Generosity in giving - talk on Acts 4:32 - 5:16




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4v 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.


5v1 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 men 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 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.


12 Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. 13 None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. 14 And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they even carried out the sick into the streets and laid them on cots and mats, that as Peter came by at least his shadow might fall on some of them. 16 The people also gathered from the towns round Jerusalem, bringing the sick and those afflicted with unclean spirits, and they were all healed.

(C) NIV 2011

notes about giving


  • Matt 6v3 - Give quietly without seeking praise.
  • Live generously. assume that Christians are trying to do what is right, unless it is obviously sinful or heretical.
  • If its just about your preference, Heb 13v17, firstly listen to and trust those elected by God and the church to lead – get involved if you want change.
  • Matthew 23v23, Jesus upholds the Jewish concept of tithing (giving 10%).
  • If you have a will, consider putting a tithe in your will, perhaps much more.
  • In 2 Corinthians 8 & 9. Paul commends joyful and willing giving, not guilt or compulsion. In the church there should be no needy among you we are told in Acts 4:34.
  • The local church. If the church loves Jesus and is faithfully trying serve others, to teach the bible and make disciples then that is a good church to support.
  • There may be other faithful local churches that are in need.
  • Where is God drawing your heart? - different area of the world, missionaries, etc?
  • Supporting people you know and trust ensures you know where the money is going.
  • Examine the mission of what you are giving to? Is it about serving Christ and fulfilling the works that he calls us to? 
  • Will it cure the cancer of the soul, the disease of the heart (sin) or help those in poverty?