Summary: The book of Acts was written to show what God can do with people who are filled with the Holy Spirit and what happens to those who try to deceive the Holy Spirit.
“Fly high” – Acts part 3
On the Lighter side of Life: Funny pictures of pets
Opening Video Illustration – Flying high for the kingdom of God – two real life stories of what it means to sacrifice for the kingdom and for others:
From Blue Fish TV – Illustrate Volume 3 : David and Cynthia and Dooney.
Thesis: The book of Acts was written to show what God can do with people who are filled with the Holy Spirit and what happens to those who try to deceive the Holy Spirit.
32All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but they shared everything they had. 33With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all. 34There were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need.
36Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), 37sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
1Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2With 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.
3Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied to men but to God.”
5When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him.
7About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?”
“Yes,” she said, “that is the price.”
9Peter said to her, “How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.”
10At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
In Acts 2 we heard Luke write that the church of Acts was so transformed after the Day of Pentecost and its outpouring of the Holy Spirit that they actually (The followers of Jesus who are filled with the Spirit) sold their possessions and gave the cash from them to those who were in need – Listen to Acts 2:44-45: “All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” As we progress on into chapter 4, 5 of the Book of Acts we see Luke sharing a few actual cases of one person doing it correctly and another case of it done incorrectly and the result.
As I sat and read this section of Scripture I was once again amazed at how changed and transformed these people were. Their possessions did not own them any more – they no longer lived for material things but instead they sold out 100% to God and God alone. Barnabas was a man who sold out for the Lord and gave up his possessions to serve the Lord. I also wondered what would happen if today a person was immediately held accountable for and attitude of sin and deception like Ananias and Sapphira.
3 people stand out in our Scripture Text - 1 Flew high in His relationship with the Lord this would be Barnabas and 2 others who were disciples in the Jerusalem church crashed and burned because of the sin of deception and lies.
Barnabas: He was a high flyer for the kingdom of God!
Holman Bible Dictionary states this about the Barnabas in Acts Barnabas was a Levite and native of the island of Cyprus, named Joseph (Joses), before the disciples called him Barnabas. He sold his property and gave the proceeds to the Jerusalem church (Acts 4:36-37). He introduced Saul of Tarsus to the Jerusalem church (9:26-27). The church chose Barnabas to go to Syrian Antioch to investigate the unrestricted preaching to the Gentiles there. He became the leader to the work and secured Saul as his assistant. They took famine relief to the Jerusalem church (11:19-30). On Paul’s “first missionary journey,” Barnabas at first seems to have been the leader (chs. 13-14). Paul and Barnabas were sent to Jerusalem to try to settle the questions of how Gentiles could be saved and how Jewish Christians could have fellowship with them (15:1-21). They agreed to go on another missionary journey but separated over whether to take John Mark with them again (15:36-41).