Exhibits of Integrity     Acts 4: 36-37, 5:1-11 HCSB     April 10, 2016

 

Introduction                                                                            

How often do you see men and women of integrity?   I would hope we all could say we see them all the time at our churches.  We should claim our preachers and deacons lead the way as we see Exhibits of Integrity.

 

1.   Exhibit A: Barnabas An Exhibit of Integrity.    4:36-37

A.   The Man Barnabas Nicked Named by the Apostles . . Son of Encouragement.   4:36

36 Joseph, a Levite and a Cypriot by birth, whom the apostles named Barnabas, which is translated

Son of Encouragement,

 

 

B.    The Man Barnabas Sold a Field and . . Surrendered the Money to the Apostles .   4:37

 37 sold a field he owned, brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

 

The Christian Apostles gave Joseph a nick name of Barnabas which means Son of Encouragement.  He must have been a very comforting man who help many people feel welcome and eager to express their God given gifts.  In these early days of Christian life this person was quite a help in getting the churches established and especially and their were a multitude who needed such help.   The need for financial help was great for the new church and as Barnabas sold a field he made the proceeds available to the Apostles for them to use as God’s wisdom directed.  The early church had some great financial needs and the people knew this and the Holy Spirit directed them to sell excess land they had and give the apostles.   This action did not need any prompting except by the Holy Spirit.  Barnabas was a spiritually led man.

 

2.    Exhibit B: Ananias An Exhibit Lacking Integrity.    5:1-6

A.   Ananias with His wife Sold some property and Kept . . Back some money.   5:1-3

1 But a man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a piece of property.

2 However, he kept back part of the proceeds with his wife's knowledge, and brought a portion of it and laid

it at the apostles' feet.

3 Then Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of

the proceeds from the field?

 

B.    Ananias . . Brought the Farm.    5:4-6

4 Wasn't it yours while you possessed it? And after it was sold, wasn't it at your disposal? Why is it that

you planned this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God!"

5 When he heard these words, Ananias dropped dead, and a great fear came on all who heard.

6 The young men got up, wrapped his body, carried him out, and buried him.

 

Ananias and his wife Sapphira were also part of this early church fellowship.  They decided to sell a piece

of property but not to give it all to the church.  They wanted to keep part of it for them selves.  But when Peter knew it was not the total amount of money he sold it Peter reasoned with him.  He told Ananias the money was his when he sold the property and he could have kept some of it but when he lied about it he did not lie to man but to God.  What would you think if a man like Peter told you something like that?  He did it boldly and you knew he was correct.  The shock of it gave probably gave him a heart attack and he dropped dead and men came and carried him out to burry him.   

 

3.    Exhibit C: Sapphira Another Exhibit Lacking of Integrity.    5:7-11

A.   Sapphira also . . Lied about the Sale of the Property.   5:7-9

7 There was an interval of about three hours; then his wife came in, not knowing what had happened.


8 "Tell me," Peter asked her, "did you sell the field for this price?"  "Yes," she said, "for that price."

 

B.    Sapphira also . . Laid In A Grave by her Husband.   5:9-11

9 Then Peter said to her, "Why did you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look! The feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out!"

10 Instantly she dropped dead at his feet. When the young men came in, they found her dead, carried her

out, and buried her beside her husband.

11 Then great fear came on the whole church and on all who heard these things.   HCSB

 

The wife of Ananias did not know any of this took place so Peter asked her if her and her husband sold the property for such a price?  The wife replied “yes, for that price.”  Simon ask why did she agree to test the Spirit of the Lord”   Then told her the men who buried your husband will bury you also and she fell dead at his feet.

This tells us it is dangerous to lie to God.  Why doesn’t this kind of sudden deaths take place in church today?

You can only suggest the reasons but the power and presence of the Holly Spirit was certainly more prominent then than in our churches today.  We still have and need Exhibits of Integrity today but need them even more.

Amen?  Amen!