The Unstoppable Gospel
- The Plan (v. 16:1-5)
- The Perseverance (v. 16:6-10)
- The People (v. 16:11-21)
- God is Omnipotent, and for the Christian, everything is going to be alright. The Church is the physical, tangible proof that God is working out His plan and that Jesus is doing exactly what He said He would do (Matthew 16:18). What things do you find yourself worrying about most? How does God’s omnipotence inform those areas?
- Discipleship is about a relationship, not a recipe. Paul spent over a decade with Timothy letting Tim see him struggle and sweat. What keeps you from allowing people into your orbit to see you struggle and sweat? (Acts 16:1-5)
- Does it encourage or discourage you to see the Apostle Paul bouncing around like a pinball? Does it frustrate you that God doesn’t do things the way you think is best and often allows you to meander? Has there ever been a time when you’ve seen something good come out of your meandering? (Acts 16:6-10)
- The Church is made up of fallen sinners who have been saved by grace. None of us are the heroes of the story, we gather as nobodies who celebrate the Somebody who can save and change anybody. Why do we all have the propensity to want to be the hero? How does our hypocrisy impact the culture of the church? What would authenticity and repentance look like? (Acts 16:11-21)
1Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. And a disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek, 2and he was well spoken of by the brethren who were in Lystra and Iconium. 3Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe. 5So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.
6They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; 7and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; 8and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
11So putting out to sea from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and on the day following to Neapolis; 12and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days. 13And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled.
14A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. 15And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
16It happened that as we were going to the place of prayer, a slave-girl having a spirit of divination met us, who was bringing her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.” 18She continued doing this for many days. But Paul was greatly annoyed, and turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her!” And it came out at that very moment.
19But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the market place before the authorities, 20and when they had brought them to the chief magistrates, they said, “These men are throwing our city into confusion, being Jews, 21and are proclaiming customs which it is not lawful for us to accept or to observe, being Romans.”