Courageous Faith – Acts 5:1-16
Categories: Pastor's Blog
This is a fascinating passage. Ananias and Sapphira, each individually, lie to the apostles about the sale of a field and money given to the church and the result was that they both die. Because they lied!
There are a few thoughts I would like to share as we read this passage together: It appears that they wanted to be considered part of a group of people that were selling houses and land to help others in the church. However, the selfish part of them wanted to hold some of that back and so they lied.
I want us to notice here that there was no requirement for them to sell the land or to give all of the proceeds to the apostles once the property had been sold. They had the freedom to choose. Their sin was pretending to be something other than they were, and lying to make themselves look better.
So the natural question you may ask is this: Is it the case that anyone who lies will be put to death by God? The answer to that is no, or there would be a lot less people alive on earth today. So why did they pay such a high price?
The most logical answer is this: This is a key moment in the history of God’s work with His people. God is trying to make a point about His call to holy living. We see this happen a couple of times in the Old Testament as well. God deals with sin harshly at key moments of transition to make the point that they need to live holy lives. While He always cares about holiness, the stakes are higher at certain moments. Here, a casual attitude towards honesty could have derailed the early church.
As for us, I think the message is clear: Don’t play games with God. Don’t try to make yourself look like something you are not. Speak the truth. Honor God with your life. Anything less than that is less than what God wants.