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Discipline Leads to More Disciples

July 16, 2015

After reading the account of Ananias & Sapphiras’ sudden deaths as a result of lying to the community, one would think people would step back from being a part of that kind of community. As you read Acts 5:11-16, you realize that was people’s first reaction. However, as you continue reading, it becomes clear that discipline leads to more disciples.

The immediate response of the onlooking crowd is “Whoa… I’m not just gonna join that community because they are so nice and generous and kind. There’s some serious repercussions if I just join that group. Just because they are trending well with people right now, but I’m not sure I’m that serious about my commitment. I’m gonna take a few days to think about this. Am I really ready to commit to what they stand for?”

There was a fear (yes, Gk phobos)! Not just reverence but genuine “I’m afraid” and “I better be careful” before I sign up with this radical community. Yes, it’s amazing how they share things together. Yes, it’s cool how they stand up against the religious leaders. But before I join them, I better count the cost. Because I see now, it’s not just a social club.

We find that while Peter preached his message and the apostles did miracles in Solomon’s Colonnade, the people still kept their distance. They were curious, intrigued, attracted, but not just gonna do a quick facebook “like” and call themselves friends of the group. Now they had to give a second thought to if they were truly going to identify themselves with this community, regardless of its attractiveness. Yet because of the serious discipline that happened to Ananias and Sapphira and because the apostles continued to proclaim the good news and do miracles, we read in verse 14, “Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number.” Jews and Gentiles decided to follow Christ, to join this new community because they saw grace and truth as a reality. They saw holiness and compassion working together. They witnessed the power of generosity and the power of Jesus. And again, the community grew.

This post is the last in a three part series. See Part 1 and Part 2.

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