Acts 16

Acts 16: Cast into Prison

                Paul goes to Derbe and Lystra where he met up with Timotheus, who was a Christian but had a Jewish mother and a Greek father. They travel through Phrygia and Galatia, but the Holy Ghost forbids them from entering Asia. They did this so the churches were “…established in faith, and increased in number daily.” (Acts 16:5)

Paul has a night vision of a man inviting him to Macedonia. Paul and those with him travel to Phillipi (near the city of Macedonia) where they stay with a devout Christian woman named Lydia. Later they run into a possessed slave girl who proclaims Paul and those with him to be the servants of the Most High God. Paul uses the power of the Priesthood to cast the demon out.

Paul and Silas are arrested, beaten, and imprisoned for delivering the slave-girl from her demonic possession. The slave masters were upset that they could no longer make gain from her as a soothsayer. At night, while in the jail, the chains fall from them. The jailer, thinking his prisoners have escaped, thinks of committing suicide but Paul and Silas reveal themselves to him saying; “…Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.” (Acts 16:28) The jailer and his family are then baptized. The next day, the magistrates free Paul and Silas. The magistrates are anxious when Paul reveals his Roman identity.

Acts 15

Acts 15: Circumcision; Yes or No?

                Certain men came down from Judea to teach that; “…Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.” (Acts 15:1) Paul and Barnabas disagreed with the men and suggested they go to Jerusalem to speak with the other Apostles regarding the matter. Even though many in the church believed it was not necessary to be circumcised, a great number of Pharisees that had joined the church believed in the Law of Moses. The Apostles council in Jerusalem and after some time they decide and letters are sent to the churches of Antioch, Syria and Cilicia, saying that circumcision is not necessary. However, the letter goes on to explain that only abstinence from idolatry, blood, things strangled and sexual immorality is necessary. Judas [surnamed Barnabas] and Silas [Chief men among the brethren] serve as missionaries in Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. Paul and Barnabas make plans to visit all the churches they have established, but they quarrel about whether to take John Mark with them, so in the end, Barnabas and John Mark go to Cyprus, while Paul takes Silas with him to Syria and Cilicia. They went throughout the land “…confirming the churches.” (Acts 15:41)