I am excited to offer you a video Bible study of the Book of Acts, and I invite you to watch the video of “Being the Church” on Youtube OR Vimeo . . . for Vimeo, see the link in the Blogroll in the right column on my blog screen. Just as with my sermons, I’ll post notes to accompany each Bible study video.
Review of the study thus far
— Jesus’ briefing on the Holy Spirit in John 14-17
— The promise for which they were to wait
— Fulfilled in Acts 2
— Peter’s sermon, boldly speaking their sin and Christ’s resurrection, and 3,000 come to Christ
— The beggar born lame is healed, Peter speaks again of Christ’s resurrection and their sin, and 5,000 come to Christ
— Peter, John and the beggar are brought before the Sanhedrin
— Do not speak this name or do anything in this name
— Should we obey God or you? You be the judge!
—We cannot stop speaking of what we have seen and heard
— The bond-servants of the Lord ask for greater boldness to speak,
and God answers their prayer!
Now, Session 10 — Acts 4:32-5:16
Verse 32 — The congregation is of one heart and soul. Again, Philippians 2:2 and 5, 1Cor 2:16, John 17:23. and 2Peter 1:4. They share what they have, and look at all property as being commonly owned.
Verse 33 — With great dunamis the apostles give testimony to Christ’s resurrection. Abundant (exceedingly great) grace was upon them — the divine influence on the heart and the reflection in the life.
Verses 34-35 — No needy ones AMONG them. If land owned, or more than one house, they sold them and laid the proceeds at the apostles’ feet, to be distributed as needed.
Now the contrast . . .
The obedient one —
Verses 36-37 — Joseph/Barnabas (Son of Encouragement), owned a tract of land, sold it, laid the proceeds at the apostles’ feet. Motive: God’s love in his purified heart — the source of all desire to obey God (Acts 15:9, Romans 5:5). This man is filled with the Holy Spirit!
The disobedient ones —
Verses 1-2 — Ananias, with Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with her full knowledge. He brought a portion, not the whole proceeds, though he claimed that was all of it (we will see it in Verse 8). Kept back some, swindled the church, was a thief. Motive: Greed.
These do not have pure hearts, they show they do not love God because they willfully disobey God by lying. They are not filled! Their own actions judge them.
Verse 3 — The Holy Spirit speaks from Peter! Satan has filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit (James 1:14ff). It is a heart issue. Peter knows, by the Holy Spirit, that Ananias has not given him the full amount.
Verse 4 — Ananias owned the land, and when he sold it, it was according to his desire and authority. Why has he conceived this deed in his heart. Again, the Holy Spirit points out Ananias’ heart problem. YOU HAVE NOT LIED TO MEN, BUT GOD!
Verse 5 — Ananias fell down dead. Did he go to heaven? 1Cor 6:9 says no! He sinned! The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23), whether you are a church member or not.
And everyone is in fear — of God’s power and retribution toward those who lie to Him!
Verses 6-7 — Some of the young men carry Ananias out and bury him. Three hours go by. Sapphira comes in, not knowing what has happened.
Verse 8 — Peter asks her — was this the price? Oh, yes, she says. She swindles, she is a thief, she is full of greed, just as Ananias was.
Verse 9 — The Holy Spirit speaks from Peter again! You have agreed together to put the Spirit of God to the test! The young men are on the way back, and you are next!
Verse 10 — Immediately she died. The young men carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Did she go to heaven? No — she also sinned!
Verse 11 — Great fear comes over them ALL — again, fear of God’s power and retribution toward those who lie to Him.