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Joshua House Small Group Discussion Guide Games Acts 5:1-11 Mission of God Series
Teaching Summary In the current series at Joshua Houser we're traveling through the book of Acts and uncovering the Mission of God on earth. This week we will discuss how God is not playing games with truth and authenticity.
Introduction Name game/intro question: Who comes to mind when you think of an authentic person? It could be a person in your life, family member, speaker, or celebrity. Background: In the book of Acts the early church is being formed. Followers of Jesus Christ are learning on a daily basis what it means to be a follower of Christ. In Acts 1 Jesus is taken up into heaven and Judas, the disciple who betrayed Jesus, is replaced. In Acts 2 the apostles experience the Holy Spirit at Pentecost and devote themselves to teaching, fellowship, and prayer. In Acts 3, Peter and John heal a beggar and begin speaking to all the onlookers about the source of their power, the man the onlookers have killed, Jesus Christ. In Acts 4 miracles are happening and believers are being added everyday. The thousands of believers are praising God and many are beginning to share all their possessions with each other. This leads us to our scripture in Acts 5. Read Acts 5:1-11
Getting into the Text •
Why do you think Ananias and his wife Sapphira decided to give some of the proceeds of their land sale to the apostles? (Answers could vary: Because they wanted honor, because they wanted to be thought of as great disciples, they wanted recognition) What lie did the Satan fill Ananias and Sapphira's heart with? (v.3) (They lied about keeping some of the proceeds for themselves) Was selling their land and giving it all to the apostles a requirement for them to be accepted? (v.4) (No, they could have done whatever they wanted with their land. It was not required by the apostles)
Who did Ananias lie to? (v.4) What happened to Ananias? (v.5) Did Sapphira tell the same lie? (v.8) What happened to Sapphira? (v.10) • What was the reaction of the Church when they heard about Ananias and Sapphira? (v.11) • • • •
Connecting to today • Does the story of Ananias and Sapphira remind you of anything in today's culture? It would be a story of hypocritical, non-authentic Christianity.
Finding Ourselves in the Text So in this text the Holy Spirit is moving in powerful ways. In the previous chapter of Acts, it talks of 5,000 people being added to the count of believers in one day. Miracles are being performed and Christians risk their lives by deciding to follow Christ. What do you think it was like to be in that first group of Christians? What would your reaction be to the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira? What questions would you be asking?
The Challenge from the text •
What does the severe reaction to Ananias and Sapphira's sin tell you about the Holy Spirit? (Answers could vary: 1. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and is incompatible with deceit. 2. The Holy Spirit does not accept anything but your authenticity, not your hypocrisy. 3. Giving to the apostles to look good, but keeping money for yourself is misleading and is not of the Holy Spirit. 4. You can't game the Holy Spirit. 5. You can't lie to God.
How do Christians act like Ananias and Sapphira today? How are we tempted in the same way?
What does authenticity look like to the Holy Spirit?
1 Samuel 16:7 say's that “The Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” How does this verse relate to our hypocritical and non-authentic actions before God?
Ask people to pray for authentic hearts before God and others. Ask God to reveal in your small group members hearts ways that they are “gaming” God ie. being misleading/ hypocritical. Ask God to heal patterns of behavior.