“Sermon in the Cell”

October 11, 2015

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Summary

The Apostle Paul’s second missionary expedition included the stellar team of Silas, Timothy and Luke. Many closed doors brought the brothers to Troas where Luke records the following: “And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, ‘Come over to Macedonia and help us.’” (Acts 16:9 ESV) The brothers leave immediately and journey to the city of Philippi. There they share the Gospel with a businesswoman named Lydia and she believes. Then Paul casts out a demon from a fortune-telling slave girl. After the latter event, the outraged slave owners stir up anger among local officials who have Paul and Silas beaten publicly and thrown in jail. Bloodied and in pain, the brothers start praying and singing hymns at midnight. God sends an earthquake which rattles loose their chains and opens all the prison doors. Assuming his prisoners had escaped, the jailer prepares to take his own life. Paul stops the suicide and assures the jailer no one had fled. Acts 16:29-31 is the rest of the story: “And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (ESV) The jailer and his family believe in Jesus and are baptized that very night. Did this jailer bear a striking resemblance to the Macedonian man in Paul’s vision? Answer unknown. But the question as to how we might be saved was clearly answered in that dark Philippian jail: Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ!  

Bible References

  • Acts 16:6 - 40
  • Romans 10:8 - 13

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