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Acts 8:5-19 (NIV)

Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.

Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, “This man is rightly called the Great Power of God.” They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his sorcery. But when they believed Philip as he proclaimed the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.

When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria. When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit, because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

(I had to post the whole passage to make it easier to understand)

Questions:

  1. If Phillip was able to perform miracles and baptize people, then what was the need for Peter and John to go to Samaria?
  2. Why was the Holy Spirit not given when Phillip baptized the people?
  3. What actually happened when Peter and John placed their hands on the people that even Simon the sorcerer was amazed at it?
  4. What kind of manifestation of the Spirit was it? Clearly it was visible and powerful.
  5. Why is this incidence known as Confirmation?

(Answers are expected on the perspectives of major denominations only)

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I'm going to downvote this because it is too broad; 1 is probably unanswerable (unless 2 answers it), 2 is interesting, 4 implies a certain [type of] answer to 3, and 4 will likely depend on the sect/denomination. I do think it could become a good answer (perhaps focus on denominational beliefs concerning 2?). –  Ryan Frame Jun 14 '13 at 11:05
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@RyanFrame It may not be too broad as it appears. Depends on how you answer it. It's difficult to ask these questions separately because they are all related to each other. –  Mawia Jun 14 '13 at 11:11
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I can also ask all these questions separately but why should I post the same passage again and again? –  Mawia Jun 14 '13 at 11:17
    
@Mawia I did my best to answer from our perspective though I know you probably were looking for another perspective –  caseyr547 Jun 14 '13 at 11:23
    
@caseyr547 Thanks. I forgot to mention that answers should be based on denominational views only. But it's the rule here anyway to answer in denominational perspective. –  Mawia Jun 14 '13 at 11:31
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1 Answer

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The is from the perspective which is taught by a Word of Faith church.

One. If Phillip was able to perform miracles and baptize people, then what was the need for Peter and John to go to Samaria?

1 Cor 12:11: But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

For whatever reason Phillip knew the Holy Spirit did not will for Him to lay hands on people and them have the miracle of the Holy Spirit fill them.

Two. Why was the Holy Spirit not given when Phillip baptized the people?

Being filled with the Holy Spirit is not the same as being indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Being baptized in the Holy Spirit and speaking in tongues is a different kind of miracle than the New Birth.

Three. What actually happened when Peter and John placed their hands on the people that even Simon the sorcerer was amazed at it?

Four. What kind of manifestation of the Spirit was it? Clearly it was visible and powerful.

They were filled with the Holy Spirit and they probably spoke in tongues but there may have also been:

  • Prophecy
  • Holy Laughter
  • Falling, shouting, dancing, shaking, paralysis.

Five. Why is this incidence known as Confirmation?

It is not known as confirmation in all Christian denominations.

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