Archive for May 1st, 2012
The text for this lesson is Acts 16:11–15.
- Just as God worked His miracle beside the river, clothing Lydia with Christ in Baptism, so God works His miracles in pulpits and fonts around the world today, destroying the work of Satan, ripping believers from the jaws of death, washing away sins in water tinged with Jesus’ blood, and clothing believers with His righteousness.
- Law: Full of pride and guided by my emotions and experiences, I look for God and His works where I think He is, instead of humbly following His Word.
- Gospel: Christ locates Himself and His saving gifts for me in specific places: His baptismal font, His pulpit, His altar—wherever His Word is spoken, sung, poured, eaten, or drunk.
- What does the “we” in Acts 16:11 mean? What do Luke 1:1–4 and Acts 1:1–2 tell us about these two books of the New Testament?
- Some scholars think the reason there was no Jewish synagogue in Philippi was that Jewish practice at the time required at least ten worshiping men in the community to establish one. In any case, at Philippi, the true faith of Old Testament Israel—with its hope for the Messiah’s coming—was being carried on primarily or exclusively by women who gathered regularly for prayer, Lydia being the most prominent (Acts 16:13–15). What similar theme is present in 2 Timothy 1:5; 3:14–15?
- Often, a preacher uses the physical elements of his liturgical setting to illustrate themes (e.g., the font, altar, or crucifix). Paul delivered his sermon to the women at “the riverside” (Acts 16:13). How might Paul have connected their location at the riverside to draw out biblical themes in his message? See Genesis 2:9–10; Joshua 3:17; Mark 1:4–5, 9–11; John 7:37–39; 19:33–34; Revelation 22:1–2.
- As Paul preached the Gospel, “The Lord opened [Lydia’s] heart to pay attention to what was said” (Acts 16:14). After coming to faith, she was baptized (v. 15). How was Lydia converted? Did her human will play any role in her conversion? Why or why not? See John 3:5–6; 6:44, 63; Romans 10:17.
- The Lord opened Lydia’s heart so that she would believe the Gospel (Acts 16:14). According to Genesis 3:7, after the fall into sin, what have we opened by our own efforts? What are some things we must totally depend on God to open? See Luke 3:21–22; 24:44–49.
- Lydia was baptized after hearing the Word (Acts 16:15). Similarly, the Ethiopian eunuch was baptized after Philip “told him the good news about Jesus” (8:35). Based on these apostolic examples, Christians have customarily baptized adults only after they have received proper instruction in God’s Word and have professed their faith in the Gospel. What are some benefits given to those who are baptized? See Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3–4; Titus 3:4–7. Should rebaptism ever be performed?
- Lydia’s household was baptized (Acts 16:15). Were there infants or toddlers among those baptized? Why should Christians baptize infants? See Matthew 28:18–20; Acts 2:38–39; Luke 18:15–16; Matthew 18:1–6.
- One friend says to another, “I know that I am saved because I believe in Jesus.” The other friend replies, “I know that I am saved because I am baptized into Christ.” Which of these statements best articulates our Christian hope?
- In Acts 16:13, “on the Sabbath day,” Paul and his companions sought “a place of prayer” because they knew those faithful to the Old Testament would observe the Third Commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” (Exodus 20:8). According to Colossians 2:16–17, were Paul and his companions still required to observe the literal requirement of that commandment? What does the Third Commandment mean for us? See Acts 2:42 and Hebrews 10:24–25.
- How would you characterize Lydia’s response to the Gospel in Acts 16:15? What are ways that we can follow her example? Also see Romans 12:13; 3 John 5–8; 1 Corinthians 9:14.