Faithlife Sermons

What Must I do to be Saved?

Acting Out Acts - 19  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Acts 16:1–3 NKJV
1 Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek. 2 He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium. 3 Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.
Again Paul returns to Lystra
Meets Timothy
Timothy went on with Paul from here
Chose to be circumcised “because of the Jews”
Because they knew he was a greek
He did not become circumcised to be saved, or to satisfy God
He was willing to undergo this in order to be effective as a minister of Jesus
In order to avoid the distraction so that he could share the gospel
Sometimes we have to make sacrifices in order to reach the lost
It is not always convenient
Sometimes can be painful
For the Love of God, Love of people
1 Corinthians 9:19–23 NKJV
19 For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win the more; 20 and to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might win Jews; to those who are under the law, as under the law, that I might win those who are under the law; 21 to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law; 22 to the weak I became as weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 23 Now this I do for the gospel’s sake, that I may be partaker of it with you.
What are we willing to sacrifice in order to reach others?
what changes are we willing to make to reach the lost?
Are we willing to go out of our way? to adapt ourselves?
To be partakers with them?
Acts 16:6–10 NKJV
6 Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia. 7 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.
They were “forbidden by the Holy Spirt to preach in Asia”
Another pattern we see in the early church is that they were obedient to God
What would be wrong with preaching in Asia
Apparently they had wanted to go to Asia
It probably seemed like a good thing to do to go to Asia
Preaching the gospel is never a bad thing to do
Yet they were “forbidden” to go there.
Because they were willing to seek God’s will, to wait on God’s direction, and to obey God’s direction, they did not go.
Just because something is a good thing to do does not mean it is the best thing to do
We only have one life to give
We can only spend today once
I want to spend my life in the way that “most” glorifies God and accomplishes His purpose.
Although they wanted to go to Asia, and they could have many reasons to justify the trip, God had a purpose for them in Macedonia
There was a great need there that God had particularly prepared them for
There was a great testimony awaiting them there, and a church to plan and people to be transformed
Your plans might be good sometimes, but God’s plans are great all the time

A vision appeared to Paul in the night

Paul had a dream while he slept
He saw the man in Macedonia saying “come help us”
This dream didn’t happen until after they had decided to obey the Holy Spirit
We often can’t discern God’s will until we are willing to let go of our own will.
God communicated this to Paul in a dream
there are numerous examples in Old testament and New Testament of God speaking to us in dreams
Numbers 12:6 NKJV
6 Then He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream.
number 11.
Numbers 12:5–13 NKJV
5 Then the Lord came down in the pillar of cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam. And they both went forward. 6 Then He said, “Hear now My words: If there is a prophet among you, I, the Lord, make Myself known to him in a vision; I speak to him in a dream. 7 Not so with My servant Moses; He is faithful in all My house. 8 I speak with him face to face, Even plainly, and not in dark sayings; And he sees the form of the Lord. Why then were you not afraid To speak against My servant Moses?” 9 So the anger of the Lord was aroused against them, and He departed. 10 And when the cloud departed from above the tabernacle, suddenly Miriam became leprous, as white as snow. Then Aaron turned toward Miriam, and there she was, a leper. 11 So Aaron said to Moses, “Oh, my lord! Please do not lay this sin on us, in which we have done foolishly and in which we have sinned. 12 Please do not let her be as one dead, whose flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother’s womb!” 13 So Moses cried out to the Lord, saying, “Please heal her, O God, I pray!”
Numbers 12:5 NKJV
5 Then the Lord came down in the pillar of cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam. And they both went forward.
Often when we sleep our minds are quiet enough to “hear” our spirit and God’s Spirit
We should pay attention to our dreams
Expect God to communicate with us in dreams
Pray over our sleep and our dreams
Pray to remember our dreams
write down our dreams and pray for interpretation and understanding

Paul and Silas in prison

One of the cities of Macedonia was Philippi
they had been staying there some time when they were met on their way to prayer by a demon possessed slave girl
This demon was referred to as a spirit of divination - she was a fortune teller
her masters made a lot of profit off of her fortune telling
She followed them saying “these men are servants of the most high God which show us the way of salvation
Like the demons that Jesus cast out, they recognized Paul and Silas and their purpose
She did this for many days, until Paul became grieved by it
He turned and cast out the demon and it came out the same hour
after this she could no longer make her masters money
they became angry and arrested Paul and Silas

Beaten with “many stripes” and cast in prison

After they were dragged into the marketplace, they were accused of “exceedingly troubling the city”
Severely beaten and cast into prison
cast into the “inner prison”
imagine the pain
the darkness
the cold and discomfort
A certain Jailer was given command to keep them
What if they had gone to Asia instead?
This is the place where many of us would begin complaining, perhaps becoming angry with God
Many people would be crying out here “I should have went to Asia like I wanted to in the first place”
When we get in these dark dark places, doubt begins to creep in
Maybe I didn’t here from God in the first place?
That probably wasn’t the Holy Spirit that told me to go to Macedonia
If it had really been God telling us to go here we wouldn’t be in this mess.
Doubt is the enemy of faith
Hebrews 10:23 NKJV
23 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.
God’s way may not be the easy way, but it is always the best way
we don’t measure success by circumstance, but rather by faithfulness!
You have to Stand! Stand firm. Stand without wavering.
Imagine the situation with Paul and Silas in that Prison:
The pain they were in
they cold damp conditions of the cell
their feet were clamped tight in leg irons and chains
the darkness of the inner prison
no light at all. the inner prison, deep inside the facility, no windows. No candles or lights
only darkness, cold and pain.
How easy for doubt and despair to creep in

Doubt and Despair

enemies of faith
yet, somehow through their pain, instead of giving into doubt, the began to pray
they began to call upon the name of the Lord!
Oh, that wonderful name. They started praying, and then that prayer started turning into praise
Suddenly those praise broke out into songs of praise
And the whole prison heard them!
Acts 16:25–26 NKJV
25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 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 chains were loosed.
When we resist the darkness - light breaks through!
the power of God becomes manifest, when we don’t give into that negative spirit
that negative spirit of doubt and despair that so easily keeps us in those chains,
those chains are broken through faith, and prayer and songs of praise
Sing unto the Lord all His Saints!

The Foundations of the Prison were shaken!

And that’s when the
The doors were opened and their chains were loosed
If the devil has had you bound, break free with your songs of praise!
“everyone’s chains were loosed”
Not only were Paul and Silas free, everyone was free
The jailer came rushing in to see the prisoners escaping drew his sword and would have killed himself
But Paul shouted with a loud voice “Don’t hurt yourself! We are all still here!”
Consider this jailer for a moment
Wasn’t changed by the fame of Paul and Silas
Not changed by the message of Paul and Silas
Not changed by their power over the demons
Not changed by their songs of praise
Not changed by the power of God to shake the prison
Not changed by any of the many stories he must have heard of these disciples
had been accused of exceedingly troubling the city
men who turned the world upside down
Yet, none of these things had been effective to change him at all
But when he saw the Love of God, displayed by Paul to him
He fell down on his knees
Acts 16:30–31 NKJV
30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Love never fails
If you are praying for someone whose heart seems hard
break it with that same love seen here
If God can so change Paul, He can surely change you and I.
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