Jesus says that people are prone to worship God or money. In Acts 4 and 5, we see the difference between generosity and greed. Generosity is a sign of the Holy Spirit, true faith in Jesus, mission, great grace, and unity. Generosity is being a good steward of the money and possessions that God has given you to use for His glory. Greed is a sign of faith in self, it is demonic, and it is damnable. Are you generous or greedy? Do you view your time, talent, and treasure as an owner or as a steward?
Acts 4:31-5:11 31 And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. 32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. 7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things.
1. Was there anything from Sunday’s Sermon or the Big Idea that had an affect on you or was new? Did you hear anything that raised more questions in your mind?
2. What stands out to you in Acts 4:31-5:11 and why?
3. How does a steward look different than a presumed owner?
4. In what ways do you need to repent from using your time, talent, and treasure as an owner instead of a steward?
5. Spend some time praying for one another.
What happens to Ananias and Sapphira is meant to reveal to us the seriousness of sin and the seriousness of what awaits those who’s faith is not in Jesus. Do you get that the wages of sin is death? This is what we each deserve. Only when you understand the seriousness and deservedness of your sin will you be blown away by the free gift of God in the gospel! The wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life. The good news of the gospel is that in Jesus, God gives us the exact opposite of what we deserve. We deserve wrath, Jesus gives us forgiveness. We deserve death, Jesus gives us eternal life. We deserve to be alienated from God, Jesus gives us a reconciled relationship with God as our loving Father.
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- Pastor Brett’s Sermon Notes Acts 4 31-5 11 PDF
- Community Group Discussion 10.29-30.13 PDF