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Session 27

Sapphira

Read: Acts 4:32-5:11

The early Church was notorious, in the best sense, for loving sacrificially. “There were no needy persons among them” because Christians “shared everything they had”. They believed in Jesus and his teachings so much, that they sold their homes and property in order to share it with all the other believers.

Sapphira and her husband Ananias watched as individuals and families gave everything they had for the greater good of the people around them. In this climate of positive peer-pressure, Ananias and Sapphira decided to sell some property too. And in order to look good, they said they were giving it all to the church, but really, they kept a little for themselves for a rainy day.

Lying doesn’t pay. Ananias died on the spot when the Apostle Peter exposed what he had done. Three hours later, Sapphira died in the same place for being complicit in her husband’s sin. Their sin wasn’t keeping some money for themselves, but rather lying to the Holy Spirit. Being wealthy or poor isn’t a sin. Trying to deceive God is.

Sapphira submitted to her husband, as is right to do (Ephesians 5:22-24, Colossians 3:18), but she didn’t challenge him toward godliness. She was a partner, not in humility and service, but in lying and cheating.

Jesus himself told us that Satan is the author of lies, “for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies” (John 8:44b). Rather than imitate Satan, Christians are supposed to emulate God: “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God” (Ephesians 5:1, 2).

As believers and as women, imitating God means standing up for what is right while challenging our loved ones in humility and love. It also means sacrificing and serving others. Sapphira did not imitate God by being truthful.

1. Do you give in to peer-pressure, positive or negative? What are your motives for doing the right thing?

2. Do you believe doing what you say is important? Why or why not?


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