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Ananias and Sapphira

February 7, 2006

I was reading about Ananias and Sapphira recently (on a blog actually) and it got me thinking about how dependant we are on God’s grace.

In Genesis 2:17 we find that God required the death penalty for an act of disobedience and that death was imminent (“surely”). Ezekiel 18:4 reads, “the soul who sins is the one who will die”. Yet God didn’t mete out justice and give Adam and Eve what they deserved (instant physical and spiritual death) rather He showed them mercy and allow them to live (physically) for a long time. More than that He showed them grace in providing animals’ skins for them. But God’s mercy cannot be presumed upon, sin still brings the death penalty as Uzzah, Nadab, Abihu, Ananias and Sapphira discovered.

Living this side of the cross we sometimes think we are exempt from the death penalty, which is perhaps where Ananias and Sapphira made their big mistake. (God’s people in the OT looked forward to the cross to be justified whereas we look back to the cross.) Nevertheless the wages of sin is still death (Romans 6:23). We are so reliant on God’s mercy and grace, we don’t even take our next breath unless God allows it. Pretty humbling stuff.

by Susan Barnes
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Susan Barnes

~ writer of insightful posts about God and faith