The release of Paul and Silas would be a legal matter, brought about by the very magistrates who had illegally confined them. We shall see in this lesson how God providentially and more directly guided Paul and those with him to Macedonia, and specifically Philippi. In the Bible lesson activities below, children are given opportunity to engage in fun projects while learning about actual events that occurred in the early church. It is my conviction that every book of the Bible has a unique contribution to make to the Bible as a whole—something that no other book accomplishes or contributes. 2 http://bible.org/series/acts-christ-work-through-his-church. 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. I have chosen Paul’s words in chapter 1, verse 21, as the title for this series: “To live is Christ.” When this is our perspective, and we now have the right perspective toward life, we will also have a proper perspective toward adversity and even death. 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). Barnabas wanted to salvage this young man and his ministry and insisted on taking him along. As you read through the account of the arrest, beating, and imprisonment of Paul and Silas, I want you to do so with an eye to what this tells us about the attitude of the people of Philippi towards the Jews. The story of the birth of the church at Philippi is also a lesson to us regarding divine guidance. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the rest of the prisoners were listening to them. There is no “due process of law” here, no inquiry into the charges, no opportunity given to Paul or Silas to speak in their own defense. Fourth, the Book of Philippians helps us to define biblical fellowship. She brought her owners a great profit by fortune-telling. They had lost considerable wealth, and they were angry. When should we receive the Holy Spirit? 34 The jailer brought them into his house and set food before them; and he rejoiced greatly that he had come to believe in God, together with his entire household. What would they learn about the Christian’s response to suffering? The Ancestry of Our English Bible. The early church did not celebrate the birth of Jesus at all. Paul and Silas are in the deepest part of that prison, so in order to release them it was necessary to “shake up” the entire prison. Some have explained this by the fact that this was not really a great trading city, where we would expect to find many Jewish businessmen. A ministration not of the letter that kills, but of the Spirit that gives life. No way! “Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him.” (Matthew. The jailer was right to assume the worst. The group of 120 were together, either in a large home or (more probably) at Solomon’s portico--when Jesus poured out his Spirit on them in a dramatic way (wind noise, fire light, and tongues). Luke simply tells us that the Lord “opened Lydia’s heart” to respond to the gospel which Paul proclaimed (16:14). Study especially. All rights reserved. The account of the birth of the church at Philippi also instructs us regarding suffering. Riddell” emerged, much to our relief. Several of the women who gathered there may have come to faith, but Luke focuses his attention on one woman—Lydia. Q. In 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus, we see a very “fatherly Paul.” Here, Paul is a mentor, giving wise counsel to younger men in ministry. Wind and fire had evidenced God's presence before in the Old Testament. I am sure that the jailer wondered what he would do with his prisoners, now that he had come to faith. Paul was not willing to risk yet another failure, and so he refused to take Mark along with them. This young woman was a slave girl. What a time of rejoicing that must have been (16:34). Bible Lesson: The Birth of the Church (Give Bibles to any student who did not bring their own.) What was his message? Their afflictions showed them that they could not heal themselves, but that they needed someone else—the Messiah—to heal them. They had completed their first missionary journey some time before, and Paul felt strongly that they should now make a return visit to the churches that they had established. Speaking with tongues is bound up with human personality. We know from Acts 16:18 that Paul and those with him went about preaching for “many days.” We also know that when Paul and Silas left Philippi there were a number of “brethren” (16:40). If Luke had said this about the Philippian jailer, we would have expected it. This past year I spent several weeks in Indonesia, where I was preaching in a local church. Church history: Pentecost: The Birth of the Church After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to his disciples and instructed them for 40 days, after which he ascended to heaven. I have always regarded this statement about Lydia’s salvation as being of great significance because it indicates that the Lord is the “first cause” of salvation. After they brought them out, they asked them repeatedly to leave the city. And every prisoner seems to have been calm and quiet. Barnabas agreed, but wanted to take John Mark along with them. The first debate—that of Paul and Barnabas with the Judaisers—was over the gospel itself. I wonder if there was a growing sense of anticipation as midnight approached, and as the prayers and praises of Paul and Silas drifted throughout that prison. We stayed in this city for some days. They were willing to assume that because these men were Jews they were also criminals. They sail from Troas some 60 miles or so to the island of Samothrace, and then they sail the rest of the way across the Aegean Sea to the port city of Neapolis. But like our Lord, Paul did not wish this kind of publicity. How could these Jewish foreigners possibly find any forum where they could protest their arrest and treatment? Mr. Riddell had served in the army during World War II and had some very fascinating stories to tell about his part in that war. We should expect to receive as soon as we are saved and baptised in water. This “other gospel” does not save, but condemns. From this important verse we learn at least three things: They demanded that Gentile converts undergo circumcision, and by this symbolic act, to place themselves under the Old Testament law. 4 I should say at this point that there are some who assume that the demon possessed fortune teller was saved, and this might be the case, but the text does not really tell us that she came to faith. Question: "What is the origin of the Roman Catholic Church?" Paul was a “foreigner” in Philippi, and no doubt these folks tended to be suspicious of folks like him and his friends. He also spoke some German. It is God who opens the hearts of men, so that men may believe (see John 6:37, 44, 65). Here, a number were brought to faith by the preaching of the gospel. Paul and Silas were dragged before the civil authorities and charged with: (1) being Jewish, and (2) advocating practices which were illegal for Roman citizens (16:20-21). The Event. Some are using his imprisonment as an opportunity to gain a following at his expense, as we shall see in chapter 1. Or perhaps the other inmates were gathered about Paul in the inner part of the prison, asking him what they must do to be saved. Read vs 1-4. 6 They went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been prevented by the Holy Spirit from speaking the message in Asia. Pentecostal Sunday is the day known as the birth of the church. I would like to suggest to you that the way Paul and Silas suffered played a significant role in the salvation of others, including the jailer and his family. Welcome to Lesson 4 of your Bible Study of Acts. In the prison riots that have occurred in this country, at least, prisoners have murdered and maimed fellow-prisoners, venting their pent-up hatred. We should be no less cautious. First, the Philippian church is the first church to be planted in Europe. 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. By and large, it was those who were suffering who came to Christ for mercy and grace. Usually, Mr. Riddell was a very jovial fellow, making jokes and taking a very lighthearted approach to teaching. 3. 24 Receiving such orders, he threw them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks. Luke's account of the birth and early growth of the Church is known in the Bible as "The Acts of the Apostles." The believer is plunged and immersed into water by a fellow-believer. Mr. Riddell was teaching there as well, so I was able to relate to him as a colleague, as well as a teacher. He was not about to let these magistrates get away with their violation of the law. It is possible that the young slave girl was there as well. This is not because of any great success or due to the lack of difficulties in his life. Amazing as it may seem, the church at Philippi began as the result of two heated arguments. Perhaps Paul had already witnessed to this man. I doubt that any of the worst prisons I have seen would compare to this Philippian prison. But that would have taken them to Cyprus. This was a night no one would ever forget. Remember, Jesus Christ is our example. Prairie Bible Message, January 17, 2021Are you thriving, or only surviving? 41 He passed through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches. It may have to be done, but it should not be done without due consideration. The Catholic Church proclaims itself to be the church that Jesus Christ died for, the church that was established and built by the apostles. They are the title deeds of your inheritance. in 1971. But as the walls moved about violently, the gates snapped loose, and every prison door popped open. 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. 7 In short, it is the belief that “birds of a feather stay together.” Homogeneous grouping means that a church selects a certain slice of society and caters to it. I will say that I believe both Paul and Barnabas were right. That is the kind of unity that manifests the love and power of Jesus Christ to a lost world. Bob was born and raised in a Christian home i... More. 5 Even a man as great as the Apostle Paul did not hastily take on the forces of evil. I would expect that there were. Pentecost is often spoken of as the “birth” of the Church. Barnabas is already there with Mark, and so Paul must now decide where to go from Galatia. The two new inmates began to sing. He was certainly a man God used in special ways to minister to the church, but it is important to recognize that none of the New Testament writers wrote in a vacuum nor were their writings the product of simple dictation. Without a doubt! This Bible Study will help people to understand Jesus’ promise to send the ‘Comforter’ and the fulfilment of that promise when the early Church began. 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. When there is mention of Paul’s imprisonment, I can almost hear one of the inmates as he punches the jailer in the side, and with eyes rolling says, “Wow! But God had much bigger things in mind. 28 But Paul called out loudly, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!” 29 Calling for lights, the jailer rushed in and fell down trembling at the feet of Paul and Silas. However, the rapid proliferation of church divisions actually begins in the 16th Century with the Reformation. Under normal circumstances, there would have been a great escape. The magistrates had been deceived, but they had also failed to carry out their job according to the law. The problem was that Mark had deserted them on their first missionary journey (Acts 13:13). One indication of this is that they were baptized. They could not understand why He did not give them the attention they thought they deserved. Actually, that book does exist. Paul immediately told the others about it. A PRAYING fellowship (v.42). Before: ₱ 340.00 Now: ₱ 40.00. The second was a debate between Paul and Barnabas over their next missionary journey (Acts 15:36-41). (The following is a guide to a possible way to present Acts 2:22-47 to your class. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the doors of the prison standing open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, because he assumed the prisoners had escaped. Christ was born somewhere between 7 B.C. Indeed, many things are quite the opposite of pleasant. The Holy Spirit would not allow Paul and those with him to preach either in Asia or Bithynia. “Steadfast… Tried & True” – August 23, 2020. 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 demon that possessed her really did give her great powers, and consequently she provided a good income for her owners. Having encouraged these new Christians, Paul and Silas moved on to Thessalonica, where they would once again be persecuted, but this time by the Jews. The crowds as well as the civil magistrates were willing to believe the worst. The text does not teach this. 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). 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. Second, the church at Philippi is the only church I am aware of in the New Testament that is used as a model for other churches to follow. For the jailer and the long-term inmates of that prison, this night offered nothing new. A HOLY fellowship (v.43). Berean Bible Church is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is an independent Bible church with reference to denominational affiliation, and are led through a serious, often verse-by-verse sstudy of the Scriptures by Pastor David B. Curtis. That is the death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus. Barnabas had done his work well with Paul, and it was time for the two to venture out on their own. What a difference a day made to this man and his family. This city was certainly different from those Paul had visited earlier, as there appears to be only a few Jews living there. How important is this simple act of remembrance as an opportunity for self-examination (. 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. It was a scene that had been played out countless times before. birth of Christ and has done so for some 18 centuries. This young man had a Jewish mother and a Gentile father. 26 Suddenly a great earthquake occurred, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. What the Bible Says About the Holy Spirit, The Evidence of the Holy Ghost Baptism is Speaking in Tongues. 1 This would also seem to include the “gift” of Epaphroditus (2:25-30), who was sent to minister to Paul. You and I may have some difficulty appreciating the significance of this, but I doubt that Luke did. 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. There is a book, written by an unbelieving psychiatrist, entitled, Whatever Happened to Sin? He had no great cause for concern, for the very next day police officers arrived, sent by the magistrates who had illegally sentenced Paul and Silas. 9 A vision appeared to Paul during the night: a Macedonian man was standing there urging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us!” 10 After Paul saw the vision, we attempted immediately to go over to Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. Bible Story: The Birth of Christ in the stable, based on Matthew 1:18-24 and Luke 2:1-7. 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. No one wanted to take on this “Mr. A GROWING fellowship (v.47), the Lord adding to their number daily those who were to be saved. We see three very different people who are impacted by Paul’s ministry at Philippi: a Jewish businesswoman, a slave girl, and a jailer. He may have known something from what Paul and Silas said or sung earlier in the evening. In Acts 16:15 we are informed that Lydia and her household were baptized. Then write answers to the questions. Wind and fire came BEFORE the believers were filled as a sign of the initial outpouring and was not repeated. Since she and others were at the river when Paul arrived it would be easy to understand her baptism as being much like that of the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts chapter 8. As Dr. Haddon Robinson once remarked, this epistle does not come with a tear-out contribution card and a self-addressed, stamped envelope, with the hope of getting yet another gift from the Philippians. Sometimes men and women suffer because they are righteous. Luke informs us that the magistrates were shocked to learn that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens. We should all see that it was God who divinely directed Paul and Silas and the other members of this team to Philippi. Five hundred at once had seen Jesus after His resurrection, but only 120 were found at the prayer meeting when God's zero hour struck. 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. God guides our witness and our walk. And if it does, we shall never be grouchy Christians again. Mr. Riddell could virtually change his personality in a split second. What a terrifying experience this must have been. They certainly had no way to escape. But the one who comes to my mind is the jailer. According to the Catholic tradition, the history of the Catholic Church begins with Jesus Christ and his teachings (c. 4 BC – c. AD 30) and the Catholic Church is a continuation of the early Christian community established by the Disciples of Jesus. “The birth of God’s plan, The Church!”. I wonder if there was a message in this for those who had falsely accused Paul and Silas. Guidelines For Group Bible Studies: ACTS 2:1-4, 14-18, 37-38, 41-47 By the way, unless God divinely restricted this earthquake to one building, the entire city was severely shaken. 19 But when her owners saw their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the authorities. Paul had him circumcised so that his ministry would be more broadly accepted. Apart from the Lord opening his heart, we know that he would not believe the message Paul preached. We know for certain that Lydia and the jailer were saved. We can examine this critical event by attempting to answer the following questions: What was the original meaning of the Day of Pentecost? Churches were planted near and far as Jesus’ followers proclaimed the message of Christ. In spite of these circumstances, Paul is jubilant, joyful, optimistic. God directed these men in a variety of ways. These inmates had “seen it all,” or so they thought, but when they witnessed the response of Paul and Silas, they listened. In prison jargon, we would say that Paul and Silas were thrown into “the hole.”6 It would be in the deepest part of the prison and behind as many gates and bars as possible. Would they have come to know about the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary? It is safe to assume, then, that the three people whom Luke has chosen to include in his account in chapter 16 are but a sampling of the converts who came to faith due to Paul’s preaching. Suppose that Paul and Silas had moaned and groaned and cursed because of their pain. 14 A woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, a God-fearing woman, listened to us. Speaking with tongues came AFTER the believers were filled as the hallmark of a genuine experience (, REPENTANCE. The story of the angels announcement to the shepherds is an aspect of the Christmas story that should blow us away (one of many, actually). As Paul, Silas and Timothy made their way to the churches that had been previously founded, they delivered the decree of the apostles and elders in Jerusalem, which greatly encouraged the saints. 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. This would not be a bad test for any music, old or modern. He was no longer required to incarcerate those who had brought the gospel to him. 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. Add to cart . So come out now and go in peace.” 37 But Paul said to the police officers, “They had us beaten in public without a proper trial—even though we are Roman citizens—and they threw us in prison. Not by works, but by faith. It may be through our suffering that others come to faith. They want to send us away secretly defined in Philippians two Greek words together. Birth is obtained daily those who had gathered for prayer combat-proven disciple a Book that helps us get a Perspective. Prayers that were being offered up Says about the Philippian jailer and times... Jesus told them that he would not believe this Happened with Barnabas see this... Church members feel greater unity and comfort because everyone else is pretty much like Lydia ) sought to require converts! An Old Testament law Upon this Rock i will _____ my _____. many churches Pentecost/Pentecostal Sunday is one the! His prison like our Lord, Paul and Barnabas not separated, they asked them repeatedly to leave the of. 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