Read Acts 5:1–11

1But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. 2He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. 3Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. 4The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” 5As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. 6Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him. 7About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?” “Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.” 9And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.” 10Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened.

  • This scene reminds us of the holiness of God. In what areas of life is easiest to ignore God’s call to holiness?

  • What happens when we ignore God’s call to holiness in these areas?

  • What happened that caused fear to grip the church?

  • How did Peter know this information? (The spirit of God revealed this truth to Peter.)

  • Are we in tune with the Spirit’s voice enough to hear what He is saying through our circumstances? How can be more attentive to His voice? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17) “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge” (Psalm 1:7).


Read Acts 5:12-16

12The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade. 13But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. 14Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord—crowds of both men and women. 15As a result of the apostles’ work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by. 16Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed.

  • Does it seem strange that people brought the sick so Peter’s shadow could fall on them? Could God perform supernatural events that we might dismiss because it wasn’t what we expected?

  • All of the people who were being brought to be healed were healed. How can studying this portion of scripture (these events taking place after Jesus had ascended) help us to see God’s power to intervene?

  • If the kingdom of God is marked by freedom what areas in our lives do we get comfortable with bondage?

Read Acts 5:17-21a

17The high priest and his officials, who were Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. 18They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. 19But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out. Then he told them, 20“Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!” 21So at daybreak the apostles entered the Temple, as they were told, and immediately began teaching.

  • Jesus had warned the disciples they would experience trouble because of following him. Are we willing to follow God despite the risk of trouble?

  • Christ set us free to tell a story—the message of life. Are we willing to share this message of life?

  • The disciples immediately obeyed the instruction they were given. How do we respond to the same message?

  • When was the last time you had the opportunity to share the message of life that Jesus has given you? Did you do it?

  • What would make you more quick to obey the next time?

Read Acts 5:21b-25

When the high priest and his officials arrived, they convened the high council—the full assembly of the elders of Israel. Then they sent for the apostles to be brought from the jail for trial. 22But when the Temple guards went to the jail, the men were gone. So they returned to the council and reported, 23“The jail was securely locked, with the guards standing outside, but when we opened the gates, no one was there!”

24When the captain of the Temple guard and the leading priests heard this, they were perplexed, wondering where it would all end. 25Then someone arrived with startling news: “The men you put in jail are standing in the Temple, teaching the people!”

  • When God wants something to happen nothing can stop it. How does this give us peace no matter what the circumstances may be?

  • Talk about a time when God gave you his peace, provision, protection or purpose in the middle of a difficult situation. Did this opportunity give the ability to share with others about Him?

  • Did you take the opportunity to share about Him?


Read Acts 5:26-28

26The captain went with his Temple guards and arrested the apostles, but without violence, for they were afraid the people would stone them. 27Then they brought the apostles before the high council, where the high priest confronted them. 28“We gave you strict orders never again to teach in this man’s name!” he said. “Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him, and you want to make us responsible for his death!”

  • There are times in scripture when civil disobedience is the only option for a believer if the believer is being asked to do something that is contrary to God’s word. How might some of our brothers and sisters around the globe be experiencing this type of decision whether to obey God or man?

  • Read Proverbs 29:25 25 Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but trusting the Lord means safety.

  • What are some of the costs associated obedience to God rather than man? Do we fear the cost greater than we fear God?


Think on This…

If God has called us to obedience and holiness, then what keeps us from following God in the details of life and what can we do to improve in this area?