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  • Allen Domelle

Kept Back Part


Acts 5:1-2

But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession, And kept back part of the price, his wife also being privy to it, and brought a certain part, and laid it at the apostles' feet.

One must wonder what was the big sin that Ananias and Sapphira committed that caused God to kill them. All they did was keep back part of the price of the land they sold for themselves; they still gave a certain part of the proceeds from the sale. Now, God does not tell us how much they kept back, and this is the key that should cause us to wonder what they did that was so egregious for God to kill them.

The key to this answer is one word: possession. Verse 1 says they sold a possession. Possession does not mean ownership. Acts 4:32 makes this definition clear when it says, neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own. In other words, the possession of the land they sold was not their land to keep back part of the profits for themselves. So, who owned this land? God did! God was the owner, and He gave them the possession of that land to do what He wanted them to do with it. If God had told them to keep a portion, they would have been fine, but they lied to the Holy Ghost by saying that they gave all that God wanted from the sale of this property, when they truly kept a certain part for themselves.

The believer must realize that they are not their own, but that they belong to God. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 teaches, What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. Your life belongs to God, and you simply possess a life that God has loaned to you. What are you to do with your life? You are to give your life to God as a steward of His property. Romans 12:1 teaches, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. As a believer, you have been purchased Christ’s blood, and you have no right to do with your life what you want because your life is owned by God.

Sadly, many do with their lives what Ananias and Sapphira did: they are guilty of keeping part for themselves. You may say, I have a right to do what I want, but you do not have a right because you are not the owner of your life; God is. To keep back any part of your life for yourself and lie to God and the church by saying you are giving your all is to lie to the Holy Ghost. My friend, lying to the Holy Ghost always results in grave consequences.

One may ask, am I to live as a pauper? The answer is that you cannot give more to God than what He will give back to you. Mark 10:29-30 teaches, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time…. God always multiplies abundantly what you give back to Him, this which is rightly His in the first place.

Are you holding back finances, talent, possessions, or time from God? To hold any portion back from God, no matter how small it may seem, is dangerous to your life because you are holding back from God what is rightfully and lawfully His. Remember that God wants your all because it is His.

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