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Dave Burnette's Commentary

Acts Chapter 16 

Written By: God through Inspiration
Penned By: Luke
Date Penned: (63-70 AD)
Overview: Paul's Ministry (c 13-28)
Theme: Paul's Second Missionary Journey (c 16-18)
Message: Timothy Joins Paul and Silas (v 1-40)

Acts 16 Commentary

(16:1-5) Paul's Second Missionary Journey - Acts 16 records Paul and Silas embarking on what is called the second missionary journey. A few verses describe a quick trek over the cities of the first journey and a series of divine prohibitions about going in certain directions. Then Paul had a vision of a man in Macedonia calling out for help, and God’s door swung wide open in a new direction.

(16:6-10) A Call from Macedonia - Forbidden by the Holy Spirit to go into the provinces of Asia and Bithynia, Paul and his companions were directed instead past Mysia to the city of Troas. There Paul had a divine vision instructing him to go to Macedonia. These supernatural events served to underline the sovereign guidance of God in Paul’s evangelistic efforts. Sometime during the events described in this passage, Luke became part of Paul’s entourage (see the pronoun “we” in 16:10).

(16:11-15) Lydia of Philippi Believes in Jesus - In response to the Macedonian call, Paul and his associates immediately boarded a ship at Troas and sailed across the Aegean Sea, landing at Neapolis, the port city for Philippi (in what is now northern Greece). Acts 16 highlights the stories of three individuals who became believers through Paul’s ministry in Philippi: Lydia, the influential businesswoman (16:14), the demon-possessed slave girl (16:16-18), and the jailer (16:27-30). The gospel was affecting all strata of society, just as it does today.

(16:16-40) Paul and Silas in Prison - While in Philippi, Paul’s missionary team encountered a demon-possessed slave girl who continually attempted to disrupt their ministry. When an exasperated Paul commanded the evil spirit to come out of her, the girl lost her fortune-telling ability. This infuriated her masters, who had Paul and Silas dragged before the city authorities and thrown in prison. God used an earthquake to free his servants and bring about the salvation of the Philippian jailer and his family. The next day, after the city officials learned that they had unlawfully beaten and jailed two Roman citizens, they apologized and begged Paul and Silas to leave the city. They did so after a final visit with Lydia and the believers at her home. Despite opposition, the gospel continued to spread powerfully to all the strata of society.

Dave Burnette's Life Application

The Lord Will Guide You

Each day we walk through the Bible chapter by chapter making an application of our text to help us grow in the Lord. Many applications can be made from each day's text. Today we continue in the book of Acts Chapter 16. In our text today we see Timothy joining Paul and Silas at Lystra, Paul has a vision directing them to Macedonia, Lydia is converted, and the Philippian jailer is converted with his household to follow. In making application we see the importance of following the direction of the Holy Spirit as he Leads Paul to Lydia and the Philippian Jailer. Today the Lord will direct you to witness to those who's Hearts He is working on. How about You? Do you seek the Lord in serving Him? Let us learn from our text today and the life of Paul to see that the Lord will direct us to go to those who's hearts He is working on.


Acts 16

Acts 16

 1Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:

 2Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.

 3Him 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.

 4And 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.

 5And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.

 6Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia,

 7After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.

 8And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas.

 9And 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.

 10And 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.

 11Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis;

 12And from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.

 13And 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.

 14And 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.

 15And 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.

 16And 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:

 17The 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.

 18And 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.

 19And 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,

 20And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city,

 21And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans.

 22And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them.

 23And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely:

 24Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.

 25And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.

 26And 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.

 27And 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.

 28But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here.

 29Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,

 30And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?

 31And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

 32And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.

 33And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

 34And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.

 35And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.

 36And 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.

 37But 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.

 38And the serjeants told these words unto the magistrates: and they feared, when they heard that they were Romans.

 39And they came and besought them, and brought them out, and desired them to depart out of the city.

 40And 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.