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Acts 16: Paul meets Timothy, and Paul and Silas are Jailed.

Good evening, my brothers and sisters in Christ.

Acts 16: Paul meets Timothy, and Paul and Silas are Jailed.

Timothy's Introduction in Acts 16 Jared led a discussion on Acts chapter 16, focusing on Paul's first meeting with Timothy. They highlighted that Timothy, whose mother was Jewish and his father was Greek, would become one of Paul's key collaborators and recipient of two of Paul's epistles. The conversation also touched on the decision to circumcise Timothy due to the presence of Jews in the region, a move that was likely made to accommodate Jewish sensibilities.

Salvation, Holy Spirit, Gospel, and Acts Authorship Jared discussed the concept of salvation through law, referencing Galatians 2:3-4 and Titus. They then transitioned into a discussion on the Holy Spirit forbidding Paul from preaching the gospel in Asia. They even tried to head to Mysia and go to Bithynia, and again, the Holy Spirit forbade them from going. St. John Chrysostom likens this forbiddance of the Holy Spirit to a hunter who underfeeds his dogs before a great hunt, and this is to increase the dog's hunger after the prize, which is the animal they are hunting. Likewise, God forbids the Holy Spirit and the gospel until the people genuinely desire God to cultivate them. Luke (The Author of Acts) meets up with Paul, Timothy, and Silas in Troas, and then a vision appears to Paul at night. A man from Macedonia stands and pleads with Paul for help, and immediately after the vision, the group is convinced it is a sign for them to go and preach the gospel in Macedonia.

Paul's First European Conversion Jared discussed a passage from the Bible where Paul and their companions stayed in a city for some days and went to the riverside on the Sabbath for prayer. There, they met a woman named Lydia, a believer and a seller of purple from the city. The Lord opened Lydia's heart to Paul's words, and they were baptized along with their household. Lydia invited them to their home and persuaded them to stay. Jared emphasized that Lydia was the first convert in Europe, and their faith led to their baptism, along with Lydia’s entire household.

Paul and Silas's Encounter with Roman Authorities Paul, annoyed with the spirit of divination ( in the slave girl, commanded the spirit to come out of the slave girl in the name of Jesus Christ; even though the truth was heard from the slave girl, Paul realized she needed to be accessible to accept Christ on her own free will, Paul nevertheless could not endure any longer seeing this poor girl tormented by the spirit any longer, what this teaches us that impure praise from God’s enemies is not acceptable(Wisdom of Sirach 15:9, and Luke 4:41). It was the slave girl’s masters who were Paul’s accusers. They could have cared less about religion but decided to use religious prejudice against Paul, who was a Jew, to retaliate against Paul because of their financial loss. When Paul cast out the spirit of the slave girl, the masters could no longer use that poor girl for money.

Wisdom of Sirach 15:9 (NRSVUE) Praise is unseemly on the lips of a sinner, For it has not been sent from the Lord.

Luke 4:41: And demons also came out of many, crying out and saying, “You are [a]the Christ, the Son of God!” And He rebuked them, did not allow them to [b]speak, for they knew He was the Christ.

The Greek word for “divination” Πύθων Pýthōn, poo'-thone; from Πυθώ Pythṓ

I. In Greek mythology, the name of the Pythian serpent or dragon that dwelt in the region of Pytho at the foot of Parnassus in Phocis and was said to have guarded the oracle at Delphi and been slain by Apollo. II. a spirit of divination

Even though Paul and Silas ended up in jail for being unjustly persecuted, Christ leads these two to joy rather than to sorrow (Luke 6:22-23), and their praying and singing hymns prepare the other prisoners for conversion later that night after the big earthquake. The earthquake caused the prison doors to come open, and out of fear of the prisoners escaping after the quake, the prisoner tried to kill himself. Paul interceded on behalf of the jailer. Paul had compassion on the jailer, and the jailer even asked, “What must I do to be saved (v. 30, Acts 16).” We see the way of salvation taking place and how God used this persecution to save more souls and bring more to His Name and Ways, and even the jailer's entire household was baptized and started following Jesus. Paul, at the end of Acts 16, does not appeal to the fact of being a Roman citizen to escape persecution or even punishment for preaching Christ, but instead, he uses his citizenship to have additional opportunities to claim the Gospel of Christ; we will see this more often as we get through the books of Acts.

In Christ, love Jared W. Campbell

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