“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/In Thessalonica and In Berea

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

This Holiday Season is almost over and I have to admit that at one point I was hoping that it would be over.  And then I remembered what Christmas is all about, the real reason for the season and I had to stop and pray and thank God for His Son, Jesus the Christ.  I was renewed in my spirit and able to complete those things that needed to be done (within the scope of my abilities).  I was also surprised that there are still people out there that do not believe.  I was careful not to overdue it when discussing their unbelief.  For it is written in John 6:44, No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him:  and I will raise him up at the last day.   And I believe that there is a season or time for Apologetics (Justification).  Here’s hoping your Holiday Season continues throughout the year and every year because of what our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ has done for us.  Amen.

“In Thessalonica”, Acts 17:1) Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews:  2) And Paul as his manner was, went in unto them, and three Sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures, 3) Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you is Christ (One Who has been anointed).  Psalm 22.  4) And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.  Acts 28:24.  5) But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.  Romans 16:21.  6) And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;  1Kings 18:17.  7) Whom Jason hath received:  and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another King, One Jesus.  8) And they troubled the people and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things.  9) And when they had taken security of Jason, and of the other, they let them go.  10) And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea:  who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.  

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – v1-9, The drift and scope of Paul’s preaching and arguing, was to prove that Jesus is the Christ.  He must needs suffer for us, because He could not otherwise purchase our redemption for us;  and He must needs have risen again, because He could not otherwise apply the redemption to us.  We are to preach concerning Jesus that He is Christ; therefore we may hope to be saved by Him, and are bound to be ruled by Him.  The unbelieving Jews were angry, because the Apostles preached to the Gentiles, that they might be saved.  How strange it is, that men should grudge others the privileges they will not themselves accept.  We have no fear of the increase of real Christians only of those with evil spirits.  Of such let us beware, while we claim our right to worship God.  Amen. 

“In Berea”, Acts 17: 11) These were more noble that those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.  12) Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women  which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.  13) But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the Word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.  Luke 11:52; 1Thessalonians 2:15.  14) And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go as it were to the sea:  but Silas and Timotheus abode there still.  15) And they that conducted Paul brought him unto Athens:  and receiving a commandment unto Silas and Timotheus for to come to him with all speed, they departed.  

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – v11-15, The Jews in Berea applied seriously to the study of the Word preached unto them.  They not only heard Paul preach on the Sabbath, but daily searched the Scriptures, and compared what they read with the facts related to them.  The doctrine (teaching) of Christ does not fear inquiry:  advocates for His cause desire no more than that people will fully and fairly examine whether things are so or not.  May all the hearers of the Gospel become like those of Berea.

More to come and God Bless You.

     

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“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/Paul and Silas in Prison II

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to Everyone.

&lt;”Paul and Silas In Prison”" cont'd, Acts 16:25)</strong> And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God:  and the prisoners heard them.  Colossians 1:24.  26) And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken:  and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.  27) And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled.  28) But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm:  for we are all here.  Exodus 20:13.  29) Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas.  30) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?  Luke 3:10; Act 2:37.  31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.  32) And they spake unto him the Word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. 33) And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.  34) And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.  35) And when it was day, the magistrates sent the sergeants, saying, Let those men go.  36) And the keeper of the prison told this saying to Paul, The magistrates have sent to let you go:  now therefore depart, and go in peace.  37) But Paul said unto them, They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.  Acts 22;25.  38) And the sergeants told these words unto the magistrates:  and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans.  39) And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city.  Matthew 8:34; Luke 5:8.  40) And they went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia:  and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed. 

Matthew Henry’s Concise Bible Commentary – v25 – 34, The consolations of God to His suffering servants are neither few nor small.  How much more happy are true Christians than their prosperous enemies!  As in the dark, so out of the depths, we may cry unto God.  No place, no time is amiss for prayer, if the heart is lifted up to God.  No trouble, however grievous, should hinder us from praise.  Paul cried aloud to make the jailer hear,  and to make him heed, saying, Do thyself no harm.  All the cautions of the Word of God against sin, and all appearances of it, and approaches to it, have this tendency.  Man, woman, do not ruin thyself:  hurt not thyself, and then none else can hurt thee; do not sin, for nothing but that can hurt thee.  How serious the jailer’s inquiry!  His salvation becomes his great concern: that now lies nearest his heart, which before was furthest from his thoughts.  Those who are thoroughly convinced of sin, and truly concerned about their salvation, will give themselves up to Christ.  Here is the sum of the whole Gospel, the covenant of Grace in a few words; Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved; and thy house.  The jailer treated them with kindness and professing faith in Christ, was baptized in that Name, with his family.  With faith, terrors will be followed by confidence and joy in Christ Jesus.  v35-40) Paul though willing to suffer for the cause of Christ, did not choose to depart under the charge of having deserved wrongful punishment, and therefore required to be dismissed in an honourable manner.  Christians should never express personal anger; nor insist too strictly upon personal amends.  The Lord will make them more than conquerors in every conflict. Amen. 

More to come and God Bless You.  

“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/Lydia’s Conversion in Philippi and Paul and Silas in Prison

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus 

Just listening to “We Shall Behold Him”, Vickie Winans. Beautiful. Shout out to the faithful followers of this Blog, God Bless You.

“Lydia’s Conversion In Philippi”, Acts 16:11) Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;  12) And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city (or the first) of that part of Macedonia, and a colony:  and we were in that city abiding certain days.  13) And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither.   14) And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us:  whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul.  15) And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there.  And she constrained us.  Galatians 6;10; Genesis 19:3; Judges 19:21.

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v11, 12, Philippi was a Roman colony loyal to the empire and functioned as a military outpost. Philippi was a commercial center in Macedonia. a good place to begin preaching the Gospel. v13, where prayer was customarily made: According to jewish custom, a congregation consisted of ten households. If ten male household heads could be found in a city, a synagogue was formed. If not, a place of payer was established, usually near a river under the open sky. Here Paul searched for a Jewish prayer meeting. v14-15, Thyatira was well known for purple dyes and cloth dyeing. Because it was so expensive, purple dye was used on garments worn by royalty. As an artisan in purple dyes, Lydia was a wealthy woman who had come to Philippi to practice her trade. Paul preached the Gospel but the Lord opened Lydia’s heart to it.

“Paul and Silas in Prison”, Acts 16:16) And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying.  17) The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of The Most High God, which shew unto us the way of Salvation.   18) And this did she many days.  But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.  And he came out the same hour.  19) And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers,  20) And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 1Kings 18:17.  21) And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.  22) And the multitude rose up together against them:  and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.  23) And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely.  24) Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v16, Luke’s description of the slave girl in Greek indicates that she had a “spirit of Python,” meaning that the person was controlled by an evil force.  Apparently those who knew the girl did not regard her as insane or fraudulent.  Rather, they viewed her ability to foretell events as genuine.  People paid the girl for her divination services, earning her masters a lot of money.  v17-18, greatly annoyed or grieved:  Paul was upset not because what the girl said was untrue, but because the girl was being viewed as the source of truth.  v20-21, And brought them to the magistrates: These claims were as false as those leveled first against Jesus and then Stephen.  v22-24, Before prisoners were beaten with rods and laid many stripes, their cloths were torn off so their flesh would be exposed for the flogging.

Those who do good by drawing men from sin, may expect to be reviled as troublers of the city.  While they teach men to fear God, to believe in Christ; to forsake sin, and to live godly lives, they will be accused of teaching bad customs………* and will suffer for it.  Matthew Henry CC.

*) This person’s view.

More to come and God Bless You.      

    

 

“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/Timothy Joins Paul and SiIas and Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

Sunday Service was awesome! The Praise Team was great, and Our Pastor spoke on having a “Faith Lift” and to “Believe”.  Scripture, Luke 1:45, “And blessed is she that believed:  for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” KJV.  Because Mary believed, she was blessed.  He also talked about “Miracles” and “The Miracle of Jesus Christ”.  Hallelujah!  Hope you had a wonderful Sunday and that you were able to hear the Word of God. Amen.

“Timothy Joins Paul and Silas”, Acts 16:1) Then came he to Derbe and Lystra:  and, behold, a certain Disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:  1Thessalonians 3:2; 1Timothy 1:2.   2) Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.  2Timothy 3:15.  3) Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters:  for they knew all that his father was a Greek.  1Corinthians 9:20.  4) And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the Apostles and Elders which were at Jerusalem.  5) And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.  Colossians 1:23. 

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v1, Timothy was the son of Eunice, a Jewish woman of great faith (2Timothy 1:5).  Eunice had taught the Holy Scriptures to Timothy from infancy (2Timothy 3:15).  The silence about the faith of Timothy’s father suggests he was not a Believer.   v2, Well spoken of may be rephrased as “well witnessed”.  In other words, people did not have to be told that Timothy was a Christian.   v3) took him and circumcised him:  In Jewish law, Timothy should have been circumcised and raised a Jew, even with a Gentile father.  But in Greek law, the father dominated the home.  Timothy became circumcised so that God could use him to reach all people — even the Jews — with the message of the Gospel.  v4, 5, The council’s decision (15:24-29) brought great joy and comfort to the Gentiles.  Apparently the decrees from the Jerusalem council were considered reasonable and not burdensome.

“Paul’s Vision of the Man of Macedonia”, Acts 16: 6) Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the Word in Asia,  7) After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia:  but the Spirit suffered them not.  8) And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.  2Timothy 4:13.  9) And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us.  10) And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the Gospel unto them.  1Corinthinas 2:13. 

Nelson’s Compact Bible Commentary – v6-10, sought to go to Macedonia:  With both the southwesterly route and the northern path closed by the Holy Spirit (v6, 7).  Paul headed in the only direction left open to him — northwest — until he came to the Aegean port of Troas.  Paul was at the right place at the right time to receive the call to go to Macedonia.  We:  This is the first of four “we” sections in the Book of Acts (16:10-17; 20:5-15; 21:1-18; 27:1—28:16).  This indicates that Luke, the author of Acts, accompanied Paul at least these four times.

More to come and God Bless You.     

“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/The Council’s Letter To Gentile Believers and Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

“The Council’s Letter to Gentile Believers”, Acts 15:22) Then pleased it the Apostles and Elders, with the whole Church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas (Most believe  Silas is the Silvanus who carried the first epistle (letter) of Peter to its readers (1Pe 5:12), and he was a Roman citizen) chief men among the brethren.  Acts 1:23.  23) And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The Apostles and Elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:   24) Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, Ye must be circumcised, and keep the law:  to whom we gave no such commandment:  25) It seemed good unto us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men unto you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,  26) Men that have hazarded their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Philippians 2:29, 30.   27) We have sent therefore Judas and Silas, who shall also tell you the same things by mouth (word).  28) For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;  John 16:13.  29) That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication:  from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well.  Fare ye well.  30) So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch:  and when they had gathered the multitude together, they delivered the epistle (letter):  31) Which when they had read, they rejoiced for the consolation.  32) And Judas and Silas, being prophets also themselves, exhorted the brethren with many words, and confirmed them.   33) And after they had tarried there a space, they were let go in peace from the brethren unto the Apostles.  1Corinthians 16:11; Hebrews 11:31.  34) Notwithstanding it pleased Silas to abide there still.   35) Paul also and Barnabas continued in Antioch, teaching and preaching the Word of the Lord, with many others also.  Amen.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – v22-35, Having declared themselves influenced by the Holy Ghost, the Apostles and Disciples were assured that it seemed good unto God the Holy Spirit, as well as to them, to lay upon the converts (those that have turned to God)no other burden than the things before mentioned, which were necessary.  Those who were troubled were silenced, so that the peace of the Church was restored, and that which threatened division was removed.  All this was consolation for which they blessed God.

“Disagreement Between Paul and Barnabas”, Acts 15:36) And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the Word of the Lord, and see how they do.  37) And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.  38) But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.  Acts 13:13.  39) And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus:  40) And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the Grace of God.  41) And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

Quest Study Bible – Why would spiritual leaders argue with each other?  v39, Paul and Barnabas quarreled partly because they held such passionate convictions about God’s will.  For Paul, nothing could eclipse the mission of preaching the Gospel and building churches.  If John Mark jeopardized that mission, he should minister elsewhere.  For Barnabas, nicknamed the son of encouragement (4:36), the restoration of one sincere Christian worker justified the risk.  In a sense, both Paul and Barnabas were right.  Yet in another sense, both were wrong, they both allowed anger to influence them.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – We see that the best of men are but men, subject to like passions as we are.  Christ’s example alone is without blot.  *He alone is spotless We shall never be of one mind till we come to Heaven.  Believers must be constant in prayer; that they may never be led by the allowance of unholy tempers, to hurt the cause they really desire to serve.  Many in Antioch heard of the devotedness and piety of Paul and Barnabas and heard of their dispute and separation; *not a good example. Paul speaks with affection both of Barnabas and Mark, in His epistles (letters), written after this event.  May all who profess Thy Name, O Saviour, be reconciled by that love that is not easily provoked and which soon forgets.  Amen.

*)This persons views. 

More to come and God Bless You.

 

    

“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/The Council at Jerusalem cont’d

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus

“The Council at Jerusalem”, Acts 15:13) And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:  Acts 12:17.  14) Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His Name.  15) And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,  Isaiah 11:10.  16) After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:  17) That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom My Name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things.   18) Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.  19) Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:  1Thessalonians 1:9.  20) But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.  21) For Moses of old time hath in every city them that preach him, being read in the synagogues every Sabbath day.

Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary – Previously v7-9, Peter spoke of the Gentiles and the “purifying of their hearts”, that the justification by faith, and sanctification by the Holy Ghost, cannot be separated; and that both are a gift of God.  We have great cause to bless God that we have heard the Gospel.   v13-21, The opinion of James was, that the Gentile converts ought not to be troubled about Jewish rites, but that they should abstain from meats offered to idols, so that they might show their hatred of idolatry (the worship of images).  Also, that they should be cautioned against fornication, which was not abhorred by the Gentiles as it should be, and even formed a part of some of their rites.  They were counseled to abstain from things strangled, and from eating blood; this was forbidden by the law of Moses, and also here, from reverence to the blood of the sacrifices.  These were still being offered, and to eat blood would needlessly grieve the Jewish converts, and further prejudice the unconverted Jews.  Let converts be warned to avoid all appearances of the evils which they formerly practiced, or are likely to be tempted to; and caution them to use Christian liberty with moderation and prudence.

More to come and God Bless You.

 

“Jesus, A Miracle Worker”/The Council in Jerusalem

A Christ Filled Life – Getting To Know Jesus 

“The Council in Jerusalem”, Acts 15:1) And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.  2) When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the Apostles and Elders about this question.  Galatians 2:1.  3) And being brought on their way by the Church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles:  and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.  4) And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the Church, and of the Apostles and Elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.  5) But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.  6) And the Apostles and Elders came together for to consider of this matter.  7) And when there had been much disputing, Peter rose up, and said unto them, Men and brethren, ye know how that a good while ago God made choice among us, that the Gentiles by my mouth should hear the Word of the Gospel, and believe.  8) And God, which knoweth the hearts, bare them witness, giving them the Holy Ghost, even as He did unto us;  Hebrews 4:12.  9) And put no difference between us and them, purifying their hearts by faith.  Romans 10:11.  10) Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the Disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?  Matthew 23:4; Galatians 5:1.  11) But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.  Romans 3:24; Ephesians 1:7.   12) Then all the multitude kept silence, and gave audience to Barnabas and Paul, declaring what miracles and wonders God had wrought among the Gentiles by them. 

Quest Study Bible – v1, Why did some insist on circumcision? Centuries of religious training caused many to have a well-entrenched interpretation of Old Testament law.  Though many Jews accepted Jesus as the Messiah, they still found it difficult to abandon what they had always believed.  They saw Jesus’ Ministry as a supplement, not a completion or fulfillment of Old Testament law (Matthew 5:17).  In their view, circumcision remained essential for a relationship with God.  Paul’s letter to the Galatians addresses this error.   

More to come and God Bless You.