Poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.

And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!” “You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.” “Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.” “For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.” Acts 8:18-23, NKJV. Nucci,_Avanzino_-_Petrus'_Auseinandersetzung_mit_Simon_Magus_-_1620  The Bondage of Unforgiveness. A sorcerer is one who deceives, manipulates, and delights to control others does so by demonic enablement. One who is a servant of Satan. Peter identifies the basis for Simon’s sorcery as bitterness—the deepening effect of unforgiveness. We are given a warning regarding the danger that binds many in tolerated or embraced unforgiveness, which h may, like poison, permeate and bind the soul, ultimately corrupting everything around it (Heb. 12:15).

In Simon’s life, his bitterness shaped his passion to control others “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands on may receive the Holy Spirit.” This drove his quest to purchase the ability to impart the gift of the braking Holy Spirit. Question: was Simon saved? Though having believed and been baptized (verse 13, not quoted by me) the residue of his past bondage surfaces as he unworthily seeks power to manipulate others for self-exalting purposes.

Peter discerns the root of his bondage and summons Simon to repentance and deliverance. Though Simon did not repent, this case still points to one of the foremost keys to deliverance from entrenched bondage in a believer’s soul—the act of forgiveness. Forgiving others from our heart flushes out the “poison” with the power of the Cross. In this case we see that unforgiveness can, lead down paths we would never imagined we would travel (Matt. 6:14, 15; Col. 3:13; Heb. 12:15-17).

Simon’s quest to buy the ability to impart the power of the Holy Spirit was his obvious sin; including a more subtle evil is his desire to use the power of God for his own gain. Was he saved? Peter’s rebuke leaves us uncertain about where Simon really stood with God. Early writings of church history continue to speak of Simon as a father to heresies. The word  “simony,” means the buying and selling of church offices and influence, and originated from Simon.

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