How To Fear God & Not Be A Hypocrite

Series - Something New: A Study Through The Book of Acts
Scriptures - Acts 4-5
Date - September 5, 2021

Central Campus Pastor Dave Cash unpacks what it means to fear God and challenges us to correct the spiritual hypocrisy in our own lives.


Sermon Notes

Acts 1:8

 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

Gospel in your heart – to the world:  Witnesses


Peter: Main character in chapters 2-5

3 sermons – His focus is Jesus – who He is, what He has done

Peter’s sermons and actions are BOLD:  Key to salvation is REPENT – Turn

In sin we turn our back on God, in repentance we turn our back on sin

The first step to connecting with God through Jesus – REPENT

  • Too often, we want to enjoy the benefits without changing anything- Are you SAVED?  GOSPEL

Are you trying to work for God’s approval?

Chapter 3 – God is concerned about physical needs – He likes to heal people BUT – God’s ultimate desire is for personal salvation – the miraculous happens to point people to Jesus.

  • The primary focus of the Church is spiritual needs – PEOPLE NEED JESUS  -but its awesome when people get healed.


Acts 5:14-15

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.  (WOW!)

  • Peter doesn’t start a healing ministry – keeps preaching the gospel!

“We don’t follow signs and wonders, but sometimes signs and wonders follow us”

  • We can’t program, script or plan for it, but sometimes as part of the gospel message, God will choose to heal hurting people!  EXAMPLES

So we read Acts to this point and The CHURCH IS ON THE MOVE

  • Explosive growth – 120, 3000, 5000 men – 15,000 – more added daily!
  • The church looked like Jesus – People wanted to be a part of it!
  • Some people…I don’t want to be a part of a large church – if we do all of this stuff the church will get too big – I just want to focus on discipleship and be a family church…
  • We don’t chose – the Great Commission says we do both – growing big doesn’t mean we loose community.

“If you believe the church should stay small, then your heart is too small.”

Craig Groeschel

Acts 4:32

Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and one mind and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common.

  • The early church didn’t settle on the mission being community, they were the community on mission!


Acts 4:33-34

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.

  • One of the ways we know the church is working correctly is when people begin to shed excess for the good of the church and its mission!

Acts 4:35-37

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.

Sets Up Chapter 5  – Peter, and a husband and wife…

  • 2 Temptations and Dangers that could hinder the church – same 2 things that Can Keeps Us From Growing Spiritually and Our Church from Growing Numerically…

Hypocrisy:  Pretending to be a little farther along than you really are spiritually

Fear:  Not going all the way with the gospel largely because you are afraid

How To Overcome These 2 Temptations and Dangers…


Opposite of hypocrisy is integrity – application courage

Acts 5 – Part of the One Heart and Mind Crew we read about…

Remember…Hypocrisy enters when you pretend to be something that you’re not spiritually

  • Ananias and Sapphira pretended to be more generous than they were…
  • Was it wrong to only give a portion?  NOPE!  The sin was in the deception.
  • The fuel that grows hypocrisy – when we serve God apart from the fear of God

So to kill hypocrisy you have to…

Fear God As You Serve God

Deuteronomy 10:12

…what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul

Fear of God: The Idea of Awe – mixed with Intimacy 

-RC Sproul

  • We respect God’s power and position – while at the same time resting in His presence.
  • Part of fearing God is knowing that you live open before Him – He is God (knows all, sees all)
  • A and S didn’t think about that, they thought they were pulling one over on God!  

Deuteronomy 32:39

“‘See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god beside me; I kill and I make alive; I wound and I heal; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.

  • Some of us have 9th Commandment issues – lying – God doesn’t always enact His immediate judgment in that way – BUT HE CAN AND HE DID AND HE MIGHT!
  • People who have a fear of the Lord understand this!
  • ILL: PASTORS WHO HAVE FALLEN – Serving God without the fear of God

Hypocrisy: pretending to be more spiritual that you really are

  • Serving God with a Fear of God is How We Kill Hypocrisy

Fear God More Than People

  • Sometimes we feel the pressure to fit in – Put on an act…care more or know more than we really do…
  • We fear what people think – or what people might do…

Proverbs 29:25

The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.

Acts 5:29

When threatened with their lives…  29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

Acts 5:27-32

27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, 28 saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” 29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.30 The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. 31 God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. 32 And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”

Do Not Fear God Ordained Weaknesses

  • Our weaknesses can draw us to God when we recognize them…

Acts 5:41-42

Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.

2 Corinthians 12:10

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Two Questions Today:

  1. Where Are You Pretending?

2. Where Are You Lacking Courage?

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