Acts 5:7
About three hours later his wife also came in, unaware of what had happened.
A Fatal ForgetfulnessW. Clarkson Acts 5:1-10
A Broken VowJ. B. Converse.Acts 5:1-11
Ananias and SapphiraC. S. Robinson, D. D.Acts 5:1-11
Ananias and SapphiraJ. Parker, D. D.Acts 5:1-11
Ananias and SapphiraMonday Club SermonsActs 5:1-11
Ananias and SapphiraH. Thomson, D. D.Acts 5:1-11
Ananias and SapphiraW. G. Moorehead, D. D.Acts 5:1-11
Ananias and SapphiraD. Thomas, D. D.Acts 5:1-11
Ananias and SapphiraD. J. Burrell, D. D.Acts 5:1-11
Ananias and SapphiraG. C. Osgood.Acts 5:1-11
Ananias and SapphiraActs 5:1-11
Ananias and SapphiraT. De Witt Talmage.Acts 5:1-11
Ananias and Sapphira -- Lessons of the NarrativeJ. Dick, A. M.Acts 5:1-11
Dangers Within the Early ChurchJ. Thompson, A. M.Acts 5:1-11
Deception Exposed and PunishedActs 5:1-11
Fraudulent BenevolenceActs 5:1-11
Hypocrites Appear After RevivalsC. H. Spurgeon.Acts 5:1-11
Hypocrites in the ChurchActs 5:1-11
Privileged with the Gospel, But not Improved by ItActs 5:1-11
The Beacon -- AnaniasW. Arnot, D. D.Acts 5:1-11
The Divine Judgment on DuplicityW. H. Davison.Acts 5:1-11
The First SinDean Vaughan.Acts 5:1-11
The First Tare Among the WheatK. Gerok.Acts 5:1-11
The Hardship of HypocrisyH. W. Beecher.Acts 5:1-11
The Sin and the Doom of Ananias and SapphiraT. Binney.Acts 5:1-11
The Sin of Heart: Untruth and its PunishmentE. Johnson Acts 5:1-11
Death by the Visitation of GodC. S. Robinson, D. D.Acts 5:7-10
Helpers in Sin Must be Sharers in JudgmentR. Tuck Acts 5:7-10
Plain LanguageH. W. Beecher.Acts 5:7-10
The Perversion of the Marriage BondK. Gerok.Acts 5:7-10
The Sin in the Purpose More than in the ActActs 5:7-10
The Sin of Sapphira Greater than that of AnaniasRieger.Acts 5:7-10
Conspiracy Against GodR.A. Redford Acts 5:7-11
Acts 5:7-11 (or ver. 11)
While much in the previous paragraph repeated here, a new phase of sin presented. It was distinctly on the ground of deliberate agreement to tempt the Spirit of the Lord that Sapphira's death was added to that of her husband.

I. The intimate connection of the proclamation of gospel truth and mercy with THE RENOVATION OF HUMAN SOCIETY.

1. Family life, domestic intimacy, the root of public life. We must choose all our relations with the light of God in Christ.

2. The conspiracy of Ananias and Sapphira was a blow at the work of the Spirit in raising up a new spiritual life on the basis of self-sacrifice and absolute truthfulness.

3. The awful judgment was a proclamation of mercy - Come and hide under this Divine power and be safe.

II. A marvelous display of THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY poured out on the apostles. The words of Peter an example:

1. Of the Spirit of truth and grace in him; he proceeded with the utmost care, publicity, tenderness, pity. The wife had the opportunity of repentance, while the appeal was made, not on the ground of terror, for she knew nothing, but on the ground of simple truth - Tell me the truth.

2. Of the spirit of discernment and, in the Name of the Lord, of prediction. Had not Peter under supernatural impulse foreseen the death of the woman, he would not have dared to utter such words. As it was, it was a responsibility which none but an inspired man would have assumed. Such a fact speaks volumes on the supernatural state of the Church at that time.

III. A GRACIOUS APPLICATION of extraordinary facts.

1. To the Church itself. The solemnization of fellowship. God thus said," Take heed how you join my people." The ethical set in the light of the spiritual. "Be ye holy." The sins of falsehood, presumption, avarice, self-confidence, set forth. The Divine kingdom clearly revealed. If God is so near, and yet to all who trust in Christ near to bless, how glorious this time! What is he not doing? and how little need we fear the world's opposition when he can strike dead our enemies? "Stand still and see the salvation." Compare the Israelites looking back on Pharaoh's host and forward to the promised land.

2. To the world. "All that heard these things." Such facts preached, loudly and widely, where the preacher's voice did not reach. We must remember that grace and providence go hand-in-hand. Fallow ground broken up by the ploughshare of terrible events and warning dispensations. "Judgment begins at the house of God; what shall the end be," etc.? Yet the "fear was a fear mingled with the light of hope;" for these deaths pointed to the way of life. The Church was the more conspicuously revealed as a refuge opened by God for all. So in the terrible times of human history religion has gone forth with special power. What message has philosophy at such times? Where are the rationalists and the doubters in the great crises of the world? Press home the facts upon those who tempt the Spirit of the Lord by untruthfulness, rebellion, indifference, worldliness. - R.

It was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in.
I think that one of the master incantations, one of the most signal deceits, which we practise upon ourselves, comes from the use of language. There are words that we learn in childhood which we abandon when we come to manhood. Generally speaking, our fireside words are old Saxon words — short, knotty, tough, and imbued with moral and affectional meanings; but as we grow older these words are too rude and plain for our use, and so we get Latin terms and periphrases by which to express many of our thoughts. When we talk about ourselves we almost invariably use Latin words, and when we talk about our neighbours we use Saxon words. And one of the best things a man can do, I think, is to examine himself in the Saxon tongue. If a man tells that which is contrary to the truth let him not say, "I equivocate"; let him say, "I lie." Lie! why, it brings the judgment day right home to a man's thought. Men do not like it, but it is exactly the thing that will most effectually touch the moral sense; and the more the moral sense is touched the better. If a man has departed from rectitude in his dealings with another, let him not say, "I took advantage," which is a roundabout long sentence: let him say, "I cheated." That is a very direct word. It springs straight to the conscience, as the arrow flies whizzing from the bow to the centre of the mark. Does it grate harshly on your ear? Nevertheless, it is better that you should employ it; and you should come to this determination: "I will call things that I detect in my conduct by those clear-faced, rough-tongued words that my enemies would use if they wanted to sting me to the quick."

(H. W. Beecher.)

It is said by sceptics that St. Peter's question to Sapphira, "Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much?" was a temptation to the sin of falsehood; but it is plain, from the story in the fifth chapter of the Acts, that Sapphira had committed herself to a fraudulent undertaking. The sin had been already committed when she adopted her sinful purpose. Peter's question was only to make the secret purpose known. It is an abuse of language to speak of tempting one to do what he has committed himself to do, We do not tempt a shopkeeper when we propose to buy what he wishes to sell. No more did Peter tempt Sapphira to become a liar. She was a liar before his question, quite as much as after her answer. The ethical principle is that it is the purpose, not the act, which constitutes the essential sin.

1. She had longer time for consideration.

2. Peter, by a yet more pointed question, gave her a much better opportunity for reflection, and for giving glory to God.

3. She answered still more shamelessly.

4. And is, therefore, obliged to listen more fully to her sentence, and to hear what has happened to her husband.


In families where marriage is nothing more than —

1. A fellowship of goods and a business transaction to become rich instead of a union of hearts in the Lord; or,

2. A union to the service of the world, the flesh, and the devil, instead of a pious resolution. "I and my house will serve the Lord." And,

3. A walking together to hell, it may be to a hell on earth, or to eternal perdition, instead of the married pair being helpers of one another's joys and blessedness, and striving how the one might bring the other to heaven. "How is it that ye have agreed together?" — a serious question to every married pair.

(K. Gerok.)

Then she fell down straightway at his feet and gave up the ghost.
It would not be difficult to find some instances of direct and swift punishment even in modern times. In the old town of Devizes the tourist is led up to see an interesting inscription in the public market-place. It reads thus: "The mayor and corporation of Devizes avail themselves of the stability of this building to transmit to future times the record of an awful event which occurred in this market-place in the year 1753; hoping that such a record may serve as a salutary warning against the danger of impiously invoking the Divine vengeance, or of calling on the holy name of God to conceal the devices of falsehood and fraud. On Thursday, the 25th of January, 1753, Ruth Pierce, of Pottera, in this county, agreed with three other women to buy a sack of wheat in the market, each paying her due proportion towards the same. One of these women, in collecting the several quotas of money, discovered a deficiency, and demanded of Ruth Pierce the sum which was wanting to make good the amount. Ruth Pierce protested that she had paid her share, and said she wished she might drop down dead if she had not. She rashly repeated this awful wish, when, to the consternation of the surrounding multitude, she instantly fell down and expired, having the money concealed in her hand."

(C. S. Robinson, D. D.)

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