Monday, September 18th, 2017

Today's passage is one of the challenging accounts in Acts.  As you read here are a couple of things to keep in mind.  First, 1st century cultural was communal where ours is individualistic.  To this end a consequence (severe or not) for an individual isn't understood to be a violation of the individual but rather a warning to the collective.  Second, in the case of A and S we discover that they not only sinned but they then lied about their sin- they allowed their sin to fester.  We know that all sin taken to its natural conclusion leads to death (James 1.15).  To this end what we find in this passage is an extreme case of how seriously God takes our sin and sin that we intentionally cover up.   I hope and pray you are adequately challenged by this passage and that as a church we continue to confess and live transparently. 

grace + peace,  Joey  

(Take time to write down responses to these questions or discuss in your group)
_ Have you ever deceived anyone?  Have you ever lied after you deceived someone? 

Take some time to thank and praise God for who He is, to pray for those you are walking with, for the needs you/group are facing, and for the Spirit to open your heart and eyes as you read the passage, which has been completely inspired by God. Thank God that He has purposed our lives to be witnesses to His Gospel.

DISCOVER  [Acts 5:1-11]
+ WHAT is this passage saying and what do we learn? (Use these questions below each portion of text to clarify the main point)

Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 2 With his wife’s full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself, but brought the rest and put it at the apostles’ feet. 3 Then Peter said, “Ananias, how is it that Satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land? 4 Didn’t it belong to you before it was sold? And after it was sold, wasn’t the money at your disposal? What made you think of doing such a thing? You have not lied just to human beings but to God.”  5 When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died. And great fear seized all who heard what had happened. 6 Then some young men came forward, wrapped up his body, and carried him out and buried him. 7 About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.8 Peter asked her, “Tell me, is this the price you and Ananias got for the land?” “Yes,” she said, “that is the price.” 9 Peter said to her, “How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.” 10 At that moment she fell down at his feet and died. Then the young men came in and, finding her dead, carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 Great fear seized the whole church and all who heard about these events.
_ In vs. 1-2 what do we find Ananias and Sapphira doing? 
_ In vs. 3-4 what does  Peter say to Ananias and how would describe what they did?
_ In vs. 5-10 what was the result of their unwillingness to be transparent about their sin?
_ In vs. 11 what was the purpose of their tragic story? 

+ HOW am I compelled to confess sin and how does the gospel compel me to respond with a simple step of action/obedience?  (Here are some thoughts to discuss in break-outs)
_ Do you take your sin seriously? 
_ Are there any areas of your life where you are being deceitful or lying?
_ Do you need to confess or share the ways you have been deceitful with anyone?  

+ WHO are you walking with to discover or grow in Jesus, what is your next step with them and how can we help?