VICTORY IN THE CRISIS

ACTS 16:9-40

 

 

I Jn 5:4

4      For whatsoever is born of God

overcometh the world: and this is the

victory that overcometh the world,

even our faith.

 

 

 

1. Paul had a vision in the night. He saw a man in Macedonia crying for help.

 

2. It was Paul’s sign from God to go to Macedonia and preach the Gospel.

 

3. Once Paul knew that God wanted him in Macedonia he set out to accomplish God’s purpose.

 

4. He goes to Philippi the capitol of Macedonia.

 

5. Macedonia is a mountainous country. North of Greece.

 

6. Paul and Silas go down to the river to pray.

 

7. They meet Lydia. A woman merchant of purple cloth material.

 

8. She is saved and offers her home to them for lodging.

 

9. They stay with Lydia and preach the gospel.

 

10. Again as they pray, a damsel possessed with a spirit of divination (a demon) approaches them and stays with them many days.

 

11. She recognizes Paul and Silas as servants of the most high God. Who hold the way to salvation.

 

12. Paul being grieved by her condition finally commanded the spirit to leave her in the name of Jesus Christ and the spirit leaves.

 

13. The magistrates who had made money from her were angered.

 

14. They have Paul and Silas beaten and thrown into prison.

 

15. Because the magistrates had specifically asked that they be held safely, the jailor thrusts them into the inner chamber and placed their hands and feet in stocks.

 

16. At mid night Paul and Silas are praying and singing when an earthquake shakes the prison.

 

17. The prison shakes to the very foundation all the doors fly open.  The stocks open so that Paul and Silas are free.

 

18. The jailor threatens to commit suicide because he thinks his prisoners have fled.

 

19. Paul ask him to do himself no harm.  No one had escaped.

 

20. The jailor called for a light.

 

21. He came in and threw himself at the feet of Paul and Silas.

 

22. The jailor brought them out and ask “what must I do to be saved?”.

 

23. They led him to Christ.

 

24. The jailor washes the wounds of Paul and Silas.

 

25. The jailor takes Paul and Silas to his house and feeds them.

 

26. The rest of the family is gloriously saved and they are all baptized .

 

27. The next morning the magistrates send serjeants, men hired to carry out the orders of the magistrates, namely execution or scurages.

 

28. They carried as their sign the fasces (from which we get our word fascist) a bundle of rods with an axe handle inserted.

 

29. In the morning the magistrates send serjeants to release Paul and Silas.

 

30. Paul says no. The magistrates put us here.  We are Roman citizens and we were beaten.  They must release us.

 

31. Paul and Silas are released and go back to Lydia’s house and from there they continue their mission.

 

 

This was indeed a crisis for Paul and Silas.

 

We all face crises in our lives.

 

God places us in situations that may seem unfair.

 

We may be wrongfully accused, or as in the case of Paul and Silas be rewarded evil for the good we perform.

 

The crises will continue as long as we live in this flesh.

 

Financial instability, death of loved ones, conflict of personalities, sickness, crime.

 

Since we cannot control the situations in our lives and the crises that arise from them.

 

We must control our lives through the crises.

 

We can have victory in the midst of the storm.

 

As a master helmsman we must face the storm head on.

 

Don’t get sideways this will only result in shipwreck.

 

Don’t turn back for this will only mean you’ll have to make the trip again.

 

Face the crisis head on.

 

What did Paul and Silas do during this crisis in their life?

 

I. THEY REMAINED CONFIDENT IN THE CALL OF GOD.   (Vs 9-10)

 

A. They had prayed and sought God’s guidance 

and He gave it.

            

They were confident that they were right where       

God had sent them.

       

Doing what God had called them to do.

 

Rom 8:28‑31

28    And we know that all things work together for

good to them that love God, to them who are the

called according to his purpose.

29    For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate

to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might

be the firstborn among many brethren.

30    Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also

called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and

whom he justified, them he also glorified.

31    What shall we then say to these things?

If God be for us, who can be against us?

 

 

B. People were being saved

 

1. Lydia

 

2. Demon possessed girl

 

Power of God was evident in their life.

 

II. THEY REMAINED CONSECRATED BY THE     

     SPIRIT OF GOD.

 

Matt 10:18‑20

18    And ye shall be brought before governors

and kings for my sake, for a testimony against

them and the Gentiles.

19    But when they deliver you up, take no thought

how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you

in that same hour what ye shall speak.

20    For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of

your Father which speaketh in you.

 

Rom 5:5

5      And hope maketh not ashamed; because the

love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the

Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

 

Rom 8:1

1    There is therefore now no condemnation to

2    them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not

3    after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

Gal 5:25

25    If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 

 

A. They were not angry.

 

Prov 14:29

29    He that is slow to wrath is of great

understanding: but he that is hasty of

spirit exalteth folly.

 

Prov 16:32

32    He that is slow to anger is better than

the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than

he that taketh a city.

 

Prov 25:28

28    He that hath no rule over his own spirit is

like a city that is broken down, and without walls.

 

B. They did not turn back

C. They did not try to escape

 

III. THEY REMAINED CONTENT TO WITNESS           

WHEREVER GOD SENT. (Vs 40)

 

A. They witnessed to the jailor

 

Prov 25:21‑22

21    If thine enemy be hungry, give him bread to eat;

and if he be thirsty, give him water to drink:

22    For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his

head, and the LORD shall reward thee.

 

 

Matt 5:44

44    But I say unto you, Love your enemies,

bless them that curse you, do good to them

that hate you, and pray for them which

despitefully use you, and persecute you;

 

Rom 12:14

14    Bless them which persecute you:

bless, and curse not.

 

 

Rom 12:20

20    Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him;

if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou

shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

 

 

B. They continued to take the Gospel to other cities.

 

They did not let the bad experiences keep them from doing right.

 

When we get burned we have a tendency to quit.

 

If we knock on doors and no one gets saved after several tries

we want to quit.

 

If we get negative responses we want to quit.

 

If we get taken advantage of we want to quit.

 

But we may be just short of reaching the one

who is waiting and searching for God.

 

 

 

For years scientist have known that all snowflakes are different.

No two are the same.  In the past scientist thought they

knew the way that snow flakes were developed.

 

It was thought that a microscopic spec of dust picked up the

moisture in the air and as it crystallized on the minute spec

it grew in various shapes.

 

However scientist now have more sophisticated instruments

with which to investigate this phenomenon and have

discovered that there is no spec of dust in the snowflake.

 

This was a mystery for some time until it was discovered

that the snowflakes were formed from crystals of snow. 

As a crystal begins to form the pressure from the wind

would break the snow and this broken piece would

form another formation of its own.

 

Many times when a Christian is broken by trials or

injustice this is the opportunity that God uses to

form another Christian.

 

Sometimes these are times that God uses to

bring a backslider home.

 

Or teaches a Christian how to better serve.

 

How do we react to adversity?

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