Acts 8:16
(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
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(16) As yet he was fallen upon none of them.—The same verb is used of the gift of the Spirit in Acts 10:44; Acts 11:15, and of Peter’s trance in Acts 10:10. It is manifestly used to express an unlooked-for change in a man’s normal state of consciousness, the sudden advent of new powers and feelings.

8:14-25 The Holy Ghost was as yet fallen upon none of these coverts, in the extraordinary powers conveyed by the descent of the Spirit upon the day of Pentecost. We may take encouragement from this example, in praying to God to give the renewing graces of the Holy Ghost to all for whose spiritual welfare we are concerned; for that includes all blessings. No man can give the Holy Spirit by the laying on of his hands; but we should use our best endeavours to instruct those for whom we pray. Simon Magus was ambitious to have the honour of an apostle, but cared not at all to have the spirit and disposition of a Christian. He was more desirous to gain honour to himself, than to do good to others. Peter shows him his crime. He esteemed the wealth of this world, as if it would answer for things relating to the other life, and would purchase the pardon of sin, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and eternal life. This was such a condemning error as could by no means consist with a state of grace. Our hearts are what they are in the sight of God, who cannot be deceived. And if they are not right in his sight, our religion is vain, and will stand us in no stead. A proud and covetous heart cannot be right with God. It is possible for a man to continue under the power of sin, yet to put on a form of godliness. When tempted with money to do evil, see what a perishing thing money is, and scorn it. Think not that Christianity is a trade to live by in this world. There is much wickedness in the thought of the heart, its false notions, and corrupt affections, and wicked projects, which must be repented of, or we are undone. But it shall be forgiven, upon our repentance. The doubt here is of the sincerity of Simon's repentance, not of his pardon, if his repentance was sincere. Grant us, Lord, another sort of faith than that which made Simon wonder only, and did not sanctify his heart. May we abhor all thoughts of making religion serve the purposes of pride or ambition. And keep us from that subtle poison of spiritual pride, which seeks glory to itself even from humility. May we seek only the honour which cometh from God.He was fallen - This expression is several times applied to the Holy Spirit, Acts 10:44; Acts 11:15. It does not differ materially from the common expression, "The Holy Spirit descended." It means that he came from heaven; and the expression "to fall," applied to his influences, denotes the "rapidity" and "suddenness" of his coming. Compare Acts 19:2.

In the name of the Lord Jesus - See the notes on Acts 2:38. See also Acts 10:48; Acts 19:5-6.

15, 16. prayed … they might receive the Holy Ghost. (For only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus)—As the baptism of adults presupposed "the renewing of the Holy Ghost" (Tit 3:5-7; 1Co 12:13), of which the profession of faith had to be taken for evidence, this communication of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of the apostles' hands was clearly a superadded thing; and as it was only occasional, so it was invariably attended with miraculous manifestations (see Ac 10:44, where it followed Peter's preaching; and Ac 19:1-7, where, as here, it followed the laying on of hands). In the present case an important object was served by it—"the sudden appearance of a body of baptized disciples in Samaria, by the agency of one who was not an apostle, requiring the presence and power of apostles to perform their special part as the divinely appointed founders of the Church" [Alford]. Beautiful, too, was the spectacle exhibited of Jew and Samaritan, one in Christ. For as yet he was fallen upon none of them; by which it is plain that the Holy Ghost as the author of saving grace, is not here meant, for so he was fallen upon all them that did believe, for faith is the gift of God; but he was not yet bestowed upon them as the author of those extraordinary gifts mentioned Acts 2:4.

They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus:

1. They were baptized by his authority and commission, Matthew 28:19.

2. By baptism they now belong unto and are united with him; they are baptized into Jesus Christ, Romans 6:3.

(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them,.... They had received him as a spirit of illumination and sanctification, and as, a spirit of conversion and faith; they had been regenerated, enlightened, and sanctified by him; and were converted by him, and brought to believe in Christ, and live, by faith upon him; they were baptized believers, and no more; as yet, none of them had gifts qualifying them for the ministry; and still less could any of them speak with tongues, or prophesy, or work miracles; the Holy Ghost had not yet descended on them for such purposes:

only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus: all as yet appeared in them was, that they were believers in Christ, and had been baptized in his name, upon a profession of their faith; and more than this they had been called to, or qualified for: the word "only", does not respect the form of baptism, as if they had been baptized only in the name of Christ; whereas they were doubtless baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; but refers to baptism itself, which was the only ordinance as yet administered to them.

(For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
Acts 8:16. ἐπιπεπτωκός: the verb is characteristic of St. Luke, and used by him both in his Gospel and in Acts of the occurrence of extraordinary conditions, e.g., the sudden influence of the Spirit, cf. Luke 1:12, Acts 10:44; Acts 11:15; Acts 19:17, cf. Revelation 11:11 (Acts 10:10 cannot be supported, and in Acts 13:11 read ἔπεσεν). Similar usage in LXX, Exodus 15:16, 1 Samuel 26:12, Psalm 54:4, Jdt 2:28; Jdt 11:11, etc. Friedrich, Das Lucasevangelium, p. 41 For the word as used by St. Luke in another sense also characteristic of him, see below on Acts 20:37, and Plummer on Acts 15:20. On the formula of baptism see above p. 91, and “Baptism,” B.D.2, p. 352, and Hastings’ B.D.—ὑπῆρχον here perhaps = “made a beginning,” took the first step (Lumby).

16. they were baptized in [into] the name, &c.] The preposition, which is the same that is used by Christ (Matthew 28:19) at the institution of the Sacrament, implies the tie by which the new converts are in baptism bound to Christ as His followers, servants, worshippers.

Verse 16. - Had been for were, A.V.; into for in, A.V. Into the name. In seems preferable (comp. Matthew 10:41, 42). The use of the prepositions in the New Testament is much influenced by the Hebrew, through the language of the LXX. As regards baptism in the Name of the Lord Jesus, here and ver. 39, T.R.; Acts 10:48; Acts 19:5, we are not to suppose that any other formula was used than that prescribed by our Lord (Matthew 28:19). But as baptism was preceded by a confession of faith similar to that in our own Baptismal Service, so it was a true description to speak of baptism as being in the Name of Jesus Christ. Acts 8:16They were (ὑπῆρχον)

See on James 2:15. Rev., more literally, had been.

In the name (εἰς τὸ ὄνομα)

Lit., "into the name." See on Matthew 28:19.

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