Acts 4:32-5:5 “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things.”
Text Acts 4:34-35 & 5:1 “for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles’ feet . . . But a certain man named Ananias.”
Jerusalem is aflame with spiritual excitement as the “Infant Church” begins to take its first steps; steps that result in progress and problems. Within our text I want emphasize four thoughts associated with one such problem.
The first thing that I notice is a fruitful practice; “and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need.” The unifying Spirit of God has moved upon the body of Christ causing them to look upon the needs of others. The practice of giving has declared their discipleship and devotion (see John 13:35 & I John 3:17). The Word describes this harmonious state as having “one heart and of one soul.” The second thing we notice is a false profession; “sold a possession, And kept back part of the price.” In an effort to keep up a religious front and gain the praise of men, this couple lied about what they got and what they gave. Paul said, “thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.” Thirdly, we see a fatal punishment, “Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost.” I’m afraid that we have so whitewashed the penalty for sin that we no longer take God seriously. Paul makes it very clear in Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death.” The final thing is a fearful principle; “And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.” Please note that what had transpires got the attention of saved and lost, alike! It became clear that sin could not be hid from God and God would not overlook that sin; even if it was in His child.
The Church was enjoying the delightful spiritual state of unity and blessing; they “were of one heart and of one soul.” They enjoyed; the filling of the Spirit, the forcefulness of the Scripture, and the faithfulness of the saints; until the discovery of the fatal exception! Are you the fatal exception?