But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,…
I. THE CHARACTER OF ANANIAS AND SAPPHIRA.
1. Like ourselves, they belonged to a nation greatly blessed by God.
2. Like us, the heirs of religious memories and influences.
3. Like all of us, believers in the doctrines of Christianity; not infidels.
4. Like many of us, Church members — members of the Jerusalem, pentecostal Church — the Church of James, Barnabas, and Philip, noted for its orthodoxy, faith, and good works.
5. Like many of us, they did not go to the prayer meeting (compare Acts 4:31 with Acts 5:3). They missed the blessing and exposed themselves to temptation.
6. Like most of us, probably neither very rich nor very poor (Agur's prayer).
7. A harmonious couple (Acts 5:9).
(1) Are you helping your husband or wife to heaven or hell?
(2) Marry only in the Lord.
8. On the whole they were very reputable and highly-esteemed disciples.
II. THEIR TEMPTATION.
1. Temptation common to all. Its uses.
2. The particular temptation — a desire to gain popularity without losing their property.
III. Their sin.
1. Lying without speaking; giving a part of the worship of God for the whole.
2. Its essence a broken vow, aggravated by —
(2) Irreverence. The guilt of our broken vows aggravated by —
(3) Greater light, and —
(4) Greater mercies.
IV. THEIR PUNISHMENT.
1. Sudden death a mercy to those prepared.
2. A blessing to Ananias and Sapphira, because it saved them from a long life of lying and hypocrisy.
3. Why, then, were they slain? Not because their guilt was greater, but —
4. As an example to us: like Nadab and Abihu (Leviticus 10:1-3), and Uzzah (2 Samuel 6.l-9).APPLICATION. Our broken vows.
1. Unpaid subscriptions.
2. As Church officers.
3. As Church members.
4. At baptism.
5. At the Communion table.
6. To dying friends.
7. In sickness.
(J. B. Converse.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,