Philippians (01): Church Planting in Philippi
Philippians (01): Church Planting in Philippi (Acts 16)
(see chart contained in the attached PDF)
Acts 16:7-10 After they had come to Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit did not permit them. 8 So passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas. 9 And a vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them. . . 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia, a Roman colony; and we were staying in this city for some days.
Who were the Charter Members of the Philippian Church? - Lydia (from Thyatira) was a “worshiper of God” and a convert through God’s sovereign opening of her heart (Acts 16:14). Her household was baptized. They showed hospitality to Paul and Silas. After the exorcism of the slave girl (Acts 16:16-24), leading to the imprisonment of Paul and Silas, the second charter member was the Roman Jailer and his household.
Who did the Gospel Spread From Jerusalem to the Ends of the Earth? As is clear in Philippi, the routine practice of the apostolic church was household baptism. Previous baptized Gentiles had been God-fearers (The eunuch worshiped in Jerusalem. Cornelius was a God-fearer and devout. Lydia “worshiped God”). The Jailer is the first recorded baptism of an outright pagan. His attempted suicide indicates his Roman code of conduct which called for suicide as the noble act in some situation, like the loss of one's prisoners (Acts 16:27). He cried out, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” The answer is pregnant with Biblical concepts: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:31). The text goes on to say after Paul preached the gospel, “He was baptized, he and all his household” (16:33). Paul and Silas were brought into the house of the Jailer to eat and the Jailer “rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household” (16:34).
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more