Acts 16_16-40 - The Gospel Prevails
The Gospel Prevails
1. Soothsayer Stalks The Missionary Team (16-17)
a. The missionary team was headed for prayer meeting
b. Woman servant who was possessed
c. Soothsaying = truth saying
d. It’s amazing that identifying something as true, does not mean that you receive that truth.
e. “servants of the most high God” (Gentile name for God; 11x)
i. Melchizedek: Genesis 14:18-20 "And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all."
ii. Daniel 3:26 "Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace, and spake, and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, ye servants of the most high God, come forth, and come hither. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, came forth of the midst of the fire."
iii. Daniel, Psalm, Mark, Acts, Hebrews
f. “which show unto us the way of salvation”
g. Acts 8:20 "But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money."
h. She was profitable to her masters.
2. Spirit Silenced (18)
a. Many days
b. Paul was grieved
c. In the name of Jesus Christ
d. The spirit had to depart.
e. Luke 10:20 "Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven."
3. Slandered By Greedy Men (19-21)
a. These men should have humbled themselves under the mighty hand of the most high God.
b. These greedy men served a different master…money.
c. Retaliated for their loss of revenue
i. Slander = a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report
ii. Proverbs 10:18b "…he that uttereth a slander, is a fool."
ii. Lied about what they were teaching
iii. Christian missionaries do not overthrow governments
4. Silas & Paul Assaulted By The Mob (22-23)
a. Magistrates (Principalities and Powers)
b. Beat: as with a rod (one of the 3x [2 Corinthians 11:25])
c. What would it take to stop you?
d. Hebrews 12:4 "Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin."
5. Secured In Stocks (23-24)
a. Cast them
b. Safely…secure them by all means possible
c. Inner prison
d. Feet in stocks
e. Satan will try to bully you into giving up
6. Singing, Prayers & Praise at Midnight (25)
a. Paul and Silas responded to this horrific assault
ii. Sang praises unto God
b. The prisoners hear them.
i. That is some jail ministry
c. Psalm 22:3 "But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel."
d. God’s ears were filled with praise…now God responds
7. Sudden Shake Up (26-29)
b. Great earthquake…foundations
c. God knows how to shake things up.
i. Acts 4:31 "And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness."
ii. Hebrews 12:24-29 "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven: Whose voice then shook the earth: but now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear: For our God is a consuming fire."
d. God not only shook the prison…
e. (26) “immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.”
i. God opens doors
ii. Jesus is the door
iii. Bands are loosed
iv. Jesus brings delivery to the captive.
v. Ephesians 4:8 "Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men."
f. The keeper was shaken (27)
i. ….trembling (29)
ii. He thought he was a dead man, but he would instead live forever!
8. Salvation Of A Family (30-34)
a. This man said “I”
b. Paul said “and thy house”
c. Expanding your vision
d. Acts 16:30-31 "And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house."
i. The summary of the message…faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
ii. They spoke the word unto him and to all in his house.
e. New believers now cared for these precious saints of God
i. Washed their wounds
f. Were baptized straightway!!…then
i. Set meat before them
g. The jailer rejoiced… believing in God with all his house.
9. Strong Rebuke By Paul (36-39)
a. Magistrates thought they had taught those no good Jewish Christians a lesson
i. Slight problem…they were good
ii. “Go in peace”…like they had done the missionaries a favor
iii. It was they who would be taught a lesson about the very Roman law that Paul and Silas was accused of being against!
b. Verse 37: Be bold as a lion:
i. Proverbs 28:1 "The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion."
ii. Stand in righteousness
iii. Ephesians 5:11 "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them."
iv. let them come themselves and fetch us out.
c. The magistrates had a rude awaking…they were both Romans!
i. Missionary with an American flag
d. They came, but with a different disposition
i. Beseech: to beg eagerly; comfort; entreat
ii. Desired them to depart out of the city
10. Solace At The house of Lydia (4)
a. Thank God for those who comfort and aid
i. New convert’s home, now a safe haven for Paul and Silas
b. Before they left town, Paul and Silas comforted them!!
i. they comforted them
ii. Even in personal suffering Paul and Silas maintained a healthy outward focus.