Summary: This is a study in the book of acts sixth sermon in the series.
The Cleansing and growth of the Early Church
Acts # 06
I. The cleansing of the membership of the church. 5:1-12
A. The Sin of Ananias and Sapphira. 5:1-2
1. The circumstance of the sin 5:1.
NOTE: Was the sold property.
2. What was the sin?
NOTE: Kept back part of the money and said that what they gave was the full price they received.
QUESTION: Why did they do this?
There was no mandate that Christians had to sell everything and give it to the poor. They could have said that this was a portion of the price. But they choose to lie. Maybe they wanted the praise, such as Barnabas received. We do not know why but we do know that it involved money and most likely pride. The love of money caused this couple to sin. The love of money is the root of all evil.
B. The words of Peter concerning their sin. 5:3-4
1. How did Satan fill your heart? 5:3
2. You lied to the Holy Spirit5:3
3. The question concerning the ownership of the land. 5:4
a. You have kept some of the money back. 5:4
b. The land was yours to begin with.
c. The money was at your disposal.
NOTE: This land was their land they did not have to sell it. They did not have to give any thing to the Apostles at all. They chose to sell the land. They chose to give the money to the Apostles. They chose to say that they give the full price of the land. They could have said that they are giving a portion of the price. They did everything on their own accord.
When we sin it is from our own accord and doing. Satan will put out something to entice us but that something is something that we lust after any way.
4. The lie was to God. 5:4
C. The punishment for sin. 5:5-10
1. The death of Ananias 5:5
a. The fear of the people.
b. The burial of Ananias.
2. The death of Sapphira. 5:7-10
a. The question of Peter.
NOTE: This was her chance to repent.
b. The continued lie of Ananias. 5:8
c. The rebuke of Peter.
NOTE: This agreement to lie was a test of the Holy Spirit. I feel that Satan enticed this couple to sin to see what the reaction from the Holy Spirit would be.
d. Sapphira dies.
3. The fear of the church. 5:11
NOTE: This is the first time that the term church is used by the early believers. The term ekklesia means a group of people called out into an assembly. This term is used for the church in a local sense and also a universal sense.
Observation: Notice what happened to the ones that sinned, they died. Paul tells us the wages of sin is death. In this case the death was immediate. If God still did that today what would the church be like?
How come God does not do that today?
How come God did that to this couple?
I think that God at this time had to make sure that HIS people were pure. At this point of time in history there was no room for hypocrisy with in the church. God wanted to make sure that there was no fault in any of His children.
The reason that it does not happen today, I think is found in the parable of the wheat and the tares. That is a parable of the kingdom of God or the Kingdom of Heaven. There is going to be a time of Judgment and during that time God will let His Angels separate the true from the untrue. This will be a sign of the coming of the kingdom.