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Daring to Discipline (5 of 5)
The Church: What We Were Meant To Be
Terry J. Hallock
Matthew 18:15-17; Portions of Acts 4:32-5:16; Hebrews 12:4-11
February 14, 1999
Acts 5:1-2 contains a watershed moment for the first century church. How it handled the situation described in those two verses would determine whether it would continue to live in the Spirit's power, changing the world for Jesus, or whether it would shrivel and die. Acts 5:1-2 also presents a watershed case study for the present church. How we handle similar such incidents will determine whether we live or die, change the world or be buried by it.
The central word around which this decision spins is "discipline." Would the first century church engage in spiritual discipline holding its brothers and sisters to purity and holiness? Will the 20th century church dare to discipline holding its family to godly standards of purity and holiness? I am convinced that the presence of spiritual discipline was the root cause for success in the first century church and that the absence of spiritual discipline is the root cause for failure in the 20th century church.
Here is the circumstance created in Acts 5:1-2 and to put it into context we'll begin reading at Acts. 4:32. The Church was so unified in its commitment to Jesus and His vision for His Church to the point that no one saw the things they possessed as their own. They saw themselves as simply the stewards of what ultimately belonged to Jesus. Thus when Jesus' church needed financial blessing the brothers and sisters of the Jerusalem church let go of the things they held so the hungry could be fed, the naked could be clothed, the sick could be cared for, the imprisoned could be visited, the thirsty could be given water, the Gospel could be preached and the lost could be saved. And every person did it gladly, openly, and sincerely.
Every one that is, except Ananias and Sapphira. Ananias and Sapphira decided to lie. They brought some of the mo ...
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