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Summary: Many of us live in deliberate (secret) sin, but God knows our hearts and will act accordingly.

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Deliberate Dishonesty

Acts 5:1-11

11/15/02

Introduction

A. Does sin affect you? Do you believe that when you sin there will be repercussions for your sin?

1. Many of us have seen the repercussions for our sin.

a. People have been hurt – physically or emotionally.

b. We have been personally hurt – financially, socially, or through distancing ourselves from God.

2. Many times we don’t see the affect of our sin.

a. God’s mercy wipes it away.

3. But, more times then not, we fail to see the affect because the affect is small.

a. It is a secret sin or a white lie that no one finds out about.

b. It doesn’t have a sudden impact so we feel that either it wasn’t that bad of a sin or, on a subconscious level, we feel that we really didn’t do anything wrong.

c. If no one saw it then God will ignore it.

Illustration

As most of you know I have three kids and they all like to color. My oldest is imaginative – he likes to create his own designs and finds it hard to stay in the box. My second oldest is a stickler for detail and coloring inside the lines. My youngest could care less. Wherever his crayon lands that where he will color.

Although they are all different in their coloring they all have one thing in common. At one time or another, they found it amusing to write on the walls. Now I don’t know about your family, but in our house drawing on the walls is not a good thing. But for some unknown reason, even after they knew it was wrong, they went ahead and colored on the walls.

Why? Why, when they knew it was wrong, did they continue to draw on the walls? A number of reasons. One being that they were liitle kids. Another being that no one was their to stop them before they started. And still another being there was no immediate repercussions for their disobedience – it wasn’t until we saw the drawing that they were punished.

B. And for many of us these same reasons apply.

1. We continue or deliberately sin because:

a. We are immature in our faith (not knowing right from wrong)

b. No one is their to stop us (lack of accountability)

c. We don’t see any immediate affect of our sin.

C. There is a story in Acts that discusses this very thing – deliberate sin and the affect it can have. Lets read Acts 4:36-5:11 together.

Body

A. As I look at the sin of Ananias and Sapphira I become somewhat uncomfortable with the tough punishment God chooses to bestow on them.

1. The reason for that is, maybe, I don’t have the same passion for righteous living that God longs for me to have.

2. Another reason may be because I know, that if my Lord chooses, he can use me as an example just as he used Ananias and Sapphira.

3. And, yet, another reason is that it goes against many of the things I have been taught about an all-loving, all-forgiving God.

B. No matter how it makes me feel the truth of the story still stands. Because of Ananias and Sapphira’s sin they were struck dead.

C. Why? Why did this repercussion have to lead to death?

1. They were doing a good thing in giving a portion to the money to the church.

2. They didn’t have to do it. God should have been happy that they were giving something.

3. The amount they were giving was quite a bit more then what many others have given.

D. There are many reason’s why this happened to them. But the one I would like to pay attention to was the nature of their sin.

E. The one important fact we must take away from their sin was that it was deliberate!

1. They purposed in their heart beforehand to withhold some of the money while making it look like they were giving all away.

2. They deliberately were dishonest!

F. In scripture, deliberate sin is something that has been dealt with on a very serious level. Three examples will suffice.

1. The Curse of Cain. (Genesis 4)

a. He deliberately and purposefully killed his brother Able.

b. Because of his sin God placed Cain under a curse, made him a restless wanderer, and caused his labor to be fruitless.

c. He thought he could kill Able and get away with, but God knew what he was doing.

2. The Destruction of Man through the Flood. (Genesis 6-9)

a. Man’s heart was evil. That was all that was in their heart.

b. So God destroyed them saving only Noah and his family.

3. David and Bathsheeba. (2 Samuel 11-12)

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