Equalizing the Internal and External Self
Last Sunday we looked at the end of Acts 4 where the early Christian community was at its best almost ideal state. They had an incredibly high level of unity of mind and spirit, they had boldness to witness to preach the Word of God and they had a community in which no needs went unmet. As a result, the author declares that God’s great blessing was upon them all. That kind of blessing, I hope is the goal of anyone who is walking the Christian life.
But even in those days it was not like 100% of the members of the church were in of the same mind and spirit. There will always be those problematic individuals everywhere. Ananias and Sapphira were a couple who were not of the same mind as everybody else. And God chose to use them as negative examples and a warning for everyone. But this is also a very unique story that has almost no exact parallels in other parts of scripture and so it is one of those stories that is extremely hard to interpret. Yet it is an important story meant to teach us something. So that is what we will wrestle with today and examine how God is speaking to us through it.
When dealing with difficult territory, it is always helpful to start by defining the boundaries, by identifying what it is not. So that is going to be where we begin.