Verse 1 – Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.
Timothy was a young disciple who had been taught about God by his mother, Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois (2 Timothy 1:5).
Verse 2 – He was well spoken of by the brethren who were at Lystra and Iconium.
Verse 3 – Paul wanted to have him go on with him. And he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region, for they all knew that his father was Greek.
Paul circumcised Timothy not because he was caving in to pressure from Pharisee believers, but rather to show respect for Jewish law and to the fact that Timothy was half-Jewish. I’m amazed the subject came up at all. After all they had just left the other disciples and had carried a letter saying that it was not necessary for new believers to be circumcised.
Verse 4 – And as they went through the cities, they delivered to them the decrees to keep, which were determined by the apostles and elders at Jerusalem.
Verse 5 – So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily.
Do you see souls saved every time you go to church? Are you hearing the same Gospel that Paul and Silas preached that added to the church daily? The Gospel hasn’t changed, the message has, and not to the benefit of the kingdom. Maybe this world wouldn’t be such a mess with evil running rapid, if only the pastors of this age would repent and get back to preaching what the Holy Spirit has them to preach. What have we turned the house of God into?
Verse 6 – Now when they had gone through Pyrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.
The Holy Spirit knows all things. We don’t know exactly what method was used to stop them from going to Asia, but we do know that it was not because God didn’t want them to be saved, because salvation is for everyone. Perhaps there was a more impending need elsewhere.
Verse 7 – After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go to Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them.
And here again they were provoked to going into another direction. We will know within our spirit when the Holy Spirit says loud and clear, “Don’t go!” This will only happen if God’s desires are put first.
Verse 8 – So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.
Verse 9 – And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
And there is Paul’s answer for not being able to go to those other two places. The Holy Spirit is our guide in all things. He will close doors and open others that we are to go through. God’s desires and plans go beyond what we initially see.
Verse 10 – Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Did you notice the word” we”? Luke joins with Paul, Silas, and Timothy now. And now, from here on out, he is a witness to what he has written. Before he had to rely on others.
Verse 11 – Therefore, sailing from Troas, we ran a straight course to Samothrace, and the next day came to Neapolis,
Verse 12 – and from there to Philippi, which is the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony. and we were staying in that city for some days.
Verse 13 – And on the Sabbath day we went out of the city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made; and we sat down and spoke to the women who met there.
This city was under Roman rule. On the arches outside the city of Philippi, were inscriptions prohibiting unrecognized religion in to the city. So, Paul’s first meeting was with women, gathered outside the city.
Verse 14 – Now a certain woman named Lydia heard us. She was a seller of purple from the city of Thyatria, who worshiped God. The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul.
This woman dealt in selling purple cloth, very valuable and expensive. It was worn by noblemen, princes, and the very rich.
Verse 15 – And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she constrained us.
Do you see a pattern in the Book of Acts concerning baptism immediately after believing? Why is it “put off’ for so long now a days? I believe if you are going to establish a building for saints to gather, then there should be a way to baptized new converts immediately.
Verse 16 – Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.
This verse is very plain about people who set themselves up as “fortune-tellers.” It is a demonic spirit of divination. This is not of God. If you are a Christian and you seek these people out, you need to repent and “Close that door!”
Verse 17 – This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.
Verse 18 – And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.
Paul had a “discerning spirit,” which comes only through the “gifts of the Spirit.l” Have you ever been around people who say all the right things, “Christians talk,” but yet it doesn’t ring true inside of your spirit? Something about it just doesn’t feel right. These spirits can be tested by the Holy Spirit within a true believer. Just watch them for a little while, and their true intentions will surface.
Verse 19 – But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorizes.
Verse 20 – And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, “These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city;
Verse 21 – “and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive and observe.”
Verse 22 – Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods.
Verse 23 – And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely.
Verse 24 – Having received such a charge he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Verse 25 – But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them.
Verse 26 – Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.
Want to know what happens in the midst of a crises if you start praising God? Your chains are broken and they will fall off!!
Verse 27 – And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself.
Verse 28 – But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.”
Verse 29 – Then he called for a light, ran in , and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.
Verse 30 – And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
Verse 31 – So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Pul and Silas had remained calm and sang songs of praise, even in the midst of being beaten and jailed. But the jailer was full of fear and wanted to kill himself when he thought the prisoners had escaped. Two crises, two different responses. One with God, the other without. How do you go through your crises, with God or without Him?
Verse 32 – Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.
Verse 33 – And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized.
Let me just make a note here: Nowhere in Scripture is there mentioned infant baptism or sprinkling. This was total immersion in a body of water. These people knew enough and were of an age where they believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Verse 34 – Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed God with all his household.
Verse 35 – And when it was day, the magistrates sent the officers, saying, “Let those men go.”
Verse 36 – So the keeper of the prison reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore depart, and go in peace.”
Verse 37 – But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”
Pul knew the laws concerning punishment of Roman citizens. Having been beaten and thrown in prison without cause or a trial he refused to pretend nothing had happened. Roman citizens were exempt for certain kinds of punishment and were entitled to due process prior to punishment.
Verse 38 – And the officers told these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans.
Verse 39 – Then they came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city.
Verse 40 – So they went out of prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.