The Church Established and Strengthened
Acts 16 The Church Established and Strengthened
I. The growth of the Church
A. Timothy – a new leader
1. Jewish mother and Gentile father
2. Had a good reputation
3. Circumcised –not for salvation but to avoid offending Jews
4. Became Paul’s protégé
B. Paul recognized Timothy’s potential as a leader
1. Timothy became Paul’s Spiritual son
2. Paul wrote two letters to Timothy
3. Those letters have become the basis for understanding Church leadership
4. Timothy was a man who cared for people (Philippians 2:19-23)
C. The churches were increasing in number daily and were being strengthened
II. The direction of the Holy Spirit
A. The Holy Spirit controlled and guided the new Church
B. How does the Holy Spirit guide believers?
By: Scripture, Church history, truth, circumstances, wise persons, prophets
III. The salvation of Lydia
A. Preaching outside of the gate of the Roman colony (no synagogue there)
1. A merchant from Thyatira
2. A worshipper of God
3. A listener – hungry to hear
4. Had a place of prayer
B. God opened her heart –
1. Circumcision of the heart – so she could understand the truth
2. Lydia offered her house for a place of fellowship
IV. Persons impacted and blessed by the new Church
A. Timothy – mixed race – Jew/Gentile
B. Lydia – a wealthy merchant woman
C. Girl – a slave with the spirit of divination – delivered
D. Jailer – “what must I do to be saved?”
V. Persecution at Philippi – a Roman colony
Deliverance – God has power over evil spirits v.18
False accusation – against God’s people– v.20-21
Prison for God’s people v.22-24
Singing by God’s people v.25
Earthquake – supernatural intervention v.26
“Do not harm yourself, we are all here…” v. 28
VI. Paul’s response to being set free v.36-39
So the keeper of the prison reported these words to Paul, saying,
“The magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore depart, and go in peace.”
But Paul said to them,
“They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans,
And have thrown us into prison.
And now do they put us out secretly?
No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”
And the officers told these words to the magistrates,
And they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans.
Then they came and pleaded with them
And brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city.
Paul did not allow them to anonymously set the prisoners free
“They put us in prison. They must personally release us.”
Conflict resolution – How do you resolve issues?
Do you attempt to cover issues without facing the issues honestly v.36-37
“OK, let’s just put this behind us and go on like nothing ever happened”
Is that a good way to resolve marriage problems…?
It is OK to hold people accountable -Do not cover wrongs without resolving them
When people are not held accountable, they develop a practice of unjust behaviors
It is OK to use privilege and position to hold people accountable
Notes and questions
Young leaders must be chosen very carefully
They must be equipped for ministry, not forced into a religious mold
Who are you preparing for ministry?
What are you doing to avoid causing unnecessary offense?
(Remember that truth will cause offense)
Do you limit your freedom? In what ways? (I Cor. 8)
Evil spirits are very powerful – Evil spirits know about God
False accusations against God’s people are the worst of Satan’s evil devices
What causes people to do self-harm and Self-inflicted injury? V.28
How can the Church meet needs of people today?
How can the church stop the political activity and be the Church today?
Why do so many youth not find their heart united with the church?