What is Church? – Gift Day – Acts 16

What is Church? – Gift Day – Acts 16

Acts 16

Timothy Joins Paul and Silas
1He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple
named Timothy lived, whose mother was a
Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek.
2The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.
3Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he
circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that
area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4As
they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions
reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem
for the people to obey. 5So the churches were strengthened
in the faith and grew daily in numbers.
Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia
6Paul and his companions traveled throughout the
region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the
Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of
Asia. 7When they came to the border of Mysia, they
tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not
allow them to. 8So they passed by Mysia and went down
to Troas. 9During the night Paul had a vision of a man of
Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to
Macedonia and help us.” 10After Paul had seen the vision,
we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding
that God had called us to preach the gospel to
them.
Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi
11From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight
for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis.
12From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony
and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And
we stayed there several days.
13On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to
the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We
sat down and began to speak to the women who had
gathered there. 14One of those listening was a woman
named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of
Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord
opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15When
she and the members of her household were baptized,
she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer
in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.”
And she persuaded us.
Paul and Silas in Prison
16Once when we were going to the place of prayer,
we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which
she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of
money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl followed
Paul and the rest of us, shouting, “These men are
servants of the Most High God, who are telling you the
way to be saved.” 18She kept this up for many days. Finally
Paul became so troubled that he turned around
and said to the spirit, “In the name of Jesus Christ I
command you to come out of her!” At that moment the
spirit left her.
19When the owners of the slave girl realized that
their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul
and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to
face the authorities. 20They brought them before the                                                                                          magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are
throwing our city into an uproar 21by advocating customs
unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.”
22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas,
and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped
and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they
were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded
to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders,
he put them in the inner cell and fastened their
feet in the stocks.
25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and
singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening
to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent
earthquake that the foundations of the prison were
shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s
chains came loose. 27The jailer woke up, and
when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword
and was about to kill himself because he thought the
prisoners had escaped. 28But Paul shouted, “Don’t
harm yourself! We are all here!”
29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling
before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out
and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you
will be saved—you and your household.” 32Then they
spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others
in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took
them and washed their wounds; then immediately he
and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought
them into his house and set a meal before them; he was
filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—
he and his whole family.
35When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers
to the jailer with the order: “Release those men.”
36The jailer told Paul, “The magistrates have ordered
that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in
peace.”
37But 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.”
38The officers reported this to the magistrates, and
when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens,
they were alarmed. 39They came to appease them
and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to
leave the city. 40After Paul and Silas came out of the
prison, they went to Lydia’s house, where they met with
the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.

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