Every previous post that I have done in this series, I have selected a passage from the chapter to focus on. This time I am not going to do that. Chapter 5 is a long chapter, and there is so much to learn. Please read the whole chapter, and then have a look at what I have below. I won’t cover everything here, I trust that you will learn so much by just reading the scripture.
Ahh, this old chestnut. Ananias and Sapphira. People have used this scripture to try and convince me that God still kills people. No he doesn’t. Where does it say that God kills them? In fact it says that satan had filled their hearts (verse 3). Satan is the one who kills, Jesus removed death’s sting, Jesus was against satan, not God. The other misconception about this passage is that they died because they didn’t give money. That is complete nonsense. In fact Peter said that the house was theirs to sell and the money theirs to give. The choice was theirs. So why did they die? Firstly, they lied to God. They said that they had given all of the money, when they hadn’t. If they had said that they were giving some of the money, I believe that they would have been fine. It was the lie, rather than the fact they they didn’t give, that got them into trouble. Does this mean that we will die if we lie to God? It means that if we let satan fill our hearts instead of God, we will be subject to his will rather than Gods. John 10:10 says that satan is here to steal and destroy, but Jesus came so that we could have abundant life. Who fills your heart? Whose will do you do with your actions? These are the questions that you should be asking yourself.
The next section (verses 12 to 16) contain some interesting points. People were scared to join them after the deaths of the two who lied to God. This is further evidence that it was the devil’s doing. God wants us to spread the gospel, if something comes against that, it isn’t God. The other interesting part is at the end of this section. EVERYONE who was ill or demonised (a better word for demon possessed in my opinion) was healed. Not some people who God selected, everyone. God wants EVERYONE well. Our actions, God’s power.
Once again the disciples get themselves into trouble with the council, and once again God comes through for them. He gets them out of prison when there was no physical way out. This again shows the faith of the disciples and the faithfulness of God. Even when we are in difficult situations, do we give up or do we continue to believe in (and speak of) God’s faithfulness? I am speaking to myself here too, I give up all too often. I am now making an effort not to do that. God is always faithful. I know that I am not doing this passage justice, go and read it and let it flood your heart. Imagine yourself in the position of the disciples, image yourself having the faith that they did. Then apply that faith to your current circumstances. See how God comes through for you!
Verse 38 & 39: “So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!” Very useful advice from Gamaliel. Let’s look at it from both sides. If someone is preaching something that is not from God, we don’t need to go and fight against it. Yes, we need to speak the truth, and that will mean disagreeing with someone at some stage, but we don’t need to focus on attacking people who we don’t agree with. The other side of this story is that we need to make sure that what we are doing, is what God wants us to be doing. If He is not in it, we won’t achieve what we can if He is in it. Listen to God, hear what He is calling you to do, and then do it with the faith that the disciples had. We have the same God, we have the same Spirit in us that raised Christ from the dead, and God is still just as faithful.