This is a sermon by Melvin Tinker from 8th November 2020.
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V33a underscores the importance of Gospel integrity- what is practiced gives credence to what is proclaimed. The resurrection life of the church community somehow feeds the proclamation of the Gospel of the resurrection by the apostles.
The Gospel of generosity speaks powerfully into our situation today. To be a Gospel community of ‘one heart and one mind’ is a great aspiration under God!
There will be outstanding individuals of grace we are to emulate e.g. Joseph – the ‘son of a preacherman!’- Barnabas. He acts as a foil for what comes next:
Greed is not the issue- jealousy and pride are.
This was not a momentary moral lapse but a considered plan to embezzle God (‘hold back’)! Vv 2-4. An echo of the Fall in Eden.
The warning: it is possible for a believer and to throw away the integrity of our faith for the sake of a false reputation. This is the desire for a reputation without the reality (self-sacrifice). There is fake faith as well as fake news- presenting a falsehood to others. There are consequences:
V11- this God is not to be trifled with, little wonder that responses to evangelism took a hit!
Although this was a striking example of divine discipline in the church, it was not unique - 1 Corinthians 11:29ff, some of the believers had been struck down with illness and had even died because they were not behaving properly at Holy Communion! The reason why this episode is recorded is that nothing less than the life and future of the church is at stake!
At the end of chapter 4 Luke links the purity of the church with the progress of the Gospel. However, supposing Ananias and Sapphira had been allowed to get away with their cheating (at this early stage no one else knew about it except God), then what would happen to such progress?
Drastic steps are sometimes necessary to remedy a drastic situation. God will do what is right and best for his glory and his people.
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