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Two Salvations, One Savior (Acts 16:11-18)

February 5, 2015

Reflecting on the Passage:

Here at East Point Church, we have begun a new sermon series entitled “Acts: The Spirit and the Church in the World“. This week’s sermon considers the unity in the midst of diversity. Pastor Carter makes evident the inescapable truth, namely, Jesus Christ is the only Way to Salvation (John 14:6). The focus of this sermon is on the mercy of Christ to save a woman from self-confidence and a slave girl from Satans control.

Lydia: Saved from Self-Confidence

So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay. And she prevailed upon us (Acts 16:11-15;ESV).

By all outward signs, Lydia seemed as though she was doing quite well for herself. She had wealth and prestige, especially having such within a male dominated culture, which would naturally make her self-confident. Likewise, she was spiritual, even religiously attended prayer meetings with the woman who came together. But when she heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ she learned she was lost despite her outward appearances. Pastor Carter places emphasis on the grace of God to give Lydia ears to hear Jesus, not merely Paul and the missionaries. She recognized that having great possessions plus being spiritual means absolutely nothing apart from the salvation of Christ (cf. Matthew 19:16-30).

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Slave Girl: Saved from Satans Control

As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us, crying out, These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation. And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And it came out that very hour (Acts 16:16-18; ESV).”

Unlike Lydia who owned property, Paul and his fellow missionaries, meet a slave girl who was property. She had no name, she was not her own, but most distressing of all, she was possessed by Satan. Nonetheless, God did not leave her in the power of Satan (Colossians 1:13). Nor does God leave her nameless. When He rescues from the kingdom of darkness, He gives those who receive Christ a new name and place among those who are sanctified by faith in Him (John 1:12, 14:2-3; Acts 26:15-18; Revelation 3:12).

Do you know Jesus the Christ?

The road to Hell does not discriminate (Psalm 9:17-20). Accordingly, the Grace of God has no respecter of person either. Jesus Christ can come anytime, anywhere, and to anyone according to His Will, for He is the only One who can open eyes and ears, and soften hard hearts (Matthew 11:25-30).

Listen to this week’s full sermon for free.

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