Acts 16_01-15 - The Spirit's Guidance
The Spirit’s Guidance
1. Unifying edict of the church.
2. Unresolved conflict among missionaries.
3. Doubling of the missionary efforts.
The Spirit’s Guidance
1. Fellow Laborer Added (1-3)
a. Timothy, who took John Mark’s place, was a youth who had been saved when Paul visited Lystra on his first missionary journey (14:6–22).
b. Timothy witnessed Paul’s sufferings in Lystra
i. 2 Timothy 3:10-11 "But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me."
ii. Paul led by example.
1. Acts 20:18-21 "18And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons, 19Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews: 20And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, 21Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."
2. In a day and age where personal soul winning is passé and so called Bible teachers to out their way to minimize or dismiss it…
3. We need to have a firm grasp on the fact that the Holy Spirit empowers believers to be witnesses.
4. Dismiss it how they want…God’s word is crystal clear, the testimony of Jesus in the gospels is crystal clear, the testimony of Paul is crystal clear!
iii. Timothy had seen that example. Just the opposite of the Pharisees
1. Matthew 23:1-8 "Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren."
iv. Timothy followed that example.
1. Lots of spectators, few participants
2. Paul & Timothy just didn’t want to watch, they ran their own races.
3. The great cloud of witnesses is those who have completed their race and then cheer on the team.
c. He had proved himself worthy of Christian service.
i. Timothy was dear to Paul’s heart; Paul called him “my son in the faith” (1 Tim. 1:2).
ii. If older, mature Christians do not “adopt” younger believers, who will fill in the ranks when God calls the “veterans” home?
i. Being the son of a Gentile father and Jewish mother, Timothy did not have to be circumcised;
ii. But being a child of God, he wanted to do nothing that would cause the Jews to stumble.
iii. Titus was not circumcised: fight about salvation
iv. Timothy was to enable him to minister among Jews…not an issue of salvation
1. 1 Corinthians 9:20 "And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law;"
2. Foundation For Growth Established (4-5)
a. Every house, every home and every life has a foundation.
b. 1 Corinthians 3:11 "For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ."
c. Firm foundation of Grace through faith
d. Firm foundation for Growth
i. Focus on People (Others): not offending their Jewish brethren
ii. Focus on Purity (Outward): Forbidding Fornication
iii. Focus on Personal Holiness (Inward): idols, blood (from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well)
e. People need to be grounded in the faith and in Christian living
3. Forbidding And Redirecting (6-12)
a. Sometimes God says no to one thing before He says yes to another.
b. No to Paul to go to Asia Minor (Bithynia)
i. Same area that Peter preached: 1 Peter 1:1 "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia,"
c. Paul was sensitive to the leading of the Spirit.
i. Acts is truly the “Acts of the Holy Spirit,” since He was at work in the lives of the apostles.
ii. God gave Paul a vision which instructed him to cross over the Aegean Sea into Macedonia.
iii. Some believe that Luke (the author of Acts) was the man in the vision, because in v. 10 it says “we” rather than “they.”
iv. At any rate, Doctor Luke joined them at Troas.
d. The Holy Spirit is the master mover.
4. Focus On Females (13-15)
a. Philippi was a Roman colony, named after Philip of Macedon, who had conquered that area in the fourth century b.c.
i. Roman colonies were actually “little Romes,” cities that followed Roman laws and customs.
ii. The indication is that there were not many Jews in the area, for they did not have a synagogue.
b. Gathered in a place of prayer
i. Do you have a place and a time of prayer?
ii. We resort to God’s house for prayer.
c. “spake unto the women”…who else can you think of that went out of his way to speak to women?
i. The great commission is not race sensitive (Jew or Gentile)
ii. The great commission is not gender sensitive (Male or Female)
iii. It is OK to share the gospel with a member of the opposite sex (wisdom needed, but it is OK)
iv. Paul opened his European ministry by attending a ladies’ prayer meeting!
v. Lydia was a well-to-do merchant who had turned from pagan idolatry to worship the God of Israel.
d. Lydia (14-15)
i. Worker: a seller of purple (14)
ii. Worshipper Of God (14)
iii. Witness: and her household (15)
iv. Warm & Receptive (15)