Posts Tagged ‘Ananias and Sapphira’


February 11, 2016

If we believe that the Spirit of God enters into our hearts at salvation, then surely we recognize that our lives should change.

I.   Holiness Under the Law:

A.  Leviticus 10:1-3

Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying:

‘By those who come near Me
I must be regarded as holy;
And before all the people
I must be glorified.’”

So Aaron held his peace.

One of the duties of the priests was to offer incense at the appointed times.  Nadab and Abihu did not follow the directions that God had given to them.  The penalty for not following the law was instant death.

It seems harsh.  It was harsh.

God did not routinely strike dead everyone who broke His commands.  This happened when the law was first established to make a point.  Disobedience brings death.  We get the point. God is serious about His commands.

    B.  Leviticus 11:45

For I am the Lord who brings you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God. You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.

As the people of God, Israel was called to be holy.  This meant to follow the commandments that God had given to them.  They were to be different from the other people, because they were to be the people of God.

II.  Holiness in the New Testament

    A.  Acts 5: 1-11

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. 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. 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? 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.”

Then Ananias, hearing these words, fell down and breathed his last. So great fear came upon all those who heard these things. And the young men arose and wrapped him up, carried him out, and buried him.

Now it was about three hours later when his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter answered her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much?”

She said, “Yes, for so much.”

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.

As God is establishing the New Covenant, it is again necessary to make a point.  Sin is still wrong.  Ananias and Sapphira were guilty of lying.  They wanted to look better than they actually were.  Today, we call people like them hypocrites.  There are quite a few of them.  They are not all struck dead.  At the beginning of this New Covenant, which is based on grace, faith, love and forgiveness, God wanted to express that sin and disobedience were still wrong, that it was still serious.

B.  Romans 6:1-2

What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

We are supposed to be dead to sin.  We now have the Spirit of God.  We are meant to be changed by the presence of God’s Spirit in our lives.

C.  *Hebrews 12:14

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord:

We are to pursue holiness.  Thankfully, we are not saved by being holy, but because we are saved we should become holy.  It is a lifelong process. We will grow in holiness, but we will not achieve perfection in this life.  The law demanded perfection.  That was unattainable.  We are saved by grace, through faith, for good works. (see Ephesian 2:8-10)  We do not do good works in order to be saved.  We do good works because we are saved.

III.  Holiness

A.  Holiness begins in our hearts with our faith in Jesus.  We are to love God and to love our neighbor.

B.  If we love God and our neighbor, our lives will be changed.  Our actions will reflect the attitude of our hearts.

C.  Our words will reflect the change that has taken place.  We will bring honor to God through what we do, and what we say.  Not just in the easy times, but at all times.

God still takes holiness seriously.  Thankfully, we are not expected to be perfect, but we are expected to change, to become more like Christ, to grow in holiness.

These are the sermon notes from 12/27/15.  Any advertisements that might appear are placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them. 

* This is the memory verse for this week.