Ananias and Sapphira
A Sermon on Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)
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 …
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 …
In Acts 5:1-11, Annanias and his wife Sapphira were udged 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.
- The sermon begins by establishing that the passage being discussed (Acts 5:1-11) is a factual historical account, not a parable.
- The honesty and truthfulness of the Bible is emphasized. It presents events truthfully, showing both the good and the bad.
- Ananias and Sapphira were not obligated to sell their land or give the proceeds to the church. Their actions were completely voluntary. However, they lied about the amount they donated.
- Ananias and Sapphira died as a result of their sin, not from shock or a pronouncement of judgment by Peter. Their deaths were an act of God.
- The passage shows that the early church was not just a human institution. Mysterious, unexplainable events occurred that demonstrated God's power.
- The primary message of the passage is that the unseen, spiritual realm is real and preeminent. The material world is temporary, but the spiritual is eternal.
- The modern world's biggest problem is that it has forgotten the spiritual realm. It relies only on what can be seen and measured scientifically.
- The Bible, in contrast, asserts the reality and primacy of the spiritual realm. The events of the Bible, like miracles, show the spiritual breaking into the material world.
- The story of Ananias and Sapphira in particular shows that God is intimately involved in the world and acts to judge sin.
- The passage also shows that there are spiritual beings, both good and evil, that influence the world. Satan filled Ananias' heart, leading him to sin.
- There is an ongoing battle between the forces of God and the forces of Satan. Christians are caught in the middle of this battle.
- The passage is a reminder that there will be a final judgment, where God will judge all people for their actions and hold them accountable.
- The message of the passage calls people to repent, turn from sin, and believe the gospel.
The Book of Acts
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.