Acts 5

Following the church’s and Barnabas’ example (4:32-37), Ananias and Sapphira did outward acts that gave the appearance that what they did was the Spirit’s work in their hearts. That was a lie. They privately schemed, thinking no one would know the truth, financially and socially profiting while “helping the needy.” This public sin was publicly reproved, and their lie exposed.

“Solomon’s Porch” (v. 10) in the Temple was a large area perfect for public gatherings to learn about Jesus Christ. The circumstances surrounding the miracles of verses 15-16 simply demonstrate that God’s ability to show his power doesn’t depend on anything. The miracles showed that followers of Jesus and those who taught about him were not just another religious party—they were God’s people proclaiming God’s message.

Gamaliel’s counsel (vv. 35-39) was that movements die when their leaders die. The religious leaders’ attempts to squelch the preaching of Jesus failed entirely, despite imprisonment, threats, and physical beatings.

Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On

  1. Jesus takes his church seriously (vv. 1-11), and so must you. Jesus hates lying and hypocrisy, and he knows your actions and motivations. Discipline protects the church, promotes a healthy fear and holiness, and provides the needed atmosphere for Christians to grow and labor.
  2. The world hated Christ and the world still hates Christ. Note along this line John 15:18-21; Philippians 1:29; and 2 Timothy 3:12. Satan doesn’t have to send persecution to stop the spread of the gospel if its not spreading!
  3. Christ builds his church through holiness, faithfulness, and witnessing. Pursue holiness and be faithful when persecuted! Fill our area with the teaching about Jesus!