But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,…
I. THE SIN GENERATING-POWER OF AVARICE. "The love of money is the root of all evil."
II. AN UNDUE ATTENTION TO PUBLIC SENTIMENT. Ananias and Sapphira, without any heart sympathy with the community of goods, professed to adopt it because it was popular. They wished to appear as good as others, and did outwardly that for which they had no real respect.
III. A SPIRITUAL CONNECTION WITH THE EVIL ONE. "He is a liar and the father of it."
IV. RELIGIOUS CONTRIBUTIONS REGARDED AS CRIME (ver. 4). There was no necessity for them to give it. God does not want our property except as it expresses our loving loyalty. Better far to hold money as a miser than to give it if the heart does not go with it. Gifts to pacify conscience or for display, or to get it back with interest, is an insult to Omniscience. Great contributions may be great sins.
V. A DELIBERATE ATTMEPT TO IMPOSE UPON GOD AND HIS CHURCH (ver. 9).
VI. A SOLEMN DISPLAY OF DIVINE DISPLEASURE. Conclusion:
1. Social benevolence is the law of Christianity.
2. The tendency to depravity is to counterfeit goodness.
3. Satan's influence is no palliation of man's crime.
4. Hypocrisy must one day be unmasked and punished.
(D. Thomas, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession,