Acts 8:11-15
Acts 8:11 (KJB)
And to him they had regard, because that of long time he had bewitched them with sorceries.
Simon must have lived for a long time among the Samaritans because he had established himself as one who they could come to for anything. People probably sought him out because of all the signs and wonders that he did. What ever advice he gave, they would obey, since they paid great attention to him for in their mind he was Godís representative to them because unfortunately they did not know any better. It is just like the stories which many missionaries tell that they will go to a remote area and there will be someone like a witch doctor who will have control over the entire village. Since they are using the satanic arts, the people will cower in fear of them not knowing any better.
Acts 8:12 (KJB)
But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Now the satanic arts of Simon had competition by a power greater than his. As Philip was preaching the Gospel of Christ, people were believing the Gospel and becoming saved. As they were becoming saved, they were being baptized. It seems that the people were seeing a stark difference in the miracles that Philip did than the ones Simon did. They probably never saw a man who was paralyzed or one who was lame become fully healed and functional instantly. This would have been beyond the powers that Simon had exuded. His small miracles in no way could ever match what Philip was doing nor could it create such a joy in the people who became saved.
Acts 8:13 (KJB)
Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done.
Here was the reason that Simon was mentioned in this passage. Simon no doubt was filled with devils who did the satanic miracles he did. Once Simon heard the true Gospel, he became saved and believed. In fact, he not only believed but he wanted to stay with Philip and travel with him. Perhaps Simon was one who was used to doing signs and wonders and had watched Philip very close to see the miracles and signs that he did. Simon was convinced that Philip was the real deal and wanted to stay with him. Simon was also baptized along with the other believers. It now seems that the true Gospel had won over the town witch doctor who was now a Christian and that they would no longer be bewitched by him.
Acts 8:14 (KJB)
Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
As soon as the word came to Jerusalem that the Gospel was being preached in Samaria, the disciples had sent Peter and John to them. They probably heard that the Gospel was being welcomed and taught openly without any opposition and they figured that maybe Philip would be overwhelmed and that is why Peter and John were dispatched. They did not come to take over Philipís ministry but to help him. (Acts 1:8 KJV) But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. The Lord had specifically mentioned Samaria before He ascended into Heaven and maybe that is why Peter and John headed up there.
Acts 8:15 (KJB)
Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
Here was a different situation than normal. When a person becomes saved, they receive the baptism in or indwelling of the Holy Spirit at that time. Here we have a situation where the Samaritans had believed yet they did not receive the Holy Spirit at that time. When the Lord had told the Samaritans about the living water, here was the Apostles who were the direct representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ laying their hands on the Samaritan believers and then receiving the fullness of salvation. God may have withheld the giving of the Holy Spirit until two Jewish believers came to them from the Jerusalem church. The Samaritans were hated by the Jews but the true Gospel has now bound together as one, the Jerusalem church and the Samaritan church. The true Gospel was fixing the rift between the two people groups. While the unsaved Jews were practicing their hatred for the Samaritans, the saved Jews were binding themselves to the saved Samaritans. In Acts 19, Paul came to Ephesus and he met up with some believers who were only baptized into Johnís baptism, which was not salvation. He laid his hands on them and they received the baptism in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. This means they became saved at that moment. Some may try to use these verses as proof texts for the second blessing or the second work of grace by the Holy Spirit so a person can speak in tongues but these are special situations which were peculiar to the early church. After the Bible was completed, everyone who becomes saved receives the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation.