The church of Christ was growing rapidly, and a feeling of communion washed over believers in Jerusalem, leading each one among the flock to share in all things, including wealth. To further God’s kingdom, the Holy Spirit inspired those in Christ to sell their belongings and combine the money to provide for the church’s sustenance and growth.
“5 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.” (Acts 5:1-2)
Even though the early church featured a strong, unbreakable bond, there were hypocrites within the flock who’s motives were not entirely righteous.
The apostle Luke documents one instance when two church members, Ananias and his wife Sapphira, pretended to donate the entirety of their capital gain from the sale of a possession to the church, when in fact they were deceitful hypocrites.
“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.” (Acts 5:3-4)
Peter points out Ananias’ sin as having lied to God, and the Holy Spirit. His sin was not to have kept part of the proceeds he obtained through selling his possession, but lying about it.
“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.” (Acts 5:5-6)
God’s judgment for Ananias was swift and terminal, when He took the man’s life instantly after Peter exposed his lie, to the benefit of those present who witnessed the rebuke and death of Ananias.
“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.” (Acts 5:7-11)
To reinforce His mightiness among the church, God’s judgment was also instant and lethal when Ananias’ wife, Sapphira also fell dead after her lie was exposed by the apostle Peter. This manifestation of God’s presence was meant both as judgment, for both self-serving hypocrites, and also as a warning for believers within the church of Christ, that God, in His magnificence and omnipresence cannot be mocked or deceived.
In His word, the Lord promises to judge everyone according to his or her works. Ananias and Sapphira were used as examples of the fulfillment of this promise. Let’s pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre