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. 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, 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, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.” And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.” (Acts 8:14-25)
News that the heretical Samaritans had believed in the name of Jesus Christ reached the church leaders in Jerusalem. What to say? However Jesus had commanded them to be witnesses in Samaria (Chapter 1 verse 8). Then could even Samaritans have true faith?
When Peter and John arrived they found that the Holy Spirit had not fallen on the baptized believers. But when they received the Holy Spirit it was a clear sign that God had accepted them into his church.
As for Simon, he is impressed; he sees the opportunity to exercise a new sort of power. Can he buy this power? In reply Peter rebukes him, ‘May eternal ruin be for you and your money.’ And Simon seems to repent.
God’s gifts are freely given to those whose hearts are right ; they are not to be bought for the purpose of self-advancement.