced supernatural demonic magic of various kinds. He amazed the Samaritans with his black art. Yet, the miracles of Philip showed such greater power, that Simon believed in Jesus and was immediately water baptized.
Simon himself continued to be amazed by the signs and great miracles happening through Philip. This was proof that even those aligned with Satan and his demons can be saved and forgiven.

Acts 8:8 (ESV)
So there was much joy in that city.

When the Holy Spirit brings miracles of healing and freedom to a person, a church, or a city, there is great joy. Sickness and bondage led to sorrow, not joy. But Jesus came to bring healing, freedom, and joy into our lives.
The Spirit’s power brings healing and freedom.
God created angels before the creation of the world. Satan rebelled against God and the angels that followed him became fallen angels or demons. Angels and demons are spirit beings of great power and intelligence.
They are around us all the time. Every temptation you hear has been whispered by a demon in your ear. Wounds and sin in a person’s life give a foothold for greater demonic influence.
The good news is that Jesus can set anyone free from demonic bondage who believes in Him. If you’re struggling with some temptation and can’t break free, receive prayer so the Spirit can bring healing and freedom. If someone you know is struggling and wants to be set free, invite them to church and we will pray and set them free.
The Spirit’s power brings healing and freedom.

The Spirit’s Power Confirms the Gospel

Acts 8:14-16 (ESV)
Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

The apostles who had not left Jerusalem heard about the revival in Samaria with Philip. When Peter and John arrived in Samaria, they discovered that the new believers had been water baptized, but had not been Spirit baptized. Peter had preached on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2:38 that everyone needed to believe in Jesus, be water baptized, and Spirit baptized.
So, they set out to rectify the situation immediately. Why? Because without being baptized in the Spirit, they were lacking the Spirit’s supernatural power.

Acts 8:17-18 (ESV)
Then they 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,

So Peter and John laid hands on the new believers and prayed for them
, and they received the Holy Spirit. The book of Acts teaches us that when anyone is Spirit baptized, there is an outward sign, which is speaking in tongues. Speaking in tongues is praying in a language you do not know through the power of the Spirit.
Simon saw that as the apostles laid hands on the people and prayed for them, the new believers began to pray in tongues. Simon thought he could purchase that power, so he offered to pay Peter and John so that he could likewise pray for people to receive Spirit baptism.

Acts 8:19-22 (ESV)
saying, “Give me this power also, 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 the gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God. Repent, therefore …

Why Simon thought he could purchase God’s power is unknown. Perhaps it was related to the demonic magic he had practiced before. Certainly, the attitude of Simon’s heart and desire for this new power, perhaps to impress people, was sin.
The apostles called on Simon to repent and we are not told whether he did or not. The Spirit’s power confirms the Gospel.
We have seen the Spirit’s power confirm the Gospel through outward signs, such as salvation, healing, and deliverance. Each new believer is commanded by Jesus to be water baptized. In this point, we see the Spirit’s power confirming the Gospel through an inward sign, Spirit baptism.
If you are a believer and have not yet been water baptized, please let me know and we’ll get you on the list for our next water baptism. If you’re a believer and have not yet been Spirit baptized, we encourage you to receive prayer to receive this gift. When you are Spirit baptized, you receive a prayer language.
When you pray in the Spirit, you are praying a perfect prayer that will always be answered. This is a gift that God desires every believer to have to unlock the Spirit’s power. If you want to learn more about it, we have a free book in the foyer about Spirit baptism.
The Spirit’s power confirms the Gospel.

Conclusion

Think back to our illustration of the safe and the locksmith. The safe remained locked until the right combination was used. This is a picture of how our lives can be when we face seemingly insurmountable challenges and long for miracles.
The key to unlocking those miracles is the Holy Spirit. Today, we saw how the Spirit’s power worked through Philip to overcome barriers. Seek the Spirit’s power to overcome barriers in your life or those close to you.
The Spirit’s power brings healing and freedom. Believe and pray for the Spirit’s power to bring comprehensive healing in every dimension. Nothing is too hard for God.
The Spirit’s power confirms the Gospel. Is someone in your life resistant to the Gospel message? Pray and believe the Spirit’s power to unlock their heart through signs and wonders.
May all of us grow in unlocking miracles with the Spirit’s power.


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