Writings on Christianity

Acts 16 Sermon Outline

Acts 16 “Mission to Philippi”

Intro: When Jesus began his ministry, he announced the arrival of God’s kingdom; he died for his people and rose again.
      -Before he ascended into heaven he gave his church a mission: be witnesses of Jesus to the ends of the Earth: kingdom spreads
                  -After he ascended he gave his church the Holy Spirit, to fill and empower them for gospel ministry.
QUESTION: How will God’s kingdom advance and spread through this Earth?
      -Only if God Himself provides resources, leads His people, and saves the lost.

                  -Acts tells us that is exactly what God does: God provides, leads, and saves.

                              -Today’s text brings this out: As the kingdom of God advances, it is God who provides, leads, and saves.
RELEVANCE: This is a truth about God that we need to remember today as we seek to proclaim the gospel and make disciples
      -We need God to provide the resources (people), we need God to lead and guide, and we need God to save the lost.
                  -And that is what God does! He did it in Acts 16 and does it today.

CONTEXT: Paul is about to begin his 2nd missionary journey: to strengthen churches already planted and also preach the gospel—that the lost would be saved and God’s kingdom would extend to end of earth.
      -He is no longer with Barnabas, but not traveling with Silas, preaching the gospel and strengthening new Christians.                                        *As the kingdom of God advances, it is God who provides, leads, and saves.

1 As God’s kingdom advances, it is God who PROVIDES (1-5)
If gospel ministry is to take place, we must have gospel workers. We need people! And God is the one who provides these people.
      -Our passage reminds of this as we see God provide Timothy, a faithful co-worker for Paul in gospel ministry.
-New location (1)
      -Derbe and Lystra: cities where Paul proclaim gospel on earlier visit
-TIMOTHY (1b-3)
-Christian (“disciple”), son of “believing Jewish woman” (Eunice), dad was “Greek,” “Well-spoken of by brothers”                  -Paul desires to bring Timothy with: to “accompany him” (3)
                              –SURPRISE: Paul circumcised Timothy (3b)
                                          –REASON:Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.” (3c)
                                                      –NOT for salvation, but so as to not bring about unnecessary offense to Jewish believers.
                  *APPLICATION: Sometimes faithful evangelism means going out of our so as not to bring about unnecessary offense.
                              -Gospel is already offensive, but we should seek to be wise and not bring additional hindrances (1 Cor 9:22)
                                          -Let’s not be unnecessarily weird, or make Christianity about 2ndary things, but seek to be missionaries
-Paul, Silas and Timothy ministering in the region (4-5)      -“Delivering Jerusalem letter” (4)àActs 15 Letter (Gentiles do not have to observe OT ceremonial law to be saved)
                  -“Churches were strengthened in the faith and increased in numbers daily” (5)
                              -God strengthens his church today in the same way: hearing apostles teaching.
OBSERVE: As God’s kingdom advances, it is God who PROVIDES workers of ministry!
-God provided Paul with a gospel worker in Timothy who was a help to him to the end of his life.
      -God provides gospel workers today to carry on ministry and mission.
                  -Jesus encourages us to pray for this: Luke 10:2
       –CCF: PAST/PRESENT–We have seen him provide for us in CCF over the 8 years of services
                  FUTURE NEEDS: We still need more workers for this church plant to continue in the years to come.
                       -One person to help Andrew with finances
                       -Two people to lead Foundation Worldview for 4-7 year olds
                       -Everyone to carry on work of evangelism and discipleship

                               -Financial provision for future: as we seek to move away from outside financial support.

2 As God’s kingdom advances, it is God who LEADS (6-10)
Acts 16 reminds it is God HIMSELF who LEADS his people and church on mission.
      -God’s people are not left without God’s leadership, but serve a God who wisely leads and lovingly directs His people. Ps 23:3
                  -This section provides an example of God leading his apostles.
-Traveling through Phyrgia and Galatia and Guided by the Holy Spirit (6-7)
      -Forbidden from going West (6b), then forbidden from going north (7)
                  -How did this happen? Luke does not tell us, but it was clear to them (circumstance, audible word, prophecy, impression)
-Directed by a vision from God (8-10)
      -Vision in the night (9)
                  -“concluding that God called us to preach the gospel to them.” (10))
                              APPLICATION: Greatest help a person need can only come through Jesus.
                                    -Remember this to help you share the gospel with others—evangelism is seeking to HELP others.
: As God’s kingdom advances, it is God who LEADS his people!
       -God leads His church today: Word of God, providence (‘perhaps’ [Esther 4:14, Phile 15]), godly and wise counsel.
                  -We likely won’t have visions or audible words (we are not apostles)
                  -We can be easily be mistaken by interpreting ‘impressions/feelings’ as Word from God (Dating; JI Packer)
      -God leads His people today through the Holy Spirit-inspired Word of God. Read it, hear it preached, ponder it: be led by God!

3 As God’s kingdom advances, it is God who SAVES (11-40)
GOD HIMSELF saves the lost.
      -As gospel advances to Philippi, Luke tells us of 3 very different people who become Christians.
-Gospel mission reaches Philippi (11-12)
      -What we see is the birth of the church at Philippi (same church who received the letter known as Philippians).
                  -Paul and his companions remain there for number of days carrying out gospel ministry (preaching; discipleship).

-Paul and his companions intentionally went to a place where they hoped to preach the gospel [‘spoke to…’] (13)
      -The gospel was preached a woman named Lydia [successful businesswoman] (14)
                  -“The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul” (14b)
                              -It is really is GOD who saves!
                                          -We preach the gospel, but God opens hearts and saves.
                                                      -This week: sharing the gospel with a banker named Kendall.
       -Lydia and her household respond in faith with baptism (15a)
                              -Lydia’s transformed life by the gospel: 15b
-Now we see a very different kind of person become a Christian: ‘slave girl’
-Slave girl experiences salvation (16-18)
      -Slave girl’s story: ‘spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling
                  -Followed Paul around and cried out message (17)
                              -Paul cast the demon out of her (18).
                                          -Commentators note: likely necessary so as not to confuse outsides about Christianity.
                                                  -Power of Jesus greater than the power of Satan.
 -Paul & Silas experience persecution (19-24)
      -Gospel ministry brought suffering to Paul and Silas
                  -Lied about: 20-21 (were not advocating unlawful practices)
                  -Stripped and beaten: 22
                              –APPLICATION: Part of following Christ is suffering for him in this life (Phil 1:29-30)

      The 3rd person who is saved in this chapter is a jailer.
-Paul and Silas in Prison and Miraculously Delivered (25-26)
-NOTE: amazing joy and delight in God even in prison (25)
                  -“Prisoners were listening to them” (25b)
      -GREAT EARTHQUAKE: brings deliverance for Paul and Silas (26)
                  -God rules over earthquakes and handcuffs cannot stop his purposes!
      -Jailer is distressed (27)
      -Paul ministers the gospel to him (28-31)
                  -Simplicity of the gospel: “believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household!’ (31)
                              *UNBELIEVER: If you believe in Jesus—place your trust in him—you will be saved!
                                          -Believe this morning, be saved from your sins and hell.
                                                      -Enter into the kingdom of God and receive gift of eternal life and grace.
      -Jailer’s family hears the gospel (32)
                  -Mutual washing: Jailer washes Paul and Silas; Jailer and family baptized! (33)
                              -JOY of salvation and knowing God (34)
                                           –APPLICATION: Only God can give you true and lasting joy
*OBSERVE: God HIMSELF is the one who saves.
                  -This gives us courage to preach the gospel here in Naperville.

-Paul and Companions Intentionally Bring Offense for the Sake of the Gospel (35-39)
      -The magistrates who ordered Paul’s beating and imprisonment would like to release them (35-36)
      -Paul insists magistrates themselves come and release them (37-38)
                  -It was unjust for Paul and Silas to be beaten and imprisoned, as they are Roman citizens
                              –WHY did Paul intentionally bring offense? For the advance of the gospel.
                                                      -Paul would have been viewed as a criminal and gospel as suspicious.
                                          *APPLICATION: Sometimes Christians must be willing to be offensive for sake of gospel.
                                                      -State truths that are uncomfortable or offensive; actions that are countercultural
-Final Visit to Lydia Before Departure (40)
      -Before heading out the city, Paul and companions visited Lydia one final time
                  -“Encouraged them” (This is much of the Christian life: encouraging each other to follow Jesus.)
As the kingdom of God advances, we must remember that it is God who provides, leads, and saves.

By Tom Schmidt

Christian, husband of Rach, Church Planter,musician,

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