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Ananias

Source: A.D. The Bible / A.D. The Bible Continues

We should fear cheating God. We should fear being dishonest with each other. Last night A.D. The Bible Continues hit the topic of  hypocrites hard.

Scripture says in Acts 5:

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 just to human beings 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 some 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 conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! 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.

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.

 

This chilling account of the sudden deaths of Ananias (Hebrew meaning of his name is, “the Lord is gracious”) and Sapphira (Aramaic name meaning, “beautiful”) makes us face the fact that God deals with sin, especially church members’ deceit and lack of integrity. If God acts to preserve the integrity of the community that the gospel produced, we can have increased confidence in the truthfulness of the message itself (Lk 1:4). That’s the good news for the inquirer. This narrative is bad news, though, for any who would take a casual approach to entering the kingdom of God.A Man Who Was Good to His Family (Acts 5:1-6)

Living out their unity with the believers, Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold real estate (see Acts 5:3), brought and placed money at the apostles’ feet. This action paralleled Barnabas’s (Acts 4:37), with one significant difference. In collusion with his wife, Ananias kept back part of the money for himself. Literally, he embezzled from the sale price.  Peter exposes the fraud. He knows the truth, whether by hearsay, reading Ananias’s face or Spirit-empowered insight. By asking Ananias why Satan has filled his heart for the purpose of lying to the Holy Spirit and embezzlement, Peter exposes the spiritual battle that is raging. Ananias shows not simply a lack of honesty in bringing only a part of the sale price but also a lack of integrity–bringing only a part while pretending to bring the whole.

Sin blinds us to the true nature of the offense: that our sin is against God. Sin also blinds us so that we choose short-term gains in this life, heedless of the long-term loss in the next (Lk 9:24-25). For Ananias it was the possibility of being praised for his generosity while keeping a secure nest egg for his wife.God, the knower of all hearts, has assessed Ananias’s unrepentant heart and immediately judged him for his sin.

Will He judge you as harshly? Have you willingly mocked God? Have you willingly chosen sin, before grace? Christians must realize that the selfless, transparent fellowship of the church must never be violated by selfish hypocrisy.

Are you a Sunday Christian only?

Make sure to read:

A.D. The Bible Continues Brings Scary Results Of ‘Lying To God’ To Life was originally published on elev8.com

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