Sinning against the Spirit
But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property.He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. - (Acts 5:1–2 NLT)
Ananias and Sapphira had a choice: They could give a lot. They could give a little. Or they could give absolutely nothing. Nothing was required of them. But they decided to act as though they were giving a lot when they really were not. They wanted to appear to be a little more holy than everyone else. This was a sin of hypocrisy, and it was offensive to God.
What intrigues me about this passage is that it says they lied to the Holy Spirit. Then it says they tested the Holy Spirit. It seems as though this was a specific sin against the Spirit of God.
Sometimes I think it’s hard for people to relate to the Holy Spirit. They can understand God the Father and God the Son, but God the Holy Spirit? That seems a little too mystical for them.
The Holy Spirit is not some force or power; He is a distinct personality. Jesus, speaking of the Holy Spirit, said, “And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment” (John 16:8).
The sin of Ananias and Sapphira was pretending to be something they were not. They were hypocrites. Ananias wanted people to think he was thoroughly devoted to God when he wasn’t.
Before we’re too quick to condemn Ananias and Sapphira, let’s ask ourselves a question: have we ever done anything spiritually to impress someone else? Don’t pretend to be a holy man or a holy woman if you don’t really want to be one. This is offensive to God. I’m not saying it’s better to be a sinner. What I am saying is that it’s worse to pretend to be holy when you really don’t want to be. The only person you’re fooling is yourself.
Copyright © 2017 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
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