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God is Building His Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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We are the instrument God uses to build his church, our usefulness, and effectiveness is dependent on our reliance on the Holy Spirit to do his work through us.

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Intro

Good Morning, welcome to hbc, my name is Pastor Junior and I’m the Assistant Pastor here of discipleship.
If you need a copy of God’s Word/Bible, and or a Sermon outline you can raise your hands and our lovely hard working Ushers will get on into your hands.
Let me just recap for a little bit just to give you some context as to where we are. Last week Pas Al spoke from , where Paul and Barnabas, the bible says “had a sharp disagreement”, and we saw how that was handled, but amidst their disagreement God was still building His Church. One thing we can learn is that God changes His workmen, but His work goes right on.
God changes His workmen, but His work goes right on
So we pick up today in . This is the beginning of Paul’s 2nd missionary journey. In his first Journey he planted and supported Churches in these areas: [Show Map 1]
So we pick up today in . This is Paul’s 2nd missionary journey. In his first Journey he planted and supported Churches in these areas:
As you can see they departed from Antioch, through Seleucia, preached through the Island of Cyprus, over to Perga, up to Antioch in Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe, and back through Lystra, Iconium, Pisidian Antioch, then Attalia, then finally back to Antioch. They did this in approximately 2 years.
Today as they begin their 2nd missionary Journey, Paul and some new team members covers this entire span, strengthening the Churches, and planting new ones. [Show Map 2]
You must remember that they were without all of the agencies we have at our disposal today! Cars, planes, internet, sound system, and freedom to speak God’s word without restrictions. I say this to say, that all that the Apostles accomplished was humanly impossible. Impossible! They could never have done it apart from the supernatural work of the Holy Spirit.
But think of this; how did they have such a large impact with so little, and we have so little impact with so much? They trusted in the Power of God the Holy Spirit to accomplish his work using their gifts, their resources, and their sacrifice for His glory and the good of the Church.
I praise God for all he has blessed us with, state of the art sound system, technological resources, our personal transport etc. These things are great! But they can be more of a hindrance than a tool if the Holy Spirit can’t use them to build His Church.
Big Idea: We are the instrument God uses to build his church, our usefulness, and effectiveness is dependent on our reliance on the Holy Spirit to do his work through us.
So as we look into Chapter 16 today, we will see how God the Holy Spirit equipped, supplied, encouraged, guided and fortified the building of His Church, and what we must do to ensure the continuity of God’s work.
Point number 1

1. Trust the Holy Spirit to Make you a Discipler

Acts 16:1–5 ESV
1 Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium. 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 a Greek. 4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.
1. Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek.

Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek.

2 He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium.

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 a Greek.

4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem.

5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.

2 He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium.
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 a Greek.
The Holy Spirit now introduces Timothy to Paul, recognizing that the work that Paul must accomplish cannot be done by Paul and Silas alone. He would need to raise up more disciples who would in turn become discipler of others. Look at how he does this - He assesses Timothy’s background:
His family history - VS. 1
His Reputation - VS. 2
And any other hindrances to the gospel - VS. 3
Now this puzzled me a bit this week right. You remember back in Chapter 15 what was happening with the Jews? They were saying that in order for the gentiles to be recognized as Christians they had to get what? Circumcised! . Then who stood up and spoke on their behalf? Paul and Barnabas!
They went up to the Jerusalem council and the other apostles sided with them, making this conclusion: to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.
to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood
So how is it now that Paul is circumcising Timothy?
Here’s what I found out: Remember that in every place Paul went, the first part of town he headed for was the Synagogues. The jewish worship centers. And so to take Timothy into that setting would be a hindrance to the gospel. The text makes it clear that it was because of the Jews who were in those places, that he Circumcised Timothy, because the jews knowing that Timothy was had a greek father would have objected to giving Timothy and even Paul a listening ear in any of the Synagogues. The spreading of the gospel was too important to allow a simple jewish practice to stand in its way. Notice with this, He is not telling Timothy he has to be circumcised to be a Christian, but circumcision, would certainly give them the opportunity to share Christ with both jews & gentile.
The text makes it clear that it was because of the Jews who were in those places. The jews knew that Timothy was had a greek father would have objected to giving Timothy and even Paul a listening ear in any of the Synagogues. The spreading of the gospel was too important to allow a simple jewish practice to stand in its way. Paul’s heart is captured in this thought “By opening a door to the gentile Christians, it did not mean closing the door to the Jewish Christians”. God’s wish is that none would perish, but that all would come to repentance
The jews knew that Timothy was had a greek father would have objected to giving Timothy and even Paul a listening ear in any of the Synagogues. The spreading of the gospel was too important to allow a simple jewish practice to stand in its way. Paul’s heart is captured in this thought “By opening a door to the gentile Christians, it did not mean closing the door to the Jewish Christians”. God’s wish is that none would perish, but that all would come to repentance
Paul’s heart was captured in this thought “By opening a door to the gentile Christians, it did not mean closing the door to the Jewish Christians”. God’s wish is that none would perish, but that all would come to repentance
2 Peter 3:9 ESV
9 The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.
What do we learn here? The spreading of the gospel is more important than any of our personal goals and aspirations. Some of us adjust our lives to go to our jobs, or a school, to live with the person we love. Have you ever considered adjusting your life for the sake of the gospel?
Adjust your schedule to host or be a part of a small group?
Change your job so you can have more time for ministry?
Devote 1 hour of your day to learning to evangelize to your neighbor or coworker?
The spreading of the gospel is more important than any of our personal goals and aspirations.
So in making disciples Paul checks out Timothy’s background:
So in making disciples he checks out Timothy’s background:
His family history - VS. 1
His Reputation - VS. 2
And any other hindrances to the gospel - VS. 3
Verse 4
He trains Timothy VS. 4
4 As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem.
It does not say Paul delivered to them, it says they, Timothy included. And so out of there collected effort, Luke by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says
Paul’s approach seemed to have been
ACTS 16:1
5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.
My entry into sg ministry.
as the leader of our sg ministry here, i praise God for all of our sg leaders and members, the hosting in your homes, the writing of sg studies, the preparation of snacks, the follow up with members, even to the point where you feel like you have to beg persons to want to grow in their walk with Christ. It’s a sacrifice but it’s a biblical mandate. Be encouraged. The Bible says in 1 cor 15:58 - Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. You continue to plant, and the Holy Spirit will bring the increase.
His family history - VS. 1
His Reputation - VS. 2
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
And any other hindrances to the gospel - VS. 3
Paul had lots of reasons to want to be a “lone ranger”. Scarred by unreliable brothers, experiencing persecution, just coming out of a big argument with another brother, Barnabas! But in spite of this he forges on by the power of the Holy Spirit to not only sharing his faith but also making disciplers out of disciples for the glory of God and the good of his church.
What is a disciple? a close study of this word in verse one of our passage indicates it’s a - student who adheres to a teacher. One who have committed himself to the purpose of learning, not just to do what is teacher does, but most importantly to be what his/her teacher is.
What is a disciple? a close study of this word in verse one of our passage indicates it’s a - student who adheres to a teacher. One who have committed himself to the purpose of learning, not just to do what is teacher does, but most importantly to be what his/her teacher is.
In order for God to build his church, he uses disciples to make other disciples and so on, and so forth. Everywhere that Paul went He was in the habit of making disciples, not in his own strength, but by placing His trust in the Holy Spirit to do it through him.
Point number 2 on your outline

2. Trust the Holy Spirit to give you Direction

The Holy Spirit will get His work done, he will give you the team, but he will also give you direction. Let’s read
[Show Map 2]
6 And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia.
7 And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them.
8 So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas.
9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
10 And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them
11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis,
12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days.
The Holy Spirit guided these guys over 700 miles, just to get to this place.
God supernaturally directed Paul and his team avoiding so many areas that need the gospel as well, but they were trusting the Holy Spirit to direct them.
So how can we be sure what about which direction God is taking us?
Or to make it personal, what is God’s will for your life?
Scripture says in - “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Deuteronomy 29:29 ESV
29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
Some secret things -
1. Whose name is in the book of life.
2. The day of Lord’s return.
3. Infallible details of the future.
Some things that are revealed:
the whole counsel of God’s word.
The way of Salvation
So many persons ask: God what is your will for school, spouse, career etc. God give me direction. This they do while neglecting to read and study the revealed will of God in His Scripture.
So
5 CLEAR DIRECTIONS FROM GOD
God’s will is that we be:
1. SAVED 1 Timothy 2:3-4
1 Timothy 2:3–4 ESV
3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
1 Timothy 2:3–4 ESV
3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
This is the first thing about God’s will: He wants people to be saved. So much so that He stays His judgment.
2. SPIRIT-FILLED Ephesians 5:17-21
Ephesians 5:17–21 ESV
17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, 19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, 20 giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, 21 submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
;17-21
The Spirit-filled life yields every decision to the control of the Spirit. It is being saturated with the things of Christ—with His Word, His person. The more you study the Word of God, the more it saturates your mind and life. (, ).
The Spirit-filled life yields every decision to the control of the Spirit. The Spirit-filled life is nothing more than living in the conscious presence of the indwelling Christ. Do you see what the Spirit-filled life is? It is being saturated with the things of Christ—with His Word, His person. The more you study the Word of God, the more it saturates your mind and life. (, ).
3. SANCTIFIED 1Thessalonians 4:3-8
1 Thessalonians 4:3–8 ESV
3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification: that you abstain from sexual immorality; 4 that each one of you know how to control his own body in holiness and honor, 5 not in the passion of lust like the Gentiles who do not know God; 6 that no one transgress and wrong his brother in this matter, because the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we told you beforehand and solemnly warned you. 7 For God has not called us for impurity, but in holiness. 8 Therefore whoever disregards this, disregards not man but God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.
God’s will is that we be sanctified;satay away from sexual sin, control your body, subdue your passions (don’t act like the rest of the world), and treat others fairly ().
God’s will is that we be sanctified;satay away from sexual sin, control your body, subdue your passions (don’t act like the rest of the world), and treat others fairly ().SUBMISSIVE:What is it God wills that you do? Submit. What kind of submission is He talking about? Scripture outlines several kinds, including to parents and other believers. But here Peter called specifically for the kind of submission that makes you the best possible citizen in the society in which you live. ().
4. SUBMISSIVE 1 Peter 2:13-15
1 Peter 2:13–15 ESV
13 Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14 or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people.
What kind of submission is He talking about? Scripture outlines several kinds, including to parents and other believers. But here Peter called specifically for the kind of submission that makes you the best possible citizen in the society in which you live.
5. SUFFER ;
1 Peter 4:19 ESV
19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.
1 Peter 3:17 ESV
17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.
You want direction? There it is!
God has kept back no truth that it is profitable for us to know about His counsels, but only that which it is good for us to be ignorant of.
Keith Brooks
Paul and his team had no problem finding God’s will in the small things, because they continually followed God’s will in the revealed things.
Always remember this the will of God is Perfect. What does that mean? You don’t have to violate 1 part of God’s will to follow another.
He will not tell you to be sanctified while telling you to marry a person who is not a Christian!
He will not tell you to be a missionary, unless you’re already a sub-missionary!
So Point no. 1 Trust the Holy Spirit to make you a discipler. No. 2 Trust the Holy Spirit to give you direction. Here’s point no.3

3. Trust the Holy Spirit to use you to make Disciples

13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together.
14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.
15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
So Paul and his team couldn’t go into the synagogue because there was none in that city. They worked tirelessly sharing the gospel of Christ with those whom they met, primarily women.
[Show Map 2]
The Holy Spirit guided these guys over 700 miles, just to get to this place.
So Paul and his team couldn’t go into the synagogue because there was none in that city. They worked tirelessly sharing the gospel of Christ with those whom they met, primarily women.
What’s important to note here is the description of Lydia’s salvation. It says that the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what Paul was saying. Coupled with the truth of that “In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.”
We can understand the divine nature of Salvation. That when when we present the gospel to someone it is the Lord that opens their heart to believe the truth of the gospel, see and repent of the evil of their sins, and place full confidence in the finished work of Christ on the cross for their salvation.
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
That’s why we must always endeavor to make a clear presentation of the gospel to ppl, pray fervently, and consistently for their salvation, model a holy life before them, and place our full trust in the Holy Spirit to do what he said he will do - which is “to convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:”
People of God our mandate is clear. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.
And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment:
Are you yourself a disciple? Have to trusted Jesus Christ alone as your savior and Lord?
Have you been involved in our Church in the disciple making process?
Are you worshipping Christ - are you here early, prayed up, ready to participate in corporate worship?
Are you walking with Christ - are you in a small group? In harvest students?
Are you worshipping Christ - are you here early, prayed up, ready to participate in corporate worship? Walking with Christ, working for Christ?
Are you working for Christ? - are you serving in a ministry?
Guys we need to remember this is not my Church or the elders church, this is God’s church.
We must trust the Holy Spirit to use us to make disciples.
Point No. 4 on your outlines
You guys remember Pauls model for ministry right?
Proclaim truth – vs. 13-15
Expect opposition – vs. 16-24
Remain Persistent - vs. 25 - 34
Anticipate Fruit- vs. 35 - 40

4. Trust the Holy Spirit to give you Determination

16 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling.
So this Slave girl was demon possessed.
17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”
18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour.
Illustration:
So this was what was happening, she wasn’t helping Paul and his team, she was mocking them!
19 But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.
20 And when they had brought them to the magistrates, they said, “These men are Jews, and they are disturbing our city.
21 They advocate customs that are not lawful for us as Romans to accept or practice.”
22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods.
23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely.
24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them,
You guys remember Pauls model for ministry right?
What was it?
They:
Proclaim truth – vs. 13-18 - They shared the gospel to the Ladies at the river. They cast out a demon out of a slave girl. Undoubtedly giving more credence to the gospel message.
Expect opposition – vs. 19-24 - Now they are being harassed by the system/government/the powers that be.
And later we will talk about how they remained persistent, and anticipated fruit.
Remain Persistent - vs. 25 - 34
Anticipate Fruit- vs. 35 - 40
So here they are: embarrassed in the middle of town, accused wrongfully, stripped naked, beaten, locked up, treated in the worst way by the phillipian jailer. The text says that he was ordered to lock them up safely.
Commentators Newman & Nida says
“The inner cell was simply “the farthest cell in prison.” This may be translated in some instances as “the most guarded cell of the prison,” since one would need to pass through several other cells in order to arrive at this inner cell.
A Handbook on The Acts of the Apostles In Prison at Philippi Act 16.16–40

It is not necessary to assume, as some commentators have done, that the inner cell was an underground cell. The inner cell was simply “the farthest cell in prison.” This may be translated in some instances as “the most guarded cell of the prison,” since one would need to pass through several other cells in order to arrive at this inner cell.

Between heavy blocks of wood is rendered by most translators as “stocks.” The term “stocks” was avoided by the TEV for two reasons: (1) it was felt that its meaning would not be readily understood by the readers for whom the TEV was designed and (2) the stocks utilized by the Romans were of a different sort from those otherwise known. The Romans used this as an instrument of torture. It had more than one pair of holes for the legs, so that a prisoner’s legs could be spread wide apart, causing him great pain.

It is not necessary to assume, as some commentators have done, that the inner cell was an underground cell. The inner cell was simply “the farthest cell in prison.” This may be translated in some instances as “the most guarded cell of the prison,” since one would need to pass through several other cells in order to arrive at this inner cell.
Between heavy blocks of wood is rendered by most translators as “stocks.” The Romans used this as an instrument of torture. It had more than one pair of holes for the legs, so that a prisoner’s legs could be spread wide apart, causing him great pain.”
But we see here in verse 25, their attitude was not one of defeat and despair. Instead of defeat and despair they had determination. They were praying and praising God with hymns, in the middle of the worst day of their trip, accused wrongfully, stripped naked, beaten, locked up! They were having a concert. (Song-Do what you want to).
It’s so amazing how we tell lies every Sunday! We say “We surrender all to you, do what you want to, do what you want to”, but by the time the singing done you’re already resisting God’s will.
In the middle of a trial we cave, and give in to temptation, we act according to our flesh.
How about this week we look with expectancy for what temptation or trial will come, and take a stand, trusting the Holy Spirit for determination to push through and overcome.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV
No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
Point No. 5

5. Trust the Holy Spirit to give you Deliverance.

26 and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened.
27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.
28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”
29 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas.
30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
32 And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.
33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.
34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.
35 But when it was day, the magistrates sent the police, saying, “Let those men go.”
36 And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace.”
37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.”
38 The police reported these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Roman citizens.
39 So they came and apologized to them. And they took them out and asked them to leave the city.
40 So they went out of the prison and visited Lydia. And when they had seen the brothers, they encouraged them and departed.
So we see more detailedly Paul’s model for ministry here:
They:
Proclaim truth
– vs. 13-18 - They shared the gospel to the Ladies at the river. They cast out a demon out of a slave girl. Undoubtedly giving more credence to the gospel message.
Expect opposition
– vs. 19-24 - Now they are being harassed by the system/government/the powers that be.
And later we will talk about how they remained persistent, and anticipated fruit.
Remain Persistent
- vs. 25-34 - They prayed and worshipped in the midst of their opposition.
Anticipate Fruit
- vs. 35 - 40 - and here we see they saw the fruit of their labor, not only did they see the women at the river come to faith in Christ, but here the philippian jailer and his entire household, they were vindicated before the magistrates,and they got to encourage the rest of the Church in that area.
We need to trust in the work of the Holy Spirit to make us Disciplers, for direction, to make disciples, for determination, and for deliverance.
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