Ananias and his wife Sapphira sold and kept back some of the property's price for himself with his wife's full knowledge. After laying a portion at the apostles' feet, Peter asked why they lied to God and kept back some of the price of the land. When Ananias and Sapphira heard these words, they died and great fear came upon the church (Acts 5:1-11). Deal harshly with lies, hypocrisy and half surrender to preserve God's glory.
The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people with a multitude of men and women becoming believers in the Lord. They were in one accord and held in high esteem among the people even though some were afraid to associate with them. People from the vicinity of Jerusalem saw healing among the sick and afflicted with unclean spirits (Acts 5:12-16). Pursue unity and trust God for miraculous healing to multiply believers in Christ.
The high priest and Sadducees were filled with jealousy and put the apostles in jail. An angel opened the gates and told them to share the whole message of this Life to the people in the temple. Peter and the apostles told the religious authorities they must obey God rather than men because they and the Holy Spirit witnessed God raising up Jesus who was put to death on a cross and exalted to God's right hand as a Prince and Savior to grant repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins (Acts 5:17-32). Obey God and preach Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension so your nation repents and receives forgiveness of sins.
A Pharisee named Gamaliel said if this plan was of men, it would be overthrown, but a plan of God could not be overthrown because you would be fighting God. When the authorities followed Gamaliel's advice, they released the apostles after flogging and ordering to stop speaking about Christ. The apostles rejoiced they were considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. Every day in the temple and from house to house they kept on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ (Acts 5:33-42). Teach and preach the gospel of Christ everywhere continuously with joy and perseverance in the midst of persecution.
The Hellenistic Jews complained when the native Hebrews overlooked their widows in the daily serving of food. The twelve asked the congregation of the disciples to select seven men with good reputations and full of the Spirit and wisdom to lead this task so they could devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word. They brought seven men, including Stephen and Philip, before the apostles for prayer and have hands laid on them (Acts 6:1-6). Choose qualified people to serve in practical areas and those with apostolic gifts pursue prayer and the ministry of the word.
The word of God kept spreading, the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem and great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith (Acts 6:7). Design a process to equip and multiply disciples in God's word so it spreads in all cultural spheres.
Stephen full of grace and power performed great wonders and signs among the people. Men from the Synagogue of the Freedmen, Cyrenians, Alexandrians, Cilicia and Asia argued but could not cope with Stephen's wisdom and the Holy Spirit. They stirred up men to slander Stephen saying he spoke against Moses and God; Jesus was destroying this place to alter the customs of Moses. When Stephen was brought before the Council, his face was like the face of an angel (Acts 6:8-15). Teach wisely in the power of the Holy Spirit to refute error while trusting in God's glory for the outcome.
To provide the context for effective teaching and preaching the gospel of Christ everywhere continuously with joy and perseverance in the midst of persecution, use a chiastic structure beginning with the first paragraph: A, B, C, D, C', B' A'. We group together the content in A & A', B & B', etc.:
1. Teach wisely in the power of the Holy Spirit to refute error and deal harshly with lies, hypocrisy and half surrender while trusting in God's glory for the outcome
2. Pursue unity, trust God for miraculous healing and design a process to equip and multiply disciples in God's word so it multiplies in all cultural spheres
3. Preach Jesus' death, resurrection and ascension for repentance and forgiveness of sin while choosing qualified people to serve in practical areas and those with apostolic gifts pursue prayer and the ministry of the word