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Summary: When we sin we often think no one sees or hears. The Bible reminds us, however, that nothing is hidden and nothing is done is secret with God.

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WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Ananias

“THE MAN WHO TRIED TO DECIEVE GOD”

Acts 5:1-11

1 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession.

2 And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet.

3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?

4 While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God."

5 Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things.

6 And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.

7 Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.

8 And Peter answered her, "Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?"

She said, "Yes, for so much."

9 Then Peter said to her, "How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."

10 Then immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. And the young men came in and found her dead, and carrying her out, buried her by her husband.

11 So great fear came upon all the church and upon all who heard these things.

Deception is a bad thing. Most of us would agree with that. In fact, deception is covered by one of the big ten in the Ten Commandments.

“Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness”

While trying to deceive each other is bad enough, attempting to deceive God puts us in a whole new category of offenders. When Ananias lied and attempted to deceive the church Peter reminded him that he was actually trying to deceive God.

Lying about our relationship with God or altering the truth about something we’ve supposedly done for God is, according to Peter, an attempt to deceive God.

What can we learn from Ananias’ deception?

ARE YOU TALKING TO ME

A four-year-old boy was eating an apple in the back seat of the car, when he asked, "Daddy, why is my apple turning brown?"

"Because," his dad explained, "after you ate the skin off, the meat of the apple came into contact with the air, causing it to oxidize, thus changing the molecular structure and turning it brown."

There was a long silence. Then the son asked softly, "Daddy, are you talking to me?"

1. ANANIAS’ DECEPTION BEGAN WITH THE DEVIL (v. 3):

3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself?

The guilt of all sin is laid at the feet of the one doing the sinning; we are free moral agents who make our own decisions. However, that doesn’t mean someone isn’t pushing us to do wrong just as the Holy Spirit nudges us in God’s direction.

When we attempt to deceive and deliberately engage in sin we are merely following the same path as the one taken by our enemy. Jesus declared that He was a liar from the beginning and that those who deceive others are in league with him.


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