Now we see the establishment of the church on the Aegean shores. The Holy Spirit is clearly directing the apostles to preach the gospel, to strengthen the disciples, and appoint elders in every church in places where Paul visited. As you look for the key principles in chapter 16, note how God was working in hearts before Paul and Silas arrived on the scene, i.e., Lydia.Wherever God sends us in His work, we should expect that He has been there before us preparing hearts to receive the gospel. This makes a highway for the work of the Spirit as the pure gospel is preached so those who believe are firmly established in the faith and become strong witnesses where they are and where they are sent.
Acts 16:6-10 – Paul and Silas are forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in one place, but given direction in a vision to preach the gospel in another.
Acts 16:11-15 – Through seeking a place to pray, God brings them to a group of women, one of whom was named Lydia. The Lord ______ her heart to ___ _________ to what was said by Paul. She and her household were __________.
Acts 16:16-24 – A slave girl is freed from an evil spirit which angered her owners who publicly accused Paul and Silas. They were beaten and thrown into jail.
Acts 16:25-34 – Paul and Silas use their jail time for prayer and worship. God intervenes with an earthquake that brings the jailor to his knees asking how to be saved. Having believed, “he was _________ at once, he and all his family.”
Acts 16:35-40 – Paul used his Roman citizenship to achieve a public release and apology. Before leaving Philippi, they visited Lydia and the brothers, encouraging them.
As you look at the events in Philippi, consider how strong a support and joy this church was to Paul and their fellowship with him in the gospel (Philippians 1:3-4). DO NOT MEASURE GOD’S WORK BY OUTWARD CIRCUMSTANCES OR APPEARANCES!
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