About Jesus   Steve Sweetman

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ch. 5:1-11  ch. 5:12-17  ch. 5:17-42    

Ananias And Sapphira  (ch. 5:1 - 11)

 

Chapter 5:1 begins by saying, "now a man named Ananias, together with his wife Sapphira, also sold a piece of property".  Ananias means "God has graciously given.  Sapphira means "beautiful". 

 

We have just seen Joseph, the Levite, selling property and giving the funds to the apostles, now we have another example in Ananias and Sapphira giving to the apostles, but with a much different outcome.

 

Verse 2 says that "with his wifeís full knowledge he kept back part of the money for himself".   The rest of the money was brought by Ananias and given to the apostles.  The words "full knowledge" is important here.  Luke, the author of the book of Acts, wanted everyone to know that Sapphira had complete knowledge of what her husband was doing.  

 

Right away Peter knew something was not right.  Peter asks, "Ananias, how is it that satan has so filled your heart that you have lied to the Holy Spirit and have kept for yourself some of the money you received for the land". 

 

The question should be asked, "What sin did Ananias commit"?  What was wrong with this couple keeping some of the funds for themselves?  I say that there was nothing wrong with keeping some of the money for themselves.  I donít think that Luke has told us all of the details of this event. 

 

When Ananias came to Peter with the money, Peter noted something was wrong.  Maybe this was a supernatural word of knowledge, a gif of the Holy Spirit that we see in 1 Corinthians 12.  Whatever the case, Peter understood Ananias to be lying, not only to him, but worst still, to the Holy Spirit.  Peter goes as far to say that satan himself has prompted Ananias to not be truthful.  This tells us that satan can influence Christians if given the opportunity. 

 

If Peter didn't have a word of knowledge, he might well have asked Ananias if this was the total amount of the sale of land, as he did ask his wife later.  Peter might have asked Ananias the total sale price out of curiosity.  He was a business man and he might well have known the value of land in that areas.  Once hearing the amount that Ananias got, he might have been suspicious.  If Peter indeed did ask Ananias this question and Ananias answered by saying "yes", then in one was, shape, or form, Peter understood that to be a lie.  We donít know the exact details here.  We just know that Peter understood Ananias to be deceptive. 

 

In my thinking, Ananiasís sin was a combination of both hypocrisy and lack of truthfulness.  He wanted to appear better than what he really was.  He wanted others to think well of him as one who was a generous giver.  He obviously wasn't. 

 

Peter might well have gotten wind of what was happening from others and that's how he knew Ananias was lying.  Again, we just don't know for sure, and really, it's not relevant to the event anyway.   Obviously Luke didn't think it was relevant because he didn't fill us in on all of the fine details.  

 

We should note as well, that it is Peter once again doing the talking and taking the lead in this situation. 

 

Peter goes on to say in verse 4, "What made you think of doing such a thing?  You have not lied to men, but to God".  Hypocrisy is actually acting out a lie.  It is not only telling a lie, but living a lie.  Ananias acted out a lie and also told a lie.  Peter says that Ananias was actually lying to God.  Ananias might have told Peter that he was giving the complete proceeds of the sale, so in that sense he was lying to Peter, yet in the long run, he was lying to God Himself.  The Bible views any sin committed against man as a sin committed against God.  This is what Peter is getting at here.  It's thus important to understand that forgiveness obtained by God is the ultimate forgiveness we need to seek, even over the forgiveness obtained by the human we sin against. 

 

Note in verse 3 that Peter says that Ananias lied to the Holy Spirit and here in verse 4 he says that Ananias lied to God.  We note that association between the Holy Spirit and God the Father here as being separate and yet one.  

 

In verse 5 we see that the punishment for this lie was death.  "When Ananias heard this, he fell down and died".  

 

Obviously this judgement came from God.  Luke does not tell us that Peter pronounced a judgement and caused this death.  All that Luke tells us is that once Peter asked this last question, Ananias died before being able to answer.  Was this a harsh judgement?  It sure was.  Did this ever happen again?  Not that we know of.  Does God always deal so harshly?  I don't think so.  I think that's obvious.  . So why was God so harsh?  We can only guess.  It may be possible that God was telling the infant church that He took things very seriously, and that no sin should be tolerated.

 

It seems to me that God withdraws His power from people when they are not living as they should.  This can be seen with Israel in the Old Testament.  God was obviously involved greatly in this infant church.  You can see it by all of the miracles, including this miracle, if you want to call it a miracle.  I wonder in todayís church if God has not withdrawn some, or maybe all of His power, from us because we are not living right as we should.  Therefore we do not see as many miracles.  We do not see such judgements from God as well.  If this is so, then the lack of miracles in church should tell us that church is on the wrong track and is in need of repentance, as I believe is the case in the western church today.      

 

Another way to look at such things is that Ananias and Sapphira did physically die because of their sin.  I would suggest that many individuals in church, and parts of the western church as well, haven't died physically but have died spiritually because of their sin.  This accounts for the weakness in many parts of what we call church these days.  

 

In verse 6 we note that some young men wrapped Ananias' body up and immediately buried him, which was the social norm among Jews back then.  Jews didn't have a long and drawn out process of grieving. 

 

You might wonder if Ananias went to the Lord that day.  I believe he did.  I don't believe he lost his salvation because he told a lie.  Our salvation does not depend on good works or bad works.  It depends on our trust in Jesus alone.  It's all about faith, not works, no matter good or bad works.  If you think this couple didn't go to be with Jesus because of this lie then you would have to ask what other sins keep you out of heaven.  At this point salvation is no longer a free gift of God based on faith in His grace. It would be a matter of works.         

 

This judgment does not stop with Ananias.  Verse 7 tells us that a little later on his wife comes into the place where the apostles were and Peter asks her if the money that her husband gave was the total amount of the sale.

 

 In verse 8 she answers by saying "yes", which was an out and out lie.  Luke tells us in verse 2 that Sapphira knew from the start that Ananias was planning on only giving part of the money to the apostles.  She knew she was lying when she answered Peter.  This tells me that this lie was well planned out in advance.   

 

Peter had a quick response in verse 9.  He said, "How could you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord"?  Peter told Ananias that he had lied to the Holy Spirit.  Here Peter tells Sapphira that she "agreed to test the Spirit of the Lord".   So you might conclude that there is another sin to be dealt with here, beyond lying, and that is "testing" the limits of God's graciousness and patience. 

 

In this case with Sapphira, Peter did give some kind of word of judgement.  He said, "The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also".  She, like her husband fell to the ground and died.  It's clear that Peter knew that she would die before she fell dead.  I believe that in both cases, both with Ananias and Sapphira, Peter knew in advance that they would be judged with death.  As a matter of fact, I believe Peter participated in this judgment, just as he participated in healing the lame beggar in Acts 3. 

 

Luke records in verse 11 that "great fear seized the whole church", and why wouldnít it?  God, through this event was telling these new Christians that He does not think kindly towards sin.  This is something we should be well aware of in our daily lives.  This should also tell us that God views His church as one very serious matter and so should we.   

 

Also we should note that this is the first time the word "church" is used in the book of Acts.  The Greek word for "church" is "ekklesia", which simply means "a gathering of people called out of a larger gathering of people".  In this case the gathering of people was those who had handed their lives over to the Lord Jesus Christ.  The word "ekklesia" isn't a religious word as our word church is today.

 

The word ďekklesiaĒ wasn't a religious word.  It was a word used for any group of people set apart for a certain people.  In this case, those who had handed their lives over to Jesus were set apart to represent Him on earth.  Jesus takes this representation very seriously.  That's why when Ananias and Sapphira didn't represent Him honestly, He killed them.        

 

It did not take very long before the infant church had its first problem with sin.  Ever since this time, the church has continued to find itself burdened down with sin and wrong doing.  Even as saved people we cannot get away from our fallen and sinful nature.  We cannot get away from the legacy that Adam and Eve has left us, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us to help us out.

 

 

The Apostles Heal Many (ch. 5:12 - 16)

 

These next few verses show again, as in Acts 2:43 that it was the apostles who performed the miraculous signs, and not the general Christian public, although I cannot conclude for sure that some of the general Christian public  might not have been performing miraculous works.  We see later on that Stephen was one such man with Holy Spirit power.  Still, here in Acts 5:12, it was the apostles that performed these miracles, of course through the power of the Holy Spirit.  In this context, right after the miraculous death of Ananias and Sappfira, Luke notes that many more miracles were done.  The death of this couple was only one example of a miracle, a type of miracle that we don't think much about these days.  We tend to view healings as miracles, not deaths.

 

The second half of verse 12 states that "all of the believers used to meet in Solomonís Colonnade", which was part of the temple, an area large enough to hold a few thousand people.  This colonnade, or porch, as some put it, was on the east side of the temple in the outer court.  Remember, this is the temple that Hared built for the Jews.  It wasn't the temple we see in the Old Testament.  It was a completely different temple not built to the specs of Solomon's Temple. 

 

In verse 13 we have three groups of people mentioned. We have the apostles, the believers and the people.  Luke says that no one dared "join them".  The word "them" refers to the apostles.  They had so much power of the Holy Spirit working in their lives that people dared not join themselves to the apostles.  The word "people" I believe refers to the general Jewish population.  So this is the picture.  We see the apostles doing many miracles among the Jewish general public.  Many people within the general public were added to the group of believers, as seen in verse 14. 

 

In verses 15 and 16 you see the result of all this activity.  People would bring sick and those bothered by demons to Peter and the apostles, hoping that even Peterís shadow might fall on them, causing their sick to be healed.  Luke says that "all of them were healed".  Like with Jesus, all who came were healed. 

 

The text does not actually say that people were healed because of Peterís shadow.  It only says that people were hoping that at least his shadow would fall on their sick.  They hoped that Peter's shadow could heal their sick.  

 

One thing we note here is the distinction between sick people and demon possessed people, although throughout the New Testament, the results of both can be similar.  Of course, one of the debates that has taken place within the church over the years is whether Christians can be possessed by a demon.  One thing I think we note from verses 15 and 16 is that I believe it was the non-Christians who were possessed by demons.  I personally don't believe that a true Christian can have a demon living inside of him.  On the other hand, I do believe Christians can be bothered or influenced by demons from without.  I do make that distinction.  One reason why I make this distinction is the fact that Ananias and Sapphira were influenced by satan as the text states.

 

The Apostles Persecuted (ch. 5:17 - 42)

 

In verse 17 we note that the members of the Sanhedrin were very jealous.  They would have been jealous because Peter, John, and the other apostles were getting all of the attention in Jerusalem.  They feared that they'd lose control over the people. 

 

The Sanhedrin was the ruling party of the Jews.  There were between seventy to seventy two members of varying backgrounds.  Most of these men purchased their position from the Roman authorities. 

 

To deal with this problem, the temple police arrested the apostles and put them in a public jail as seen in verse 18.  We're not exactly sure what apostles were put in jail but we do know from verse 29 that Peter was one of them.  We also learn from verse 29 that there were more than two apostles imprisoned. 

 

Verse 19 shows us how these men lived a miraculous life, as we see in their jail cell.  During the night "an angel of the Lord" appeared to them and opened up the doors of the jail and led them out.  Obviously the guards had no idea what was happening, which would have been miraculous in itself. 

 

In verse 20 the angel told the apostles to "go stand in the temple courts, and tell the full message of this new life".   So at "daybreak they entered the temple courts" and did just that.

 

The Lord had miraculously intervened on the apostles' behalf.  Just in case some of these men were beginning to get a little afraid and timid, the Lord boosted their spirits with this miracle and with this command to teach the gospel to the people.  Once again, as noted before, "the people" is in reference to those Jews who would be at the temple for worship. 

 

It seems to me, as seen with Christians who suffer in Islamic or communist nations today, that God miraculously does things on like this on behalf of the saints.  You don't see this in the western world because we don't have the persecution as in other parts of the world, but that will change, and when it does, we can expect the supernatural to return.

 

In verse 20 the angel tells the apostles to go back to the temple and preach everything about this new life.  Now the angel knew what would happen.  The angel was sending these guys right back into the fire.  They were to preach the "full message".  They were to hold nothing back.  We can learn from this.  We must not hold any part of the gospel back, but in many circles, including Evangelical circles we're not preaching repentance.  We're softening the gospel in order to accommodate the sinner and get him into our pews.  This should not be.         

 

The thrust of preaching by these apostles was towards the Jews and in their temple.  This was only natural because they were Jews and they were used to meeting in the temple.  It was only logical to continue to meet at the temple, but now as Christian Jews. 

 

We're still in the place in the book of Acts where the gospel was being preached strictly to the Jews.  This would change in chapter 8 where the gospel would be preached to Samaritans who were both religiously and biologically half Jews and half Gentiles.  Then, in Acts 10 it would change again when the first known Gentiles became Christians under Peter's preaching.  Beyond this, the Apostle Paul opened the gospel to the whole known Gentile world.   

 

There's another reason why these apostles preached at the temple and that is because of the Biblical mandate that states, "to the Jew first and then to the Gentile".  This Biblical principle extends into our day and right up to the end of the age, and I believe beyond into the New Earth

 

We should note the angel told the apostles to speak about "this new life".  Indeed, faith in Jesus should produce "a new life", a new way of living.  If there is no evidence of a new life then I question the validity of the personís faith.  I question his salvation.  True repentance and faith will make us into a new creature as the apostle Paul put it. 

 

As verse 21 states, at the same time the apostles were teaching in the temple, the full Sanhedrin gathered to address their problem.  Certain men were told to go and release the apostles from jail and bring them to the hearing of the Sanhedrin, but these men discovered the apostles were gone.  The door of the jail was locked and the guards had not even known their prisoners were long gone.  Verse 24 says that "the captain of the temple guards and the chief priests were puzzled, wondering what would become of this".  I can only see these men shaking their heads, partially in disgust, partially in awe, and partially in rage. 

 

While these men were pondering their situation, verse 25 tells us that someone came running to the meeting and told the men that they had just seen the apostles in the court of the temple preaching, doing exactly what they were told not to do.  So once again, the captain of the guards went and arrested the apostles.  Verse 26 says that no force was used in the arrest because "they feared what the people would stone them".  There might well have been one huge massive riot and this wouldn't be good.  The Jewish leaders feared such a riot because the Romans might come and take away what little freedom they had.  Again, the men of the Sanhedrin were between a rock and a hard place.  The Jewish leaders progressively saw their dilemma worsening.  They not only feared loosing their respect from the people, they feared the people themselves.  This could only make their anger and rage worse than ever.    

 

Once again the apostles found themselves before the Jewish leadership.  At this point you might think that these men were getting a little dizzy with the motion of going back and forth from the temple to the Sanhedrin.  I can picture Peter thinking, "Here we go again". 

 

Verse 27 tells us that the apostles were now before the Sanhedrin.  Verse 28 says, "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this manís death".   There are a few things to note here.  One thing is the Sanhedrin does not mention the name of Jesus.  They say, "this name", instead of Jesus of Nazareth.  They say, "this manís death", instead of "Jesusí death".  These men would not bring themselves to say the name of Jesus in this prestigious group of men known as the Sanhedrin. 

 

Another thing to note here is that the apostolic teaching was reaching far beyond the temple courts.  All those in Jerusalem, the whole city, had heard of what was happening.  The apostles were creating a real uproar. 

 

Another thing to note is that the apostles are still preaching that the Jewish leadership, along with the help of wicked men, killed Jesus.  The apostles are blaming them for the death of Jesus and making them the guilty ones.  We've seen this before in previous chapters.  Even though the apostles put the blame on the Jewish establishment, they understood that it was God's will for Jesus to die.

 

Verse 29 says, that "Peter and the other apostles repliedÖ"  Once again, as in every other instance so far, Peter takes the lead in what was said to the Sanhedrin, yet this time it appears that the other apostles at least said their amen as Peter spoke, or maybe even added a few words of their own as well.

 

If you remember from before, Peter had asked the Sanhedrin whether it was right for them to obey God or man.  Obviously everyone knew the right answer to that question, although the Jewish leaders would question whether the apostles were really obeying God, or just going off on their own tangent.  This time Peter does not ask them this question.  He simply tells them that they "must obey God, rather than man".  Of course, what Peter is saying is that they will obey God instead of the Sanhedrin.  The Sanhedrin would have thought the only way for the apostles to obey God was for them to obey them.  By obeying them, they would in turn obey God. This would have made the men of the Sanhedrin furious because Peter's statement put them on the wrong side of God.   

 

Without getting involved in Biblical submission and authority because I've done that elsewhere, the Biblical principle is simple.  Christians obey authority the best they can, but when authority disobeys God, Christians kindly decline to obey authority, whether religious authority or civil authority. 

 

In verses 30 and 31 Peter repeats what he has said on a couple of other occasions.  The Jewish leaders killed Jesus.  The God of Israel raised Jesus from the dead so He could offer forgiveness of sins to Israelis who repent.  Of course, those men in the Sanhedrin did not believe that they had anything to repent of, much like men think today.

 

Verse 31 tells us that God exalted Jesus, who is both Prince and Saviour, to the right hand of God.  The term "right hand of God" should not be taken literally.  It's an idiom Jewish people used back then that speaks of sharing authority with others.  Upon His ascension was raised to a position of authority with God Himself.  Note also the words "Prince and Saviour".  These are fighting words for the men of the Sanhedrin.  These two titles were specific titles that referred only to Israel's long waited for Messiah, that they believe Jesus wasn't.  

 

We should also note the words "God of our fathers" in verse 30.   By saying this Peter is telling the Sanhedrin that they are all of the same Jewish heritage by having the same fathers, meaning Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and it was their God that raised Jesus from the dead.  Do you see the point the apostles are making here?  They are saying that you killed Jesus, but your God, the God of your fathers, raised Him from the dead.  Therefore, your actions are in direct opposition to the God you claim to serve.  So, what kind of subjects are you to your God if you would do such a thing?  Peter was simply associating Jesus with the God of Israel's father.  Once again, this would be blasphemous.   

 

I'll repeat what I said earlier.  The apostles go on to say that Jesus could "give repentance and forgiveness to Israel".  Here we still see the mindset of the apostles.  They are still thinking in terms of salvation being offered to the Jews.  Another point to be made is that they believed that both repentance and forgiveness was a gift from God, something that only God could do in a personís life. 

 

We often think that repenting is something that we do on our own, and the same with believing, but that is not altogether true.  Here we see that repentance is something that God gives us.  We are so deprived as Paul so clearly points out in Romans 1 and 2 that we cannot repent on our own. True repentance is a gift from God.  God enables us to properly repent, if we cry out to Him from the bottom of our hearts.  We see the deprived nature of man in this verse, along with the grace of God.  If not for Godís grace we could not repent or be forgiven.    

 

Repentance is not the only part of salvation that is granted by God.  We might often think that faith, our trust in Jesus, is something we do on our own as well.  Paul does not believe this.  A study of Paulís letter to the Romans will show you that God grants faith to people as well. See Romans 12:3 Ė 6.    

 

If God truly is the one who grants repentance and faith to people, then it is our responsibility to pray to God that He would do such a thing for those we want to see saved.  When thinking of repentance and faith in this light, it puts great importance on prayer.

 

Another thing we should note in verse 31 is that repentance precedes forgiveness.  There is no forgiveness of sin without genuine repentance.  If you don't genuinely repent, your sins are not forgiven and you are not saved.  You cannot call yourself a Christian.

 

In verse 32 we see that the apostles were witnesses of these things, along with the Holy Spirit that God gives to those who obey Him.  One thing that Peter and the others clearly realized is that they were to be witnesses to the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus as Jesus predicted they'd be in Acts 1:8.  These men told the Sanhedrin that they werenít the only witnesses.  The Holy Spirit Himself was also a witness.  I believe the Holy Spirit was a witness because it was through the power of the Spirit that the apostles performed all of these miracles.   Such talk of the Holy Spirit was not understood by the Jewish leaders.  This too would have sounded blasphemous to them.

 

The apostles said that the Holy Spirit is given to those who obey God.  What does this mean?  The obedience that Peter is speaking of here is what Paul would call the "obedience of faith".  That is, obeying God in the things pertaining to one getting saved.  This obedience is not the daily obedience that Jesus expects from us.  Salvation is not by works but by faith, a faith that we've learned is aided by God Himself.  This obedience is not to the Law of Moses either, as the men of the Sanhedrin would have thought. 

 

The simple fact is that we need to obey God when He tells us that salvation comes only by repenting, and giving ones life to Jesus.  It is this that all men need to understand and obey.  If we obey God in this way, we will receive the Holy Spirit into our lives. From this we learn that repenting and trusting Jesus, if genuine, will bring the Holy Spirit into our lives.

 

By saying what I've just said, I'm not negating obeying the word of the Lord once we're saved.  We need to obey Jesus every step of the way in our new lives, but this obedience does not constitute salvation.

 

In verse 33 Luke tells his readers that the Sanhedrin was so furious that they wanted to kill the apostles right on the spot, and if you understand the mindset of the men of the Sanhedrin, you could understand why their fury. A man named Gamaliel convinced his peers to settle down and think about what they are thinking of doing. 

 

Gamaliel was a very prominent man in the Sanhedrin.  His grandfather Hillel was even more important.  Hillel founded the Hillel School of Theology, a very liberal branch of Judaism.  It is quite possible that Gamaliel was also a liberal.  We learn later in Acts 22 :3 that he was the Apostle Paul's teacher prior to Paul's conversion and that Paul was "thoroughly trained by him".  If Gamaliel was a liberal as many suggest, that would have made Paul a liberal prior to meeting Jesus.   

 

The name Gamaliel means "God rewards".  In Numbers 1:10 and 7:54 to 59 you'll see a Gamaliel who helped Moses count the number of Israelis while in the desert.  Maybe this Gamaliel was named after the Old Testament Gamaliel.  Some Jewish scholars say he was the president of the Sanhedrin.  Others question that.  All don't question that he was indeed one of the main leaders of the Sanhedrin.  He died around 50 to 53 A D.    

 

Gamaliel gave two examples of men involved in civil uproars as the apostles were creating.  They were Theudas and Judas, two Galileans of men who had a following but their following amounted to nothing.  Gamaliel concludes his defense of the apostles by saying that if these men are really of God, then how could we possibly fight against God.  If they were not of God, then they would fizzle out like the two examples he gave.  Some suggest that Gamaliel might not be as liberal as others suggest because of this statement.  They suggest that he was more moderate than his grandfather Hillel.  I think that's hard to say based on one statement.  
We don't know Gamaliil's motivation for making this statement.  It could have been very calculative.  He might not have had the disciples interests in mind.  He could have had the Sanhedrin's interest in mind instead.    

 

Josephus tells us about the Judas that Gamaliel mentions here.  The revolt that Judas led took place in 6 A D. Extra Biblical records also show us that there was a Roman census that took place in 6 A D.  

 

Concerning the word "Galilean" here; we should note that those Jews, especially the more well to do Jews looked down on those Jews from the north country of Galilee. 

 

The advice that Gamaliel shared was accepted.  The apostles at this point had a massive following.  They were more popular than the Sanhedrin.  If the Jewish leaders did anything drastic to these apostles, they would have to answer to the people, who would probably mount a revolt themselves.  The Sanhedrin was backed into a corner and could do nothing. 

 

So after the decision was made not to kill the apostles the Sanhedrin had them flogged, and told them again not to teach in the name of Jesus.  The punishment this time is more severe than the last time, and, it gets more severe as time goes on.  At this point in time the apostles had been warned, put in jail, and now beaten.  How did this affect them?  In verse 41 Luke says, "The apostles left the Sanhedrin rejoicing because they have been accounted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name".  Luke goes on to say that the apostles kept on teaching in the name of Jesus in the temple courts and from house to house.  The threats, the imprisonment, and the flogging, did not change their minds in the least.  They felt compelled to preach the gospel.  

 

Note in verse 42 that the believers met "from house to house".  Persecution drove them out of the public forum, although they still attempted to teach at the temple.  Notice it's from "house to house", as in, not always the same house.  This might well have been a covert way of hiding themselves from the authorities.  It might just have been a matter of logistics.  Specific houses might not been available at all times to meet in so they met in the houses that were available at the moment. 

 

There are some who teach that church should exist in homes, not in traditional buildings.  I don't believe the New Testament really teaches where gatherings of the saints should be.  I think the gatherings of the first generation Christians were just a matter of logistics, that is, the best place they could meet under the circumstances, and for them as being persecuted believers, the best place was often in houses.  I see this for the future of the western church as we experience more persecution from our anti-Christ culture as the first generation Christians experienced.

 

Note the word "teaching" in verse 42.  It's my opinion that the first apostles didn't separate teaching from preaching as we do today.  Today, we see preaching as being inspirational and teaching being instructional.   The New Testament doesn't make such a distinction.  Preaching is teaching.  Preaching is instructive.  The first generation church leaders left the inspiring to the Holy Spirit.  That was His job, not theirs.  They were called to make disciples.  Disciples are people who learn.  You can only learn by being instructed, not inspired. 

 

I believe that we have a lot of inspired Christians today who are not educated sufficiently enough in the Word of God.  I call this "inspired ignorance".  Such inspired ignorance won't get us far in the days ahead.  It will actually cause us to be carried away with any wind of doctrine that blows our way, as is happening right now, here in 2014, as I write these words.

 

 

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