The Mission at Philippi


In the post Spiritual Lottery, I discussed hitting the spiritual jackpot – knowing Jesus as your Lord and Savior. As with a physical jackpot of money, we would expect the newly enriched person to share his/her wealth with those whom he/she loved and then with those around where need surfaced.

In Acts 16, God uses the two people we see saved to do just that thing. Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke are proclaiming the gospel in Acts 16. There are two important people who “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.” Lydia and the Jailer are central figures in Acts 16. God does not just share with us their conversion for the sake of information. He wants us to know how they fit into what He said He would do. That is important so we will know how He wants to use us as well. Acts 1:8 says “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” We see God fulfilling that in Paul’s life as a testament to what He will do in our lives.

We know that Lydia and the Jailer both believe in Jesus during this chapter. The setting of this chapter is in the city of Philippi. This is the same Philippi to whom Paul pens a letter called the Philippians – a book in our precious bible. Connecting those facts, we see that God essentially used Lydia, a wealthy business woman, and the Jailer, one who had some authority and clout, to establish His church in Philippi. Lydia, the Jailer and all the other believers in Philippi learned what we are told in Acts 4

Jesus is

“‘the stone you builders rejected,

 which has become the cornerstone.’ 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

 

This is the message that Paul shared with them. For the church to continue to exist when Paul wrote the letter, there were many who continued to share that salvation is found in no one else other than the name of Jesus. At the end of Acts 16, we see those two central figures, the Jailer and Lydia, being encouraged by Paul and Silas to carry on the message of Jesus as Lord and Savior after their release from prison.

35 When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.” 36 The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace.”

37 But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.”

38 The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39 They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. 40 After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and encouraged them. Then they left.

If you know Jesus as Lord and Savior, who is God using you to build His church? Are you still proclaiming Jesus as the only means to salvation? Both Lydia and the Jailer’s household served the Lord. I am not how authentic my daughter’s proclamation of faith in Jesus is, but she consistently affirms that she believes that Jesus is the Son of God who saves us from the consequence of our sin. My son has yet to express faith in Christ, but I am hopeful that God will do as He did with the Jailer in saving me first then my household. Where are you and your household? People must see Jesus in us before they can authenticate our proclaimed word about who Jesus is as Savior and Lord. As with Paul and Silas, we can leave after doing God’s work where He has sent us.

Just this past Thursday, a student asked me if I had a church as if I was a preacher. I told him no, but I belonged to a church. He expressed a desire to begin coming with me, so I hope that we can get him there. Even as I sit here now, God just revealed to me that there are a group of believers at my school. We should be working on the belief system of the souls there both young and old.

 

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