Acts 16 – Pau’s 2nd Missionary Journey Begins

Missionaries on the Journey

  • Paul – splits with Barnabas over contention concerning John Mark
  • Silas
    • Replaces Barnabas as Paul’s primary companion.
    • A prophet from Jerusalem sent to Antioch by Apostles and elders of Jerusalem to bear witness of the letter concerning the essentials all disciples should keep (abstain from: (1) things contaminated by idols, (2) what is strangled and blood, and (3) fornication)
    • Luke  – A physician (Col 4:14) and the author of Acts
    • Timothy
      • Son of a Hebrew mother, who was a believer, and a Greek father. (v. 1)
      • A well-spoken of disciple. (v. 2)
      • Becomes a young preacher in Ephesus ( 1 Timothy 1:3, 1 Timothy 4:12)

Expedient acts versus those of command/Law of Christ

  • Why circumcise Timothy, when the circumcision of Titus was refused? (Gal 2: 3-5)
    • False teachers (Pharisees who had become Christians) demanded that Titus be circumcised to keep the Law of Moses.
      • For these false teachers, Jesus was not enough.
        • They demanded that the Law of Moses be adhered to.
        • No man, but Jesus alone, could keep the Law perfectly.
  • False teachers should know better.
    • They had accepted the grace and mercy of Jesus (Titus 3:1-10, Colossians 2:8-14).
    • To, with the conscience, keep the law is to condemn oneself to condemnation.
  • Nonbelieving Jews would find an uncircumcised teacher to be a stumbling block.
    • How could someone who doesn’t even abide in the covenant of Abraham teach about God?
    • Timothy was known by the Jews in the area, Lystra and Iconium, to have a Greek father.
    • We are to be all things to all men in order to save them (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

God’s providence.

  • To save souls in Europe, God closed doors to Paul.
    • Holy Spirit forbids them to speak the word in Asia (v. 6).
    • Spirit of Jesus prevents them to go to Bithynia (v. 7).
    • Paul receives the vision of a Macedonian man who says, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” (v. 9)
      • Similar to the vision Peter received to begin preaching the word to Gentiles (Acts 10:9-16)
  • God uses an earthquake, prison doors opening, and loosened chains to wake up the Philippian jailer both literally (awoke from sleep) and figuratively (heart). (vs. 25-30)
  • Note: Though signs and miracles are no longer needed or used to verify God’s word (1 Cor 13: 8-13), He continues to work in our lives through providence.
    • Romans 8:28 – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”

What must I do to be saved?

  • Lydia and her household
    • The Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul (v. 14).
    • This response was baptism (v. 15).
    • Philippian jailer
      • Told to believe in the Lord Jesus. (v. 31)
      • To accomplish this:
        • Paul spoke the word of the Lord (v. 32).
        • The jailer and his household were immediately baptized (v. 33).
        • NOTE – The jailer rejoiced greatly having believed in God. This saving belief was not accomplished prior to baptism (v. 34).
          • Salvation does not occur prior to baptism.
  • 1 Peter 3:21 – “Corresponding to that, baptism now saves you – to the removal of dirt from the flesh, but an appeal to God for a good conscience – through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (Romans 6)
  • Mark 16:16 – “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
  • James 2:19 – “You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.”


  • Lydia prevailed upon Paul and his companions to stay in her house. (v. 15)
  • The Philippian jailer takes Paul and Silas to his home and sets food before them. (v. 34)
    • Hospitality is expected and commanded of Christians time and again.
      • Acts 2:44-46 – After Pentecost, new converts were always together, breaking bread from house to house.
      • Romans 12:13 – “contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.”
      • Titus 1:8, 1 Timothy 3:2 and 5:10 – Qualifications for elders and widows in deed.
      • 1 Peter 4:9, “Be hospitable to one another without complaint.”
      • Hebrews 13:2 – “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”

Christians are not a threat to government and may appeal to civil rights.

  • Paul refuses to leave prison unless magistrates release them personally, thereby admitting that they were wrong. (vs. 37-39)
    • Paul demands proper treatment as a citizen of Rome on other occasions
      • To not be scourged (Romans 22:25)
      • To be tried as a Roman and not as a Jew (Romans 25:10-11)
      • We should assume that governments can be reasonable and give them a chance to correct a wrong. (v. 39)
      • We are never to give legitimate reasons to the government for punishment. (1 Peter 4:15-16)