Pastor's Sunday School Blog
Sunday School Lesson
“The Converts: All Kinds of People”
February 11, 2018
God’s criteria for a relationship with Him is not based on skin color, religious background, or social standing; not who you are, who you were, or what you’ve done. Jesus came to seek and to save those who are lost (Luke 19:10). The Gospel invitation is to “whosoever will.”
The Scripture encourages the believer to avoid judgement based on one’s past, one’s present or even one’s potential. Our responsibility is to share the Gospel with those in need of the Gospel, nothing more, nothing less.
A Businesswoman Whose Heart Is Opened (Acts 16:11-15).
Paul and Silas understood God’s commission of the personal responsibility of sharing what had been received.
Looking back at 16:6-7 Paul is forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the Gospel in Bithynia … in verse nine he receives a vision (from the Holy Spirit) to go to Macedonia. While there is no limitation on the Gospel proclamation, we must, in our sharing, be led by the Holy Spirit, Who prepares the heart soil for the seed of the Gospel.
“place of prayer” refers to a place where Jews would gather to pray, prayer including the coming of the Messiah. Paul joins the meeting to declare the Messiah has already come.
NOTE – Lydia responded to the preaching of the Word of God (Romans 1:16; 10:17). Lydia’s conversion was not the work of persuasive preaching, but the power of the Holy Spirit.
EVANGELISTIC KEY –Go to where the people are!
A Slave Girl Whose Freedom Is Won (Acts 16:16-24).
The Gospel is no respecter of person … from Lydia, a prominent business woman to an unnamed slave girl… a young woman enslaved by Satan and abused by her owners for their own greedy purposes.
Verse 17 is probably not an attempt to honor Paul and Silas, but to ridicule them, and stir up the crowds against them.
The power of God to set one free of sin is the same power to deliver from Satan’s bonds.
One might think people would have rejoiced that this young lady had been set free, but not so (WHY?)
Charged with crimes against their own particular brand of religion, Paul and Silas were found guilty, beaten, and imprisoned.
A Jailor Whose Hope Is Restored (Acts 16:25-34).
Sometimes our greatest witness is not a Gospel presentation, but a Gospel demonstration. Paul and Silas responded to their imprisonment and potential death warrant by praying, and singing praises. HOW DO YOU RESPOND TO ADVERSITY?
Paul and Silas’ unusual response caught the attention of the other prisoners and also the jailor. SOMEBODY IS ALWAYS WATCHING.
God demonstrated His power to deliver his servants by an earthquake, the removal of their chains, and the opening of the cell doors.
Amazing … Even though they could have escaped, they (all) chose to stay.
Verse 29-30 indicate that the Philippian jailor had been listening to the prayers and praises of Paul and Silas.
The question we should be asking: “What should I do to be saved?”
The answer “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved …” (See Acts 4:12).
Both Lydia and the jailor were baptized to confirm their new relationship with God through Christ.
Theological Theme: The Gospel is available to all people (Also see 2 Peter 3:9).
Christological/Christ Connection: Salvation is by grace through faith in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9).
Missional Application: By whatever means share the Gospel with those in need of the Gospel.