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Bible Commentaries
Acts 16

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

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Verse 1

Acts 16.1

Verse 3

Acts 16:3

circumcised him -- This was done to aid his acceptance by the Jews and provide full access to the synagogues (see note on Acts 6:9) he would be visiting with Paul and Silas. If Timothy had not been circumcised, the Jews could have assumed he had renounced his Jewish heritage and had chosen to live as a Gentile. - MSB

Timothy had not been circumcised since his father was Greek. Paul circumcises Timothy for the sake of the church’s mission, in order not to unnecessarily offend the Jews—Timothy would be entering into Jewish synagogues and homes. - FSB

Verse 6

Acts 16:6

Forbidden of the Holy Ghost -- From Acts 13:1 we learned that Silas was a prophet. The H.S spoke through prophets and probably this message came via way of Silas.

Verse 10

Acts 16:10

We -- The pronoun indicates the presence of Luke with the group

Verse 11

Acts 16:11

we -- One of the many "we" passages that indicates "Luke" was present. He was Paul’s faithful traveling friend, co-worker, and physician (cf. Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11). He was with Paul during many of his preaching stops in Acts. This is confirmed by the “we” statements in Acts (cf. Acts 16:11, Acts 16:16; Acts 20:6-7, Acts 20:13; Acts 21:1, Acts 21:5; Acts 21:7; Acts 21:10; Acts 21:12; Acts 21:15; Acts 21:17; Acts 21:25; Acts 27:1; Acts 27:18; Acts 27:26-27). Luke may have been the “man of Macedonia” in Acts 16:9. - Utley

Straight course -- Providence working to bring praying Lydia and preacher together. Every word is important when studying the Bible. Here the crossing took two days, in Acts 20:6 it took five days.

Verse 12

Acts 16:12

Verse 13

Acts 16:13

River side -- the Gangas.

riverside -- "Where there was no Synagogue there was at least a Proseuche, or meeting-place, under the open sky, after the form of a theatre generally outside the town, near a river or the sea, for the sake of lustrations." Alfred Edersheim, THE LIFE AND TIMES OF JESUS THE MESSIAH, Bk 1, ch 6)

EXAMPLES OF CONVERSION:

1. Pentecost- Acts 2:22 & Acts 2:36-47

2. Samaria- Acts 8:4-13

3. Ethiopian eunuch- Acts 8:26-39

4. Paul (Saul)- Acts 9:1-20 & Acts 22:6-16

5. Cornelius– Acts 10:1-48 & Acts 11:1-18

6. Lydia- Acts 16:13-15

7. Philippian jailer- Acts 16:23-34

8. Corinthians- Acts 18:8

SERMON OUTLINE

The Conversion of Lydia

Acts 16:11-15

Introduction

1. Every woman introduced in the Scriptures to any extent is in some way remarkable-- either for her virtues or her vices.

2. As Paul was the first recorded gospel preacher on European soil, so Lydia was the first recorded convert there.

3. Acts 16:13 tell us of the meeting at the place of prayer. Notice:

I. Lydia Prior To Conversion

1. An industrious woman. Acts 16:14

a. Busy people are often good hearers and doers of the word.

2. A religious woman.

a. Found at "the place of prayer" on the Sabbath.

b. She closed her shop for worship.

II. Lydia In Conversion

1. She heard the word. Acts 16:14

a. Hearing precedes conversion. Romans 10:17

2. The Lord opened her heart.

a. This marvelous work was done by the influence of God’s messenger and the word being explained. (See Luke 24:45).

3. She gave heed--put into practice the things spoken by Paul.

a. She and her house­hold were baptized.

b. Of whom did her household consist? Baptism is for those who have been taught (Matthew 28:19) and who have become believers (Mark 16:16).

III. Lydia In Christ

1. We get but a glimpse of Lydia the Christian, but how splendid!

2. She was grateful – v. Acts 16:15 b

3. She was faithful to the Lord--judged so by Paul. Probably the first church in Philippi met in her home - Acts 16:40.

LESSONS

1. Without God’s word there can be no conversion. Acts 16:14

2. People are both passive and active in the process of conversion.

3. Great blessings for those who attend prayer-meetings!

4. Woman: first in the transgression, often first in obedience.

Verse 14

Acts 16:14

Heard us . .

Opened -- "thoroughly opened" Acts 16:27 open door of the prison.

Open = Acts 16:14

Heard us . .

Opened -- "thoroughly opened" Acts 16:27 open door of the prison.

Open -- = διήνοιξεν = 8 x, to open thoroughly.

Mark 7:34-35 - ears

Luke 24:31 - eyes

Luke 24:45 - understanding

Attended -- "heeded" "respond" "heed" "give heed" "pay attention"

Be sure to notice the order of events.

a) She "heard us"

b) The "Lord opened her heart"

(Power not in the preacher but in the message)

c) She gave heed to the things spoken. (Certain things appointed for her to do.)

(The power of germination like within the see and not the sower.)

Be sure to notice the order of events.

a) She "heard us"

b) The "Lord opened her heart"

(Power not in the preacher but in the message)

c) She gave heed to the things spoken. (Certain things appointed for her to do.)

(The power of germination like within the see and not the sower.)

Verse 16

Acts 16:16

We -- Luke here includes himself with the group. He was an eye-witness to many of the events.

Divination -- - ability to foretell the future or to communicate with the dead. (Here at least the people appaarently thought she could.)

Verse 23

Acts 16:23

EXAMPLES OF CONVERSION:

1. Pentecost- Acts 2:22 & Acts 2:36-47

2. Samaria- Acts 8:4-13

3. Ethiopian eunuch- Acts 8:26-39

4. Paul (Saul)- Acts 9:1-20 & Acts 22:6-16

5. Cornelius– Acts 10:1-48 & Acts 11:1-18

6. Lydia- Acts 16:13-15

7. Philippian jailer- Acts 16:23-34

8. Corinthians- Acts 18:8

Verse 31

Acts 16:31

Hear Believe Repent Baptism Results-saved

v.32 v.31 v.32 v.33 v.30 saved

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Acts 16". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/acts-16.html. 2021.
 
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