“Very Different People Gathered Together”
I. When we looked into chapter 1 of Philippians last week we saw that Paul was emphasizing unity to this Church. Indeed, in Paul’s letters, the priority is the person of Christ, 1st and foremost, and then the body of Christ of next import. You see, we are the chosen instrument for the Gospel of Jesus to go forth into the world.
In most of his letters Paul addresses the issues that he is aware of that need some tender loving care. In other words, Paul is most often addressing theological issues that could damage a church as well as the issues of factions and divisions. To those in Philippi he wrote, “Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel.” Philippians 1:27
To understand why this was Paul’s key focus to Philippi we need to read the story of how this church was birthed. So our text today is Acts 16:11-40.
Whenever you’re reading through Scripture and you run across a “therefore” you need to make sure you know what just proceeded in the text. ______________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________We see Paul repeat his regular pattern, first to the Jew and then to the Gentile, even though he is the Apostle to the Gentiles. ____________________________________________________
So now we come to my intent here this morning with this text. We will meet the founding members of the church of Philippi as the text introduces them.
1. Lydia – ____________________________________________________________________ God gave Lydia a wonderful gift, “The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.” Despite her wealth she wanted to know God. “Bless are you when you hunger and thirst for righteousness.” _______________________________________________________ She displays for us the principle – “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
2. Slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination – this term divination, most often encountered in the Old Testament, refers to a pagan form of prophesy, seen by Israel as a direct affront to the One True God. _____________________________________________________________ The girls masters remind us of the lesson: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose His soul.”
3. The Jailer – _________________________________________________________________ What a beautiful question he asks: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul keeps it simple and true: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.” And he goes on to preach to the entire household and they were all saved that night. Glory!! The jailer teaches us this principle: “Seek the Lord while he may be found”.
I’m talking about community. The Church is a community that is bound together by God’s purpose and Spirit.
I think Paul shows us two principles combined into this lesson:
1. “Be wise as serpents and gentle as doves.” _____________________________________
2. “Render to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” ____________________
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