Highlights from Acts: Session 5

Key theme: Original Sin

We won’t be able to understand God’s amazing Redemption for this world if we don’t understand the sin under which this world lives and functions … someone said it this way.. “If you don’t know you are a sinner, you don’t know you need a Savior!”

To understand sin we have to go back to Genesis-and Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

GK Chesterton says:  ” Original sin is the one doctrine for which there is ample evidence in the world.”

Remember what Lori explained that even in the beginning God had a plan for us… when she paraphrased Genesis 3:15… God said to them “sin is going to nip at your heels, but I’ve got a plan… I’m going to take care of sin and everything that it causes once for all.”   There it is:  GOD’S PROMISE to US

In Romans 5:19 Paul says..

”For just as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were made sinners, so also through the OBEDIENCE of the one man the many will be made righteous! “

Paul describes the 3 great powers that enslaved us completely before  Christ came and which we must continually fight and stand firm against in the course of our lives.

  1. The world: The entire value system that dominates our culture and is opposed to God.
  2. The Flesh: Our selfish nature apart from Christ, causing all kinds of cravings and passions that do not conform to God’s will for us;   
  3. Satan – an actual spiritual being that desires our harm and fights powerfully against God’s kingdom ( But is no match for God! Always trying to lure us away from following Christ:  greed, lust, jealousy, insecurity, self consciousness, shame, guilt!  

All three enemies drive us to sin— but, ultimately, in terms of our own sinful behavior, we are not victims… we are complicit in our sin….

“For ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23

In Acts 5:
Ananias and Sapphira’s sin was not stinginess or holding back part of the money..  Their sin was lying to God and God’s people – saying they gave the whole amount but holding back some for themselves and trying to make themselves appear more generous than they really were.

People were attracted to the early church by expressions of God’s power at work, the generosity, sincerity, honesty, and unity of the members and the character of the leaders, so they had to act against sin.  

Without spiritual unity and purity the church, especially the early church could not survive.  This act was judged harshly because dishonesty, greed, and covetousness are destructive in a church.  All lying is bad, but when we lie to try to deceive God and his people, we destroy our testimony about Christ.

In light of our sin…. God’s promises to:
Sustain us when we are struggling
Strengthen us to face life’s challenges
Support and Forgive us as we strive to be more like him

”For just as through the disobedience of the one man, the many were made sinners, so also through the OBEDIENCE of the one man the many will be made righteous! “

Paul tells us that God DOES equip us to stand firm against evil forces… we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of his armor.

Our loins girded with TRUTH
Holding the Breastplate of RIGHTEOUSNESS
Shodding our feet with His WORD.. the Gospel of PEACE
Shielding us with FAITH
Putting on us the helmet of SALVATION
Giving us the Sword of the SPIRIT which is the Word of God.

Putting on spiritual armor means that we continually clothe ourselves in the Lord, relying on His gifts and graces to resist temptation and to enable us even at times to risk our own well-being for the sake of the Kingdom