I don’t know why, but there are all too many saints in the church with long faces and sour spirits. God directed these men in a variety of ways. Everyone knew what to expect, but this night something different was in store for all. How different is the Paul of Philippians! They would have to come personally and release them. If you or I were to hand pick those whom we would like to see saved and used as the nucleus of a new church, I doubt we would select those whom God chose.4. He spoke also of another day. In spite of these circumstances, Paul is jubilant, joyful, optimistic. In Acts 16:15 we are informed that Lydia and her household were baptized. In Galatians, we find a very different Paul. We are not saved by an empty rite, but by God's grace through repentance and faith in Christ. We can examine this critical event by attempting to answer the following questions: What was the original meaning of the Day of Pentecost? We might even think that for a person like her, conversion was virtually automatic. These inmates were about to witness an event that they would talk about for the rest of their lives. All too often the term “fellowship” is used almost synonymously with “friendship” or some similar term. The legalistic Jews of Jesus’ day were wrong to conclude that the only reason for human suffering was sin (see John 9:1-3). The article in the newspaper said that the other death row inmates called out to the two men who held this woman hostage, urging them to injure the female guard in very cruel ways. The magistrates were afraid of what Paul or Silas might do to them, since they had broken the law in the way they violated the rights of these Roman citizens. It is apparent that no one was demanding that he be circumcised, as was the case with Titus (Galatians 2:3-5), or Paul would never have circumcised him. I have been to a lot of prisons in my life (in prison ministry), and I have seen some pretty miserable places. It was our Lord’s suffering and death on the cross of Calvary that provided for the forgiveness of sins. It was the message of repentance, baptism in water, and the receiving of the Holy Spirit. To the jailer, all this seemed to verify his conclusion that there was no one left inside the prison. In addition to not seeing any of the prisoners, the jailer must not have heard any noise, either, or he would have known that the prisoners were still inside. They could not understand why He did not give them the attention they thought they deserved. Riddell,” not even me. Bible Lesson: The Birth of the Church (Give Bibles to any student who did not bring their own.) What would they learn about the Christian’s response to suffering? God not only established the church in Philippi, He did so in a way that insured its safety in the days to come. Barnabas had done his work well with Paul, and it was time for the two to venture out on their own. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:13 says, "For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body... and have been all made to drink into one Spirit". Church. 3 There are those who might infer from these words that if the jailer himself believed, this would suffice not only for his salvation, but also for the salvation of his entire household. 2 The brothers in Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. From this, we conclude that Luke joined Paul and the others in Troas, and then remained on in Philippi when the others left (see Acts 16:40f., where we find “they” once again). They demanded that Gentile converts undergo circumcision, and by this symbolic act, to place themselves under the Old Testament law. The magistrates had been deceived, but they had also failed to carry out their job according to the law. It is possible that the young slave girl was there as well. How could these Jewish foreigners possibly find any forum where they could protest their arrest and treatment? We stayed in this city for some days. What a terrifying experience this must have been. This would well explain why so few Jews were to be found there, so few, in fact, that the city did not even have a synagogue. Background Study: Click here for an overview of the Book of Acts. Bible Bits are meant to be just a brief exploration into the major stories and themes of scripture. I would understand her to be an Old Testament saint. By and large, it was those who were suffering who came to Christ for mercy and grace. I have dealt with this matter in my exposition of the Book of Acts,2 so I will not deal with it in detail here. The believer is plunged and immersed into water by a fellow-believer. This was a night no one would ever forget. I wonder how many of those fellows will be getting saved? A PRAYING fellowship (v.42). A GROWING fellowship (v.47), the Lord adding to their number daily those who were to be saved. Let’s call him “Paul, the warrior.” Here, Paul reminds me a great deal of Clyde Riddell in his “mad mode.” As we read Galatians, we see a very animated and even angry apostle, incensed by the fact that some are turning from the true gospel of salvation by grace alone and embracing another “gospel,” a gospel of works. I am sure that the jailer wondered what he would do with his prisoners, now that he had come to faith. Sermons on The Birth and Spread of the Church. We know that it was dark inside that prison, because the jailer had to call for a light (16:29). This is a very important chapter in God's unfolding story. It was on one of their trips to the riverside place of prayer that a demonized young woman encountered Paul and his colleagues. Now, their business was gone, and they intended to make Paul pay for it, if not with his money, then with his body. Sometimes men and women suffer because they are righteous. 5 Even a man as great as the Apostle Paul did not hastily take on the forces of evil. Paul was a “foreigner” in Philippi, and no doubt these folks tended to be suspicious of folks like him and his friends. Were there prayers of praise? It is almost certain that the jailer lived in the same building, probably upstairs. 35 At daybreak the magistrates sent their police officers, saying, “Release those men.” 36 The jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent orders to release you. For the jailer and the long-term inmates of that prison, this night offered nothing new. It is yet another ten-mile trek from Neapolis to Philippi, where the first church in Europe is soon to be founded. 41 He passed through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. Every prisoner remained in their cell, even though their cell door was open and their chains had fallen loose. Some disagree over where this prison is located, but it seems clear that Paul is waiting for his trial, and his future is uncertain. They celebrated His death, burial, and resurrection. In Acts: The Birth of the New Church, Luke, a first-century physician, documents the rise and spread of the gospel across the known world. God saw to it that there was a church planted in Philippi. Birth of the church is a good metaphor for the day of Pentecost although the Bible does not use it. Paul delivered this woman from her bondage, and she may have rejoiced, but this was not true of her owners. I cannot tell you how much easier it was for me because a Christian brother put me up in his apartment. They had traveled as far to the northwest as they could, to the seaport city of Troas. Every chain that secured a prisoner to the wall or to the floor was broken loose (16:26). Luke then informs us that Paul explained the gospel more fully, not only to the jailer, but to his entire household (16:32). It was at this point that God guided this small missionary band by means of a vision—the so-called Macedonian vision. 1 This would also seem to include the “gift” of Epaphroditus (2:25-30), who was sent to minister to Paul. This division of labor worked out well for everyone and paved the way for a new penetration of the gospel, beyond what anyone might ask or think. Q. I can almost see one of the older prisoners turning to a cellmate and asking, “Which God are they singing about?” The response of these two “foreigners” was so unusual that everyone in that prison must have strained to hear the words of each song. I have always thought of the Apostle Paul in similar terms, except that Paul has several “faces” which are evident in his epistles. But the one who comes to my mind is the jailer. It was the sinless, righteous, suffering of Paul and Silas that God used to testify of His grace and saving power to all who looked on. logo is copyright and only for use by Christian Assemblies International. The believer is plunged and immersed into the Body of Christ by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would not allow Paul and those with him to preach either in Asia or Bithynia. Their afflictions showed them that they could not heal themselves, but that they needed someone else—the Messiah—to heal them. It would seem from the text that the people of Philippi had a great deal of racial prejudice toward the Jews. The birth of Jesus Christ was like this: Mary His mother had been promised in marriage to Joseph. 11 We put out to sea from Troas and sailed a straight course to Samothrace, the next day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of that district of Macedonia, a Roman colony. The missionary party now turns northwest, taking the gospel into Europe. Under normal circumstances, there would have been a great escape. I don’t know for certain that the slave girl was saved and became a member of that church, but Lydia and the jailer surely did. Add to cart . First, the prisoners would have attempted to escape from their confinement. With the tongues of fire and the ability to speak in foreign tongues, it is obvious that the disciples were set apart and blessed by the Holy Spirit, forming a … Jesus promised, not only that His disciples would receive power when the Holy Spirit came on them, but also that they would be His witnesses (ACTS 1:8). The demon that possessed her really did give her great powers, and consequently she provided a good income for her owners. 1 review . 17 She followed behind Paul and us and kept crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” 18 She continued to do this for many days. For example, there is “Paul, the theologian.” You can see Paul’s very logical reasoning in the Book of Romans, as he meticulously works his way through the doctrine of salvation. So as we commence our study of Philippians, I would ask this question: “What is the unique contribution of Philippians to the Bible as a whole?” Allow me to make some preliminary suggestions. When the jailer rushed into the prison, he apparently saw no one and assumed the worst—that every prisoner had already fled. Schwiebert, E. G. Luther and His Times: The Reformation from a New Perspective, Saint Louis: Concordia, 1950. Read this story from the book of Matthew in the Bible. Acts 15:1-35 describes the way the apostles and the elders of the church in Jerusalem handled this debate. He endured this woman’s announcements for some time,5 but eventually he became so annoyed by her that he cast the demon out of her. A through examination of the subject also reveals that virtually every month on the calendar has been proposed by biblical scholars as housing the birth of Christ. 16 Now as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave girl met us who had a spirit that enabled her to foretell the future by supernatural means. Jesus, towards the close of His life on earth, spoke of "another Comforter" (JOHN 14:16) - Counsellor (NIV), Helper, Intercessor, Advocate, Strengthener, Standby (Amp), coming not only to be WITH them, but also to be IN them (v.17). Luke’s record in Acts reveals that God places a … Answer: The Roman Catholic Church contends that its origin is the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ in approximately AD 30. It was a scene that had been played out countless times before. Note the importance given to prayer in the New Testament and the failures that followed lack of prayer. If I were Paul, I would have some pleasure in watching these magistrates “eat humble pie” (as we would say). I doubt that anyone would have fallen before them, asking what they must do to be saved. August 23, 2020; Dean Carlson Third, Philippians is an epistle that gives us an entirely different standard for giving and fund-raising. From there the truth about Jesus spread and God caused the Christian church to grow. Bible Story: The Birth of Christ in the stable, based on Matthew 1:18-24 and Luke 2:1-7. Having witnessed more than one earthquake, I can imagine what it would have been like to experience this event from deep within that ancient prison. If Paul would not take John Mark along because of the dangers they would face, he surely would not have taken an unproven Timothy along, either. A TOGETHER fellowship (v.42) quickened together; raised up together; fitly framed together; builded together (, A WORSHIPPING fellowship (v.42) centred around the Lord's table. The Comforter came when the day had fully come. The Ancestry of Our English Bible. The Christian church in Jerusalem was the center of the Christian faith. Answer: The church began on the Day of Pentecost, fifty days after the Passover when Jesus died and rose again. There were three manifestations of the coming of Pentecost - wind, fire and speaking with tongues. He is just the opposite of “Paul, the warrior” in Galatians. In the book of Acts, we have a record of the most fertile period of outreach in the history of Christianity. 20 When they had brought them before the magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion. by Mike Bennett. When such times occurred, Mr. Riddell’s face would suddenly darken into a frown, and that look was enough to stop bad behavior in its tracks. 24 Receiving such orders, he threw them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. It was Paul who first broke the silence. They are the title deeds of your inheritance. 3 Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was Greek. Indeed, many things are quite the opposite of pleasant. But it is of this woman that Luke writes, “the Lord opened her heart to believe…” This is most significant to me. Then write answers to the questions. It was likely in spring but the Bible does not reveal his birthday or the year of His birth. (I have a friend whose father was a sheriff for many years, and he tells me that his family lived in the jail building. Luke’s account of the birth of the church at Philippi is one of the most extensive accounts of the planting of a church in all of the New Testament. Speaking with tongues came AFTER the believers were filled as the hallmark of a genuine experience (, REPENTANCE. How important is this simple act of remembrance as an opportunity for self-examination (. It may have to be done, but it should not be done without due consideration. Here is a church we would do well to imitate. The NIV translates, A fellowship where THINGS HAPPENED (v.43) -. He was not about to let these magistrates get away with their violation of the law. As we consider this earthquake and its aftermath, I want you to keep one thing in mind—the purpose of this earthquake was not to give Paul and Silas the chance to escape, and it was not God’s intent that any of the prisoners escape. Barnabas was acting consistently with his gift of encouragement (see Acts 4:36), while Paul was right in refusing to take Mark along on a mission in which he was likely to fail again. But when things were once again under control in the classroom, the old “Mr. It is a book that, if taken to heart, can radically transform our outlook and sweeten up some sour saints, not to mention pointing others who have not yet met Him to Christ, the source of all true joy. These were not songs of sorrow—“Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen…”—these were songs of joy and of praise to God (16:25). And a rather unlikely bunch they are. 5 stars (1 vote, 100%) 4 stars (0 vote, 0%) 3 stars (0 vote, 0%) 2 stars (0 vote, 0%) 1 star (0 vote, 0%)-+ 1 item(s) available. in 1971. Just this past week in Texas, a couple of death row inmates were able to overpower a woman guard and to hold her hostage for a few agonizing hours. By the salvation of Lydia, God had not only given them their first convert in Macedonia, He also provided them with a place to stay. Elsewhere we see a fair amount of instruction concerning the giving of gifts, but in this great epistle Paul gives us a unique perspective on the receiving of gifts, one that is both rare and refreshing. 40 When they came out of the prison, they entered Lydia’s house; and when they saw the brothers, they encouraged them and then departed. 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