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Ananias and Sapphira

Collection:
Book of Acts

A Sermon on Acts 5:1-11

Ananias and Sapphira

But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife’s knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles’ feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him.

After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things. (ESV)

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In Acts 5:1-11, Ananias and his wife Sapphira were judged by God for lying to the Holy Spirit. This episode reveals that God is active and rules in this world. As Creator, He has the right and the power to do as He wills with His creation. In this sermon on Ananias and Sapphira, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expounds on Acts 5 and shows that while many modern men hate the idea of a supernatural spiritual realm, the Bible reveals the existence of angels, demons, and the devil. This is a part of the world we live in and the Bible clearly teaches this from beginning to end. But God is sovereign over all of it, both the spiritual and the material aspects of reality. We must not shy away for what Scripture teaches regarding the existence of the spiritual realm. The church must be active in its opposition to evil in all its forms and ways. There is a war between God and Satan, between good and evil, and between light and darkness. This is a cosmic war that takes place amongst us but we have hope in the power of God and his gospel. In the gospel, Jesus triumphs over all sin and evil, and through his Spirit we have the power to fight against all evil and darkness in this world.


Additional Scripture Translations

Acts 5:1-11, New American Standard Bible

Fate of Ananias and Sapphira

1But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2and kept back some of the proceeds for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back some of the proceeds of the land? 4While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control? Why is it that you have conceived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to men, but to God.” 5And as he heard these words, Ananias collapsed and died; and great fear came over all who heard about it. 6The young men got up and covered him up, and after carrying him out, they buried him.

7Now an interval of about three hours elapsed, and his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8And Peter responded to her, “Tell me whether you sold the land for this price?” And she said, “Yes, for that price.” 9Then Peter said to her, “Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.10And immediately she collapsed at his feet and died; and the young men came in and found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard about these things.

Acts 5:1-11, King James Version

1But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, 2And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles’ feet. 3But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? 4Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. 5And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. 6And the young men arose, wound him up, and carried him out, and buried him. 7And it was about the space of three hours after, when his wife, not knowing what was done, came in. 8And Peter answered unto her, Tell me whether ye sold the land for so much? And she said, Yea, for so much. 9Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out. 10Then fell she down straightway at his feet, and yielded up the ghost: and the young men came in, and found her dead, and, carrying her forth, buried her by her husband. 11And great fear came upon all the church, and upon as many as heard these things.


About Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.