God is a Refining Fire
Topic: Occupied With Greatness Passage: Acts 5:1–5:11
A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon
Preaching Text: Acts 5:1-11
Acts 5 demonstrates the Lord’s great love for his people and his willingness to be a refining fire, a goldsmith, who burns away dross so that his people learn to reflect on the outside who he is making them to be on the inside.
God is a refining fire.
Ananias and Sapphira decide to sell a field and give a gift to serve the poor in the church. They saidthey gave the entire proceeds of the sale when in fact they had kept back some for themselves. They wanted people to think they were more spiritual than they were. As one theologian said, “Hypocrisy literally sucks power out of the church, corrupts unity of church, devastates testimony of church, & confuses world in need of grace.”God teaches them that hypocrisy quenches his spirit, and kills a church. In this instance, God exercised his right to root sin out of a church.
So how do we fight hypocrisy?Verse 11 says, “And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard these things.” The fear of God cures the fear of man. Oswald Chambers, says: “when you fear God, you fear nothing else. Where as if you do not fear God you fear everything else.” What does it mean to fear God? Honor him first, revere him, care more about what he thinks than others. How do you learn to fear God? Honor and turn to the Lord Jesus now. Jesus feared and loved God perfectly. He lived a life full of integrity. And he not only welcomes us with open arms when we confess our sin and hypocrisy, but he pours out grace and power to walk in the light and refines us more and more into his life of integrity.
Taking it home:Discuss situations in your life where you are tempted to make yourself appear spiritual.