Ananias and Sapphira

Study Guide

The early church faces both corruption from within and opposition from without. However, God uses both of these challenges to build and purify his church, making a people for himself who are growing in holiness, caring well for one another, and advancing his kingdom.
  1. In this passage, many believers sell their assets and give the proceeds to provide for others in the church body. How are you engaging the needs of the church? In what ways can you give of your time, resources, and talents to build up those in need?

  2. Ananias and Sapphira lie because they fear the opinions of those around them. How have you struggled with the fear of man in the past? What steps do you need to take to gain freedom from this sin?

  3. God sacrificed his only Son to make a people for himself. Have you ever considered the fact that Jesus’ suffering made it possible for us to gather with other believers? How should this truth influence the way you view the local church?

  4. When the apostles encounter opposition, they do not seek to “win” the day. Instead, they use the opportunity to explain who Jesus is and how he is using them. Have you ever encountered opposition to your beliefs? What was that like?

Key Points
  • As God builds his church, a pattern emerges—God gives miraculous signs, the apostles interpret their meaning, and many people repent and believe the gospel.

  • In the early church, many are generous to provide for those in need. We also should be sure that there are no needy among us. Caring for one another well is a mark of the Holy Spirit within us.

  • Driven by the fear of man, Ananias and Sapphira lie about their gift to the church. In doing so, they ultimately lie to the Holy Spirit. This should prompt us to fear God rather than man.

  • God will not tolerate corruption in his church. To guard against corruption, we must practice the discipline of confession.

  • When the apostles are persecuted and have the opportunity to incite the crowds against the Jewish leadership, they choose not to. Instead, they continue with their mission to spread truth about who God is and what he has done through Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection.

Scripture: Acts 4:32-5:11