Chapter CONTEXT from Matthew Henry Complete Commentary: In this chapter we have, I. The sin and punishment of Ananias and Sapphira, who, for lying to the Holy Ghost, were struck dead at the word of Peter (v. 1-11). II. The flourishing state of the church, in the power that went along with the preaching of the gospel (v. 12-16). III. The imprisonment of the apostles, and their miraculous discharge out of prison, with fresh orders to go on to preach the gospel, which they did, to the great vexation of their persecutors (v. 17-26). IV. Their arraignment before the great Sanhedrin, and their justification of themselves in what they did (v. 27-33). V. Gamaliel’s counsel concerning them, that they should not persecute them, but let them alone, and see what would come of it, and their concurrence, for the present, with this advice, in the dismission of the apostles’ cheerful progress in their work notwithstanding the prohibition laid upon them and the indignity done them (v. 41, 42).
Back in 2019, I wrote a series of Devotionals about the Role of the Holy Spirit. If you would like to read them (14 parts) please type “The Holy Spirit Part” in the search box in the upper right corner. It is enough for today’s text to note a few things from those studies:
- The Holy Spirit is the helper/comforter promised by Christ Jesus (John 14:16)
- The Holy Spirit indwells every true believer (John 14:7)
- The Holy Spirit is part of the Triune God (1 John 1:7)
- the Primary Role of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the person and work of Jesus Christ; “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”–John 16:14, John 15:26.
Having established those things it amazes me every time I read the story of Ananias and Sapphira. It is such a stark reminder of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Possibly worse is the fact that Ananias comprehended the consequences of a fallen man far better than Adam or Eve. It is one thing to lie by omission (forgetfulness, etc.) and another to lie by commission, (willful deception/deceit).
We must also note that not only do they lie to the church members (Peter etc.) they lie to the Holy Spirit, GOD! How often do folks think we can fill or hide something from God. Remember that God is all-knowing If that were not enough assuming for a moment that Ananias and Sapphira were true believers, how could they possibly hope to hide something from the Indwelling Holy Spirit? You do not have to be a Christian to logically know that makes no sense.
In v.5-10 we see the consequences of their deception, I do not know if God today is striking folks down for things like this but I for certain am not willing to risk it, what about you?