To understand this passage, you have to understand who God is. - Love and judgement You have to understand What he requires - Submission, not pride You can’t fear the Lord if you don’t know Him. How do we lie to God? “It is a frightening thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. - Proverbs 9:10 Intro: Disappointing your parents - worst feeling ever. Fear of disappointing your parents can equate to the fear of the Lord. Martin Luther: Servile fear = servant/master, filial fear = child loves their father and does not want to let them down. It’s a fear that drives us to obedience, but it’s a fear rooted not in manipulation, but love. We are commanded to fear the Lord. But how can we have this respect for Him if we don’t know who He is? Many Old Testament examples, we seem to think fearing the Lord is outdated after the New Covenant. But it’s not. (Intro Acts: 4:32-5:11) 32 Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. 33 And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. 34 There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold 35 and laid it at the apostles' feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles' feet. But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, 2 and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. 3 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? 4 While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” 5 When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. 6 The young men rose and wrapped him up and carried him out and buried him. 7 After an interval of about three hours his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. 8 And Peter said to her, “Tell me whether you[a] sold the land for so much.” And she said, “Yes, for so much.” 9 But Peter said to her, “How is it that you have agreed together to test the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” 10 Immediately she fell down at his feet and breathed her last. When the young men came in they found her dead, and they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. 11 And great fear came upon the whole church and upon all who heard of these things. 1. Why the action? - Others were giving greatly as a response to the Gospel Parallel structure - Ananias and Sapphira wanted to be like Barnabus Pride and selfishness - both in how they were perceived, and keeping some for themselves 2. Why the retribution? - They lied not just to men, but to God Himself God is a God of Justice God hates pride 3. Why the response? - Focus on how the people respond - Fearing the Lord Ecclesiastes 12:13 The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man Proverbs 9:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. Acts 10:35 But in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him.