These are my notes on Acts chapter 16
16.1 Thus begins the second missionary journey of the Apostle Paul. One of the great things on this journey is the addition of Timothy to Paul’s life. Paul will style him “his own son in the faith” 1 Ti 1.2. The great Apostle seemed to have a gift to establish and train young men as in Timothy, Titus, and even Mark. On this second journey, the gospel of Jesus Christ will be preached in Europe for the first time! The original twelve Apostles seem reticent to take the gospel to the gentile masses. This is possibly the reason for Paul’s extraordinary call to be an Apostle. Paul went far beyond any other Apostle’s vision and preaching.
16.3 It is interesting that Paul deferred to the Jews and had Timothy circumcised following the Jerusalem council. This is especially so because they were going to the churches to deliver the decrees that were ordained at Jerusalem and this included circumcision was no longer required of gentile converts. Timothy is to become an integral part of the ministry and legacy of Paul. Paul sends him from Corinth to the Thessalonians, from Ephesus to the Corinthians, and eventually leaves Timothy to succeed him at Ephesus. More dazzling names than Timothy are to be seen in the firmament of the early Church. Apollos flames across the sky, leaving behind the brilliant sparks of his Alexandrian rhetoric, but the star of Timothy is the steady North Star of Paul’s legacy.
16.4-5 Paul and Silas now visit the churches that had been established on the previous missionary journey to announce the decision of the council in Jerusalem. The churches were established and increased daily!
16.6-10 The Holy Ghost now directs Paul to the next level of missionary expansion. It is now time to open the door to Europe with the manifesto of Jesus Christ! Troas had been his farthest travels north to date. The great Apostle sets foot on the continent of Europe. The door to Asia was closed by the Holy Ghost. They attempted to go to Bithynia, but the Spirit said no again. Jesus Christ was charting His course of the triumph of the gospel as sure as any world conqueror! While at Troas Paul has a vision. A man from Macedonia beckons him. Having received Divine direction, they embark with a straight course. The now seasoned, experienced, missionary Apostle takes on a new continent and the cities fall to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The roll call is impressive: Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea, Athens, and finally Corinth, the sight of the world’s greatest revival in history. The next three years are unequaled in missionary work in the scriptures. Paul’s greatest victories and harshest defeats await him in Europe. He is ready, he begins at Philippi.
16.11-15 Philippi was a city built by King Philip, Alexander the Great’s father. Not long before Paul arrived it had been the scene of a great battle between Brutus and Cassius against Mark Antony and Augustus. The battle decided the fate of the Roman Empire and influenced the course of world history. Now another battle was to be fought. A spiritual battle, the beachhead of Europe. Paul is a seasoned Spiritual warrior. Five years later, when writing his second letter to the church at Corinth, he tells us he had already been shipwrecked three times. It appears there was no Synagogue in Philippi, so Paul goes to the riverside. The original name of Philippi was Crenides (Place of streams). The first message on the European continent is preached on a riverbank, with a nod to John the Baptist, the Gospel gains the first Convert: a woman. The spiritual war for Europe has begun. The battle is engaged.
16.16-24 the battle intensifies. Satan counter attacks with a demon possessed girl. Having lost a female to the gospel, Satan launches a female at the Apostles. Lydia, saved and redeemed versus a damsel full of the spirit of iniquity. The stage was the city. The population of the city was the audience. For several days it looked like a stand off. Paul was grieved (diaponeo-be worried). Paul understood the war. He speaks to the spirit rather than the damsel. Jesus Christ shows Philippi He is the ruler. The spirit leaves the girl. In frustration the devil turns the masters of the damsel against Paul. A battle won, but the war for Europe continues. Paul and Silas are beaten and jailed. This sets the stage for yet another incredible triumph of the gospel. 
16.25-34 Two apostles, badly beaten, chained, and jailed, still triumph. Demons must have been baffled. What more could they do to stop these apostles? Paul and Silas at their lowest still triumphed over the demonic world. At midnight these weary soldiers of the cross begin to sing. They had been beaten with sticks (rhabdizo-to strike with a stick). They were in the deepest recess of the prison. Suddenly the other prisoners heard them singing. Then God defended his Apostles with a mighty earthquake! Every jail door is open, prisoners are loose. The jailer attempts to kill himself and Paul snatches victory and conversion of a lost soul out of the confusion. The terrified jailer asks what he must do to be saved. Paul instructs him to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. The jailer takes them to his home, feeds them, and his whole house is baptized. This instance shows what true believing is. When the Jailer believed he acted. James 2.6 mirrors this with the statement “faith without works is dead”. True faith always brings action. To believe on the Lord Jesus Christ means to repent, be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. This is the common salvation of the book of Acts in chapter two, chapter eight, chapter ten, and chapter nineteen. 
16.35-40 The rulers sent to let the Apostles go. Jesus Christ had already set them at liberty. When these rulers ask Paul to leave, Paul invokes his Roman privilege. The magistrates are made aware of their illegal conduct against Paul who was a Roman citizen. Now the battle for Europe has turned again. These Roman magistrates besought (parakaleo-to call near, invite) Paul and Silas and gently asked them to depart. Paul and Silas did not leave town as condemned men, but rather as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ! They stopped at the house of Lydia, saw the brethren, and departed like true ambassadors should. The first citadel of Europe, the church at Philippi, was safely in the hands of Jesus Christ.

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