Summary: 'A Disaster and a Healing' Acts chapter 5 verses 1-16 - sermon by Gordon Curley (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). A contrast worth noting (vs 1-2).

(2). A pair as bad as each other (vs 1-2).

(3). A charge of deceit and lying (vs :3-4,9).

(4). A warning they will never forget (vs 11).

(5). A ministry back on track (vs 12-16)



• One summer morning in the 1920s,

• A Scotsman named Arthur Ferguson was casually standing in London's Trafalgar Square.

• His eyes fixed upon some obviously wealthy American tourists,

• Who were admiring the statue of Admiral Lord Nelson and the column it rested on.

• Sudden Ferguson had an idea,

• And he put his remarkable selling ability to work,

• And "sold" Nelson's column to the American for about £6000!

• Realising he was onto a winner,

• Ferguson went on to sell the famous clock Big Ben taking a £1,000 down payment.

• He also took a £2,000 for a down payment from another American tourist,

• As a down payment on Buckingham Palace.

• By the time justice caught up with him,

• Ferguson had added the Eiffel Tower & the Statue of Liberty to the list of his amazing "sales"!

• He spent several years in prison for his remarkable deceptions.

• TRANSITION: Well, that story is quite amusing,

• And we can smile because none of us were his victims,

• It is true to say nobody likes being conned, ripped off,

• And if we do not like it,

• Then we should not be surprised to find that God also does not like it!

• We have been reminded in our songs of worship that the God of the Bible,

• Is a Holy God, he does not like lies and he does not like deceit and hypocrisy!

• But sadly, deceit and hypocrisy are found in todays Bible passage.

(1). A contrast to note (vs 1-2).

“Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet.”

• The N.I.V. begins verse 1 with the word ‘now.’

• Most other English translations prefer the word, ‘but.’

• Remember that chapter breaks, and verse numbers were only added for quick reference,

• They are not there in the original text,

• They were added for our convenience,

• So that we can quickly zoom in on a phrase or passage.

• So, verse 1 of this chapter is in many ways linked to chapter 4 verse 36-77.

“Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas…

sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.”


• This incident of Ananias and Sapphira is not an interruption in the flow of the book,

• Rather, it is an integral part of the narrative.

• Ananias, has just seen what Barnabas did and the way people reacted to his generosity,

• That he and his wife thought, “I want some of that recognition!”

• So they decide to do the same thing, that is sell a property.

• The big difference is,

• Their actions are motivated by a completely different spirit than that of Barnabas.

• Barnabas was moved by the Holy Spirit to do this act of selflessness,

• And for that he won much praise and favour from God and men,

• Ananias and Sapphira are moved by a different spirit, a spirit of selfishness,

• Their motivation is envy or jealousy or pride,

• A very different motivation to Barnabas.

Remember that the amount that they give is insignificant,

• The principle is always better to give a smaller amount from a genuine heart,

• Than to give a lot from a resentful or a deceitful heart.

• Or better still, to give generously from a genuine heart!

• The spirit behind the gift is as important as the gift itself.

• God allows every Christian to, ‘decide in his own heart’ what he or she should give.

• Quote: 2 Corinthians chapter 9 verse 7.

“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”


• It is encouraging to note that most of us will not be an apostle Peter or a John.

• We might not be able to perform miracles or preach great sermons,

• Or see hundreds or thousands coming to Christ.

• But each one of us can be a Barnabas, we can be encouragers,

• We can be ‘cheerful givers.’

• Or as one translation puts it, ‘one who gives gladly.’

(2). A pair as bad as each other (vs 1-2).

Copy Sermon to Clipboard with PRO Download Sermon with PRO
Browse All Media

Related Media

Bondage 2
Preaching Slide
Fall Of Man
Preaching Slide
Talk about it...

Nobody has commented yet. Be the first!

Join the discussion