Summary: When Ananias and Sapphira hatched the plot to deceive the apostles and the church they never suspected that their infamous deed would be retold over the centuries to follow. May it be a lesson to us all.
A Chilling Day of Giving
Please stand as we read our newest memory Scripture together …
“Jesus said, ‘If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching. My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make our home with him.
“He who does not love Me will not obey My teaching. These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me.”
And our memory refresher verse(s) for today is(are) …
“Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.”
Please open your Bibles to Acts 4:32 - 5:11
Over the past few weeks we have talked about:
- There is a coming day of Judgment (Matthew 25)
- Jesus is seeking the lost (Luke 15) so that when the time of judgment does come many will be saved
- The Holy Spirit was given at Pentecost in order to lead us to salvation and then to enable us to live a holy life of faithfulness once we are saved
- I emphasize that the Holy Spirit ENABLES us to live a holy life. We can still sin but His presence is a spiritually empowering dynamo if we allow Him to be!
- Today we’ll be reading about a couple who lied to God Himself and the immediate punishment they received.
Read: Acts 4:32 - 5:11
(Prayer for help …)
You will notice that I have never used this Scripture to introduce the time when we worship the Lord by the giving of our tithes and offerings.
We often think of the Holy Spirit as a formless entity; kind of like a cloud that floats around and affects people if they let Him do so.
God the Father, as we see Him in the Old Testament, can be pleased with us as we see in Psalm 104:33-34
“I will sing to the LORD all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live. May my meditation be pleasing to Him, as I rejoice in the LORD.”
And the LORD can also be angry as we see in 2 Samuel 6:7
“The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.”
What about Jesus, the Son of God, the second Person of the Holy Trinity?
Did Jesus exhibit emotions?
In John 11:15a speaking of the death of Lazarus, Jesus says …
“For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.”
And then it says in John 11:35 (everyone’s favorite memory verse …)
We also see Jesus angry in Matthew 21:12
“Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves.”
Now, if the God the Father has varying emotions and Jesus the Son has varying emotions, isn’t it likely that the Holy Spirit, the Third Person of the Trinity also has varying emotions?
Isaiah 63:8-10 says,
“[The LORD] said, ‘Surely they are My people, children who will be true to Me’; and so He became their Savior.
“In all their distress He too was distressed, and the angel of His presence saved them. In His love and mercy He redeemed them; He lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
“Yet they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit. So He turned and became their enemy and He Himself fought against them.”
“Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
OK. So, based on the Holy Bible, from which we gain all spiritual truth, we have determined that the Lord God of Heaven and earth not only has emotions but exhibits them and acts on them as well.
Here in this passage we just read we can see that the honest offerings which Barnabas and other believers brought were simply accepted and used for the good of the body of believers.
They were sacrifices on their part but they did not expect any great “thanks” for it. The offerings were given to the Lord for use by the Lord’s people. The apostles did not remark about the offerings, they were just accepted and used for the good of the church.
Then we have Ananias (the LORD is gracious) and Sapphira (beautiful).
Ananias and Sapphira are part of the church in Jerusalem.
They are so well known to the church that Peter knows Ananias by sight and calls him by name. Peter also recognizes Sapphira as being the wife of Ananias.