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Character in the Body of Christ. Acts 5

Acts 5:1-5 But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, and 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. But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land? Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God. And Ananias hearing these words fell down, and gave up the ghost: and great fear came on all them that heard these things. Two things we can learn from the story of Ananias and Sapphira: 1. Anointing and beauty will destroy you if character cannot uphold you. 2. As a spouse or a close friend, confidant, etc, you have a duty to walk in truth towards your fellow neighbor, friend, spouse, etc, and to help them to walk in truth. You’re just as guilty if you fail to do this. Point one: Anointing and beauty will destroy you if character cannot uphold you. The name Ananias means grace or specifically- God has graciously given and Sapphira means beauty or specifically- the beauty up sapphire stone. You see, despite Ananias and Sapphira’s beautiful names and what it reveals, they lacked the character to back these names. They conspired to lie against the Holy Spirit and the anointing that was at work on Peter’s life. Perhaps they wanted to show off to everyone in the Church that they were great givers when in fact that was not the case in their personal lives. The reception here is that despite your anointing and beauty, the anointing will destroy you if your character cannot uphold you. The anointing will open doors fir you and bring you before great men and women of God. The anointing will will increase your influence but a poor character will destroy you and cause you to fall miserably. Regardless of your gifting, work daily and diligently on yourself and your character by letting the word of God and His Holy Spirit work on you and being disciplined against yourself and hating sin. The stronger your character, the more effective the anointing will be and the more genuine authority you will have which will last for a long time even after you are gone. Point two: As a spouse or a close friend, confidant, etc, you have a responsibility to walk in truth towards your fellow neighbor, friend, spouse, etc, and to help them to walk in truth. You’re just as guilty if you fail to do this. As a Christian, you have a duty to your Christian brothers and sisters to protect them and to help them to walk in integrity. If you do not fulfill this duty, you are equally as responsible when they mess up. The Bible says that Ananias lied with his wife’s FULL knowledge. In other words, his wife was well aware of his poor character and his intention to lie and hold back the money. To go even further, they conspired to lie together! Acts 5:1-2 (NIV) Now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property. 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. As a Christian, you cannot allow others Christian, your spouse, etc to walk in sin with your full knowledge. Or else you are equally responsible. Not only did Ananias die but his wife also died after helping him to cover up. This is not to say that we should not protect each other from shame. Rather we must endeavor to keep the person from such acts before the shake even occurs. We must be honest with people about their behaviors, whether a spouse, friend, or neighbor. We owe a duty to each other to help each other make it into eternity. We owe a duty to each other to help each other Walk rightly in the Lord. This is not judging, this is Christian LOVE. 1 Corinthians 13:6 (NIV) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. Unfortunately, Sapphira’s inability to call out her husband (or even stop him) in private for his lying brought about their death and shame in public. Let us look out for one another and help each other in private to walk worthy of the call that God has given to us. Amen.

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