Lying to the Holy Spirit

LyingTITLE: Lying to the Holy Spirit


PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will look at the first internal problem for the church and how it was handled. We will then draw some practical lessons from the text.

OBJECTIVE: Each hearer should learn that God is always watching what we do and knows our motives, thoughts, and actions. We cannot get away with sinning against God.


1. Read: Acts 5:1-11

2. About the Text:

1) The context of these verses begins in Acts 4:32-37.

2) The early church was a giving church.

3) Not a single needy person was neglected.

4) Those who had houses and lands sold their possessions so that this could happen.

5) A man named Joseph also sold his field and brought it to the apostles.

6) The apostles called him Barnabas, which means son of encouragement.

7) It was in this context that we find the story of Ananias and Saphira.

8) This is the first internal problem that the church experiences.

3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.


I.   Ananias and Saphira’s story.

1. They sold a piece of property.

1) This is what others had done.

2) This is also what Barnabas did.

3) Selling the property was not the problem.

2. They kept back part of the price but represented the gift as the full price.

1) The lie was not in keeping back part of the price.

2) The lie was in representing the gift as the entirety of the price.

3. While the property and money were in their possession, it was theirs to manage.

1) The principle of ownership implies they didn’t have to give all their money to God.

2) The principle of ownership also means they were responsible.

4. The lie was not to man but to the Holy Spirit and God.

1) Because of this lie, Ananias and Saphira lost their life.

2) God did not want the early church to be founded on lies.

3) God set an example to the rest of the church that truthfulness was mandatory.

II.  What are some lessons we can learn from this?

1. Ananias and Saphira saw money instead of generosity.

1) Do we look at other people with eyes of love or through our own sin?

2) 1 Cor.13:4-7

2. Envy seeks to compare with others instead of Jesus.

1) Comparing ourselves with others is a false standard.

2) 2 Cor.10:12 “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.”

3. Greed makes us think that money creates influence.

1) Deuteronomy 16:19 – “You shall not pervert justice; you shall not show partiality, nor take a bribe, for a bribe blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of the righteous.”

2) Proverbs 15:27 – “He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, But he who hates bribes will live.”

4. God watches what we give whether men see it or not.

1) Mark 12:41 – “Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much.”

2) Psalm 139:12 – “Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You, But the night shines as the day; The darkness and the light are both alike to You.”

5. Lying originates out of ulterior motives.

1) People lie to cover up their sins of pride, envy, anger, and malice.

2) Psalm 40:4 – “Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.”

6. Representing only a part of the truth as the whole truth is lying.

1) God wants us to be completely honest.

2) Psalm 15:2 – “He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart”.

3) Proverbs 29:24 – “Whoever is a partner with a thief hates his own life; He swears to tell the truth, but reveals nothing.”

7. God wants us to be truthful with one another.

1) We speak truth because we are of the same body, Christ.

2) Ephesians 4:25 – “Therefore, putting away lying, ‘Let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor,’ for we are members of one another.”

8. All sin is ultimately against God.

1) Remember Joseph – “How then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?” (Genesis 39:9).

2) Psalm 51:4 – “Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight—That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.”

9. Truth is more important than money.

1) Matthew 6:24 – “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

2) 1 Timothy 6:10 – “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”


1. What are our motivations for giving?

1) Have we elevated money above truth?

2) Do we desire approval of others above righteousness?

3) Are we lying to ourselves and the Holy Spirit about our righteousness?

4) Do we need to make changes in our heart about our giving?

2. Invitation