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Christian Life Church

August 14, 2022 8:30am & 10:00am

August 14, 2022 8:30am & 10:00am

#22 Matters of the Heart

Locations & Times

Christian Life Church Columbia

2700 Bush River Rd, Columbia, SC 29210, USA

Sunday 8:00 AM

Matters Along the Way-Aware of Satanic Plans
#22 Matters of the Heart 8.14.22

Acts 5:1-11 NIV 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.

Central Truth: “There is never a right way to do a wrong thing.”

Abraham Lincoln: “How many legs does a dog have if you call his tail a leg?

I. Background

A. The Day of Pentecost (Acts 2)

1. Historically, Pentecost (Shavuot) is a Jewish feast celebrating the giving of the Torah and the summer wheat harvest. It was celebrated 50 days after Passover and was marked by pilgrims coming to Jerusalem from all over the world to celebrate the event.

2. Jerusalem’s population is reported by some to be as few as 100,000 and as many as 600,000. There would have been potentially hundreds of thousands of visitors during some of the major feasts.

3. Acts 4:32-37 All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had. 33 With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all 34 that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales 35 and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. 36 Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), 37 sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
II. The Story

A. An evil motivation - greed for money and greed for honor are often linked together.

B. The plan:

1. To give as people like Barnabas had done.

2. To create a narrative that falsely enlarged both their gift and their prominence within the family.

C. The problem:

1. The word of The Holy Spirit to Peter

2. Confirmation of the facts

3. Explanation of the sin

a) The problem was not that Ananias and Sapphira kept back part of the price. Not only were they not required to give the full price — they weren’t required to sell the land at all, nor were they required to give anything at all.

b) The problem was that they lied in order to create a false narrative.

c) The purpose in their gift was not to honor the Lord or to bless the congregation. The goal, very simply, was to elevate their standing in the community. “The church is lucky to have us as part of the family.”

d) Why such severity?

(1) Some say it was typical of the early days of every move of God. (consider Uzzah, Achan)

(2) Some say modern readers are missing something because Peter said, “You have not lied unto men, but unto God.” Isn’t every lie “unto man and God?”

(3) In the Life Lessons we will discover what I believe is at the heart of this particular sin.

Christian Life Lessons

A. Live and give within the boundaries of God’s grace that has been extended toward us individually and corporately.
1. Don’t expect too much of yourself or of others.

2. Guard against (1) unrealistic exceptions, (2) the assignment of intent, or (3) criticism of others.

3. Live the balance of gifts and graces. (consider Hannah and Peninnah)

B. Understand that carnal thinking and reasoning is never in line with the Spirit-Filled way of living.

1. Peter: “What made you think of doing such a thing?”

2. “Too much change from a bank teller: “I thought God wanted me to have it.”

3. A relationship that turns into adultery: “Well, God could have stopped me if I was wrong.”

C. Respond quickly and thoroughly to the move of The Holy Spirit.

1. It is one thing to lie to a human being. We may do that out of dishonesty, or fear — or even out of ignorance and misinformation. It is another thing for us to lie (DENY) when our deception or evil heart to be exposed and challenged by The Holy Spirit. To resist the Holy Spirit in this way (as the leaders of Israel did when Stephen preached) is to invite the most severe of judgments.

2. The hardened heart of Pharaoh

3. Even Achan may have received a mercy of sorts.

4. Gehazi seemed to have lost his destiny.

5. Right responses:

a) David before Nathan

b) Simon the Sorcerer in Acts 8

D. Learn that it is better to be in the hands of God than in any other consequence when I have done wrong.

1. It is a terrible thing to fall into the hands of an angry God.

2. It is a gracious thing to place ourselves in His hands for chastisement.

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