Simon believed he was someone great. He wasn’t the only one. It sounds like he had quite a following. His sorcery must have been amazing, because people even thought he was divine.
That is, until they heard Philip preach the “good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus.” Many believed in Jesus, and were baptized – including Simon. Simon ended up following Philip around after that. Being a sorcerer, he was amazed at the miracles he saw Philip do.
Then when Simon witnessed Peter and John placing their hands on believers who then received the Holy Spirit, he wanted in on the action. He was willing to buy that ability. Peter recognized Simon for who he really was, and addressed Simon’s sin in no uncertain terms. “You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right with God.”
Simon had believed in Jesus. But Simon was still the same old Simon. His heart had not changed.
Saul, on the other hand, was not only NOT a believer, he had dedicated his life to destroying the church by getting rid of anyone who did believe in Jesus. But his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus changed him.
Saul became Paul who then dedicated his life to sharing Jesus with everyone, in hopes that everyone would believe. Paul’s belief in Jesus didn’t stop with the knowledge that Jesus is the Savior. Paul’s belief in Jesus changed his heart.
Do you believe? Scripture tells us even the demons believe, and shudder. (James 2:19). Belief is the first step, but it isn’t the only step.
If accepting Jesus as your Savior hasn’t changed you, let me suggest you check your heart. Is your belief head-knowledge, or a heart-changing, person-transforming, sin-defeating relationship with God Himself?
Change, or no change? That’s the question. And the answer is the difference between being a child of God, and being someone who has no part in His ministry, His kingdom.
Let your belief in Jesus change you.