Acts 5:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Acts 5:9, NIV: Peter said to her, 'How could you conspire to test the Spirit of the Lord? Listen! The feet of the men who buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out also.'

Acts 5:9, ESV: 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.”

Acts 5:9, KJV: Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out.

Acts 5:9, NASB: Then Peter said to her, 'Why is it that you have agreed together to put the Spirit of the Lord to the test? Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out as well.'

Acts 5:9, NLT: And Peter said, 'How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.'

Acts 5:9, CSB: Then Peter said to her, "Why did you agree to test the Spirit of the Lord? Look, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out."

What does Acts 5:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The sin of Ananias and Sapphira isn't that they keep some of the money from the sale of their land. God wasn't demanding they give any set amount. Rather, they promised to give God all of it, but kept some and lied about it. By going back on a promise—and, more importantly, by lying about it—they embezzled what they had dedicated to God. Trying to deceive other Christians shows they value attention and prestige over honesty and humility. They are also testing God.

God specifically told the Israelites not to test Him (Deuteronomy 6:16). We are not to try His patience or His goodness or tempt Him to allow us to do evil. Jesus used this verse to reprove Satan, asserting that we should not do foolish things to see how God will react (Matthew 4:7).

Peter asks Sapphira to confirm what her husband said, and Sapphira stands by the lie. Her answer is more disappointing because Peter gave her an explicit chance to choose honesty. God hates when we test how far we can go before He will discipline us, but He loves when we test Him to bless us for our obedience (Malachi 3:10). The Bible shows throughout its pages that God loves to be merciful.

The main message of the church is because of Jesus, we can repent (Acts 2:38). Sadly, despite living in the church community and having the opportunity to learn from those who knew Jesus best (Acts 2:42), Sapphira never understands the value of rejecting her sin and whole-heartedly following Jesus. In these early days of the church, God takes extreme measures to show repentance is not just a nice offer He gives us but a requirement if we want to live.