Acts Chapter Sixteen (NIV)
Acts Chapter Sixteen (NASB)
Verses 1-5: Timothy joins Paul and Silas.
Verses 6-10: Through a vision, God calls Paul to Macedonia.
Verses 11-15: Lydia becomes a Christian.
Verses 16-24: Paul and Silas are beaten and jailed.
Verses 25-40: The Philippian jailer becomes a Christian (along with his family).
II. KEY PASSAGES
(A) Acts 16:3--"Paul wanted Timothy to accompany him, and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those places, for they all knew that his father was a Greek." Paul always resisted the claim that circumcision was necessary for salvation. But he also refused to put stumbling blocks in people's way when he preached. Since Paul typically entered Jewish synagogues to preach, and since Timothy would have been considered Jewish (because his mother was Jewish), Paul circumcised Timothy so that Timothy could work with him effectively among the Jews.
(B) Acts 16:10--"And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them." Notice that the pronoun shifts to "we" here. This must have been when Luke joined Paul's group.
(C) Acts 16:25--"About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them." The most common argument against Theism is the "Argument from Evil." If God exists, why is there so much suffering? Why doesn't He protect us? It's interesting to see how different the reaction to suffering was in the first century. Paul was routinely beaten, abused, and tortured, yet it never occurred to Paul to say, "Wait a minute! I believe in God. Surely a powerful and loving God would make sure that I don't suffer. Thus, since I'm suffering, God must not exist." For Paul, and for most others in the ancient world, pain and pleasure weren't at the top of the list of priorities. In today's world, well . . .
(D) Acts 16:36-37--"And the jailer reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Therefore come out now and go in peace.” But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us publicly, uncondemned, men who are Roman citizens, and have thrown us into prison; and do they now throw us out secretly? No! Let them come themselves and take us out.” Paul demands public acknowledgement that his civil rights were violated. Interesting.