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Acts 5 Reading Guide

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Passage: Acts 5

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Chapter Summary

  • v1-11 - Yesterday we read about Barnabas, who sold his property and voluntarily gave the proceeds to the church. The opening segment of chapter 5 tells of a couple who also voluntarily gave their proceeds to the church, but did so in a dishonest way.

  • v12-16 - The lightning quick punishment Ananias & Sapphira experience makes people afraid of this fledgling group of believers (v11, 13), but even still people are added to their number (v14), and even more bring the sick and suffering to the apostles for healing.

  • v17-21 - The establishment is driven by a deep sense of jealosy (v17), one of the deepest sins we all struggle with. They throw the apostles in jail but an angel of the Lord miraculously opens the doors and orders them to return to their gospel proclamation. The establishment is dumbfounded to discover the jail secure but the apostles gone.

  • v22-32 - After they're found by the humiliated captain, the apostles tell the establishment that "we must obey God rather than man.

  • v33-42 - A Pharisee named Gamaliel stands up for the apostles and wisely advises that if their activity is from man it will fail, but if it's from God there will be no stopping them. If Gamaliel's name sounds vaguely familiar to you, it's because he's the professor who trained Paul in the law. What a story: one of the most famous Jewish scholars defends the early church; his brilliant protege Paul becomes one of the staunchest persecutors of the church before being converted and turning into the greatest theologian of all time. Isn't it amazing to see God's hand at work?

Old Testament References - Add even more value to your daily Bible reading by reading a related passage from the Old Testament

  • Leviticus 10:1-7 tells of another pair who were instantly struck down for disobeying the Lord. Reading these passages is a good reminder of the punishment our sins deserve.


Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions. For every comment or reply you post, you will receive an entry for this month's prize.

  • Why was only giving some of their money worse than not giving any of their money in the case of Ananias & Sapphira?

  • Compare God's jealosy demonstrated in the case of Ananias & Sapphira and in the Old Testament passage (Lev 10:1-7) with the jealosy of the establishment described in v17.

  • There's all sorts of drama in this chapter (Ananias & Sapphira, the Captain of the temple guard's really bad day, the trial in which Gamaliel stands up for the church, etc.). Which section of it stands out to you, and why?

Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:

  • ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: Our Father, who is a jealous God, the one who is sovereignly working out all things for the good of His Church

  • ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Pray for the same strength the apostles had that you might also obey God rather than man (v29)



Watch the week 2 video - The REAL God sermon series


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