Acts 5 – Do You Fear God More Than You Fear People? with Aman Quadri

In Acts 5, the early church is known for its generosity, and as a result they are highly regarded by the people and persecuted by the religious authorities.

The people bring out their sick family members and friends to be healed by the disciples. Some claim even just having Peter’s shadow touch them led to their healing. Even more miraculous, every day new people experience spiritual healing by choosing to follow Jesus. Physical healing is temporary, but spiritual healing lasts eternally.

The religious leaders arrest the apostles, but miraculously an angel frees them from the jail so they go right back to the Temple courts sharing the message that Jesus is alive and that anyone who believes in him will be saved by turning away from their sin and old life and turning to him. 

In other words through repentance we are forgiven and enter into a personal relationship with God and we receive the presence of God within our lives in the Holy Spirit.

At one point, Peter and the other apostles tell the religious leaders: “We must obey God rather than human beings!” (‭‭Acts‬ ‭5‬:‭29‬ ‭NIV) 

In times of spiritual awakening and especially at the birth of the Church, miracles become commonplace and so does persecution.

It’s in this context that we can understand the tragic story of Ananias and Sapphira. The early church is not a communist society where everyone has to share their belongings with everyone else. Instead, followers of Jesus follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and they fear God more than they fear people. Ananias and Sapphira have this reversed. They lie to the apostles, the early church, and to God. As a result, they both die. 

Their sin was lying not in how much they gave. They feared men more than they feared God. 

Now the Bible tells us sin leads to death. Most of the time death comes as a natural result of living in a broken and fallen world. Since this is the early days of the church, much like a substitute teacher needs to establish ground rules at the beginning of the day to avoid things getting out of control, God allows their sin to lead to their death instantaneously. 

When reading this passage what stood out to you?

How do you sense God may want you to apply what you discovered?

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