Summary: THIS PASSAGE BEFORE US TODAY IS THE FIRST INTERNAL ATTACK ON THE EARLY CHURCH. THIS ATTACK SHOULD MAKE THE CURRENT CHURCH REALIZE THE WE, AS THE BODY OF CHRIST ARE NOT IMMUNE TO SUCH ATTACKS, AND THAT WE MUST BE ON GUARD SO AS TO PREPARE FOR AND DO OUR B
THE FALLACY OF THE PERFECT CHURCH
The Peril of Deception
Acts 5:1-11 Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 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. 3 Then 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? 4 Didn'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." 5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then the young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 Peter asked her, "Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?" "Yes," she said, "that is the price." 9 Peter 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." 10 At 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. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
INTRODUCTION: THIS PASSAGE BEFORE US TODAY IS THE FIRST INTERNAL ATTACK ON THE EARLY CHURCH. THIS ATTACK SHOULD MAKE THE CURRENT CHURCH REALIZE THE WE, AS THE BODY OF CHRIST ARE NOT IMMUNE TO SUCH ATTACKS, AND THAT WE MUST BE ON GUARD SO AS TO PREPARE FOR AND DO OUR BEST TO PREVENT SIMILAR ACTIONS WITHIN OUR MIDST.
TRANSITION: GOD IS SERIOUS ABOUT HIS CHURCH
I. THE FIRST ATTACK ON THE FIRST CHURCH
a. AS OLD AS CREATION ITSELF – THE ISSUE IS DECEPTION
i. SATAN DECEIVED EVE REGARDING THE COMMANDS OF GOD AND HER RESPONSIBILITY
ii. SATAN DECEIVED EVE AS TO THE BENEFITS OF HER ACTIONS BUT NOT TO THE CONSEQUENCES
b. AS OLD AS THE SPIRITUAL CONFLICT BETWEEN GOD AND SATAN
i. SATAN DETERMINED TO BE LIKE THE MOST HIGH GOD
ii. SATAN WAS CAST OUT OF HEAVEN
iii. SATAN SEEKS TO THWART THE PLANS OF GOD AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY
THIS IS NOT THE FIRST TIME THAT ACTIONS OF BELIEVERS HAVE RESULTED IN SUCH POWERFUL CONSEQUENCES
NADAB AND ABIHU OFFERED STRANGE FIRE ON THE ALTAR AND WERE STRUCK DOWN.
UZAAH REACHED OUT AND TOUCH THE ARK OF THE COVENANT WHILE IT WAS BEING TRANSPORTED AND DIED AS A RESULT
NOW ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA ARE IN THE SAME POSITION
II. THE CULPRITS INVOLVED – ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA
a. WHAT THEY DECIDED AND DID
i. SOLD A PIECE OF PROPERTY
ii. DETERMINED TO DECEIVE THE DISCIPLES AS TO THE PRICE
iii. OFFERED PART, YET SAID IT WAS ALL
b. WHY THEY DID WHAT THEY DID
i. THEIR ACTIONS ARE IN CONTRAST TO THE ACTIONS OF BARNABAS IN THE PREVIOUS CHAPTER.
ii. WERE PROBABLY THERE WHEN IT HAPPENED.
iii. WANTED ATTENTION FOR THEMSELVES – BARNABAS WAS ELEVATED AND PRAISED
1. THE WORD “KEPT BACK” IS THE SAME WORD USED OF ACHAN WHEN HE KEPT SOME OF THE SPOIL HE WAS TOLD NOT TO TAKE IN JOSHUA 7
Joshua 7:21 When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath."
2. TO COVET SOMETHING IS TO DESIRE SOMETHING THAT IS NOT YOURS TO HAVE, AND OBTAINING IT WOULD BE WRONG
THE RIGHT OF OWNERSHIP:
THE PROPERTY WAS THEIRS. THEY COULD DO AS THEY PLEASED WITH IT.
IT WAS THEIRS BEFORE IT WAS SOLD AND AFTER IT WAS SOLD. THEY WERE IN COMPLETE CONTROL.
THEY CHOSE TO ACT DECEPTIVELY WITH WHAT WAS THEIRS TO DO WITH AS THEY PLEASED IN ORDER TO GAIN FAVOR, STATURE AND PRESTIGE IN THE CHURCH.
Luke 16:15 He said to them, "You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God's sight.
TODAY WE LIKE TO FIND EXCUSES AROUND US IN ORDER TO JUSTIFY OUR ACTIONS. WE NEED TO SEE THAT TO BLAME OUR SURROUNDING, OUR ENVIRONMENT, OR ANY OTHER EXTERNAL IS TO BLAME GOD FOR OUR TROUBLE!
III. THE SOURCE OF THE SIN – SATAN