Explore the Bible Study: Integrity

4:37 PM

Our past study of Acts revealed how the early church responded to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. God worked powerfully through them as they shared the gospel. They also experienced unity and fellowship; they worshiped together; they were hungry to learn God’s Word; and they gave freely to help others in need. You would think that all of this would indicate that the church was just going to become a perfect utopia. But, since the church is made up of people who are imperfect, we know this is not the case. They faced challenges from those whose integrity was derailed as they chose to sin and rebel against God. The Explore the Bible Study: Integrity will focus on this issue as we look at Acts 4:36-37 and Acts 5:1-11.

As we look at these passages you will possibly have questions regarding God's punishment for Ananias and Sapphira. In his blog post, 5 Things God Teaches us in the Tragic Deaths of Ananias & Sapphira, J.D. Greear gives a great summary. I highly recommend you use his entire blog post as a reference while preparing to study:

"If we’re honest, many of us find God’s actions here offensive—but that merely reveals our ignorance of our sin and God’s holiness. We shouldn’t ask the question, “Why did they die?” Instead we should wonder, “Why do we remain alive?” Yes, God is patient with us and slow to anger. But as R.C. Sproul says, we forget that God’s patience is designed to lead us to repentance, not to become bolder in our sin. If Jesus really went through the tormenting hell of the cross to redeem us, and we neglect that in pursuit of our sin, what will it be like to stand before God? “How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?”(Hebrews 2:3)" - J.D. Greear

Possible Discussion Questions

Barnabas (Acts 4:36-37)
  • Would you rejoice, or be embarrassed, critical, jealous, or encouraged if someone sold something and gave all the money to the church?
  • Would you question a person’s motive for giving such a gift publicly?
  • What was Barnabas’s motive? (To help others)
  • Was it wrong that Barnabas's gift was given publicly?
  • How could giving something publicly encourage others to give?
Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-11)
  • How did Ananias’s and Sapphira’s actions compare with Barnabas’s? 
  • How can you keep your motives for giving focused on Christ and the church rather than on yourself?
  • If you had given such a large amount and you were summoned to come before Peter, what might you expect was going to happen?
  • Was it anyone’s business how much he should give? What was wrong with Ananias's giving? Why was it considered evil?
  • Was Ananias killed just because he held a portion back or was there something else wrong with his gift?
  • Do you believe that Peter was too confrontational? Was it wrong for Peter to ask such a question since, after all, they did give a significant amount?
  • Do you think God’s punishment by death was too harsh? Why or why not?
  • Do you ever consider that when you lie or overlook sin you are not only lying to man but to God? Based on this passage, how serious does God take this? 
  • Do you ever consider how a lack of integrity might affect the church?
  • When you observe the fall of a believer, does it prompt you to examine your life and make sure you are walking with God or does it cause you to question God’s actions? 
Media Options

Purchase from Dan Stevers at: http://www.danstevers.com/store/ananias_and_sapphira/

PowerPoint Slides

(Folder contains PDF and Word Version)

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