Bible Study Notes on Acts 16 – 20170220

Bible Study Notes

Paul and Silas.  Second Missionary journey.  Whereas before he and Barnabas had sailed to Cyprus and then to the continent, now he and Silas have taken the land route from the east to reach those cities.  First one he comes to is the point where he returned previously.  And Luke is apparently with them also.  I assume he was with them on the first journey as well.

Acts 16:1  “…Derbe and Lystra…”
Point where Paul and Barnabas had reached before returning to Antioch.

1  “…certain disciple…Timothy…”
First mention of Timothy.  Jewish mother who was a believer, Gentile father who must not have.

3  “…circumcised him because of the Jews who were in that region…”
Paul wanted to use Timothy to reach others in the area.  Although he believed circumcision did not count for salvation, he wanted to remove it as an obstacle to reaching people.

6-8  “…through Phrygia and the region of Galatia…Mysia…Bithynia…passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas”
Looking at an early map, appears they tried to go west in the area of Asia Minor, but the Spirit didn’t allow it.  They went northwest around Asia and tried to continue northeast into Bithynia, but were stopped there also.  So they went further west to Troas.

10  “…we sought to go to Macedonia…”
Further west around the coast of the Aegean Sea.

13  “…city to the riverside, where prayer was customarily made…”
Wonder if there was no synagogue so they met by the riverside.  Commentary agrees.

16  “…slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination…”
Demon possessed girl.  The demon would tell people their fortunes.  Obviously only God knows the future, but the demon probably did have insight people would not have and used it to deceive folks.  Girl’s owners were using her for profit.  Wonder if the one crying out was the demon trying to speak against them or the girl trying to be free.

23  “…had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison…”
We know Paul and Silas.  Wonder how much of this Luke also endured.  Never mentions himself except when he says we did this or that.  As he may not have been one to do any speaking to the crowds, they may have ignored him.

30  “…what must I do to be saved”
Wondered how he had gotten to this point.  Commentary suggested he wouldn’t have been concerned for his own physical safety since the prisoners were all there.  The fact that an earthquake had loosed the chains and opened the doors, he must have realized something supernatural had happened.  He must also have known something of what Paul and Silas had been accused and realized there was something to it.

33  “…immediately he and all his family were baptized”
Once the leader of the family had believed, it was easier for the rest of his family to be convinced.  Same way today.  If a father is saved, the odds of the rest of the family believing increases greatly, more so than any other family member.

37  “…uncondemned Romans…”
Paul used everything at his disposal.  He was a Roman citizen as well as a Jew.  He used the advantages of that without issue.  Speaks to the issue of today when many say Christians shouldn’t use the power of national law and the courts to further any cause.  As Paul would say later, the governments/nations are ordained of God.  Not that He necessarily agrees with what they do, but He allows them.  They have no power which He can’t overrule.  Therefore, we’re free to use what advantage we have as citizens of those nations.  Certainly we have a higher citizenship, that of Heaven, but for now, we’re here also and should conduct ourselves as loyal citizens as long as our actions don’t contradict the will of God.  And we’re entitled to the advantages as well.

39  “…pleaded with them and brought them out…”
Commentary suggests this was what Paul wanted.  They had been put in prison publicly, they needed to be released the same way so all could see they weren’t guilty of anything deserving of the treatment they received.  Not vengeance on his part, but probably helped clear the air surrounding other believers of the area.  They wouldn’t be marked in a harsh way due to what had happened to Paul and Silas.

I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word.  May it accomplish what He desires.  Please feel free to comment or post questions.  Thanks for reading!

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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