Lion and Lamb

Who Is Like Our God

Our passage today is from Acts 16:16-40. The church’s sermon is titled “Who is like our God.” This is a summary of Paster Craig Turnbull’s sermon from Hope Bible Church in Oakville, Ontario. Here you can find a summary for last weekend’s message “The Church Encouraged.” This week’s whole church service is available in the video below.

Overview and Background

We are in the city of Philippi. This city is a true Roman city. We will see 3 prison breaks in this passage.

Who Is Like Our God…Who Brings Freedom out of Slavery

Acts 16:16-18. Here is the first prison break. Here was a girl that was probably younger than 8 years of age. She is demon-possessed and can tell the future. There is no reason for this to be a good thing. Her owners used her as a business venture. We’ve seen many times how religion has been used as business ventures. People in power often abuse those who have no power. A little girl is being victimized here. Her pain is their profit. Nobody cares about her. She makes her owners rich and has to live with a demon. Things are about to change for her.

‘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 16:18

Jesus had mercy on this little girl and freed her. There is no chain that Jesus can’t snap in a second. Notice that Paul commanded the demon once and it was out.

Who Is Like Our God…Who Brings Worship Out of Pain!

Acts 16:19-26. This is the second prison break. The owners got mad for losing their business. They went after Paul and Silas and ended up beating them and putting them in jail. Now Paul and Silas are sitting in the shadows with their feet in the stocks. However, there is a song in the midst of this darkness.

‘ About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, ‘

Acts 16:25

How were Paul and Silas singing in the midst of this misery?

Whatever I walk through

Wherever I am

Your Name can move mountains

Wherever I stand

And if ever I walk through

The valley of death

I’ll sing through the shadows

My song of ascent

My song of ascent

From the gravest of all valleys

Come the pastures we call grace

A mighty river flowing upwards

From a deep but empty grave

Highlands by Hillsong

People sing when they have a reason to sing. What is the reason for the believer to sing? Because no one and nothing can take the light from us. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ.

Two Applications

  • Are you singing? Is your life a song to Jesus today even in these shadows?
  • Who is watching you sing? For Paul and Silas, it was the prisoners. Who is watching you not sing? May we be a people that sing in a time of darkness because nobody can take away our light.

‘and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. ‘

Acts 16:26

Who Is Like Our God…Who Brings Life Out of Death

Acts 16:27-40. Here comes prison break number 3

‘When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. ‘

Acts 16:27

Remember that it was dark in the prison so the jailer couldn’t see well. This is the first mention of the jailer being afraid in the passage. He has witnessed the power of God who summoned an earthquake to free his people. He is the same God who cared for and freed a little girl from slavery.

The Jailer Saved

‘And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” ‘

Acts 16:29-31

The answer to the jailer’s question to be saved is to believe and trust in the Lord Jesus. It sounds simple but it costs much.

‘And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God. ‘

Acts 16:32-34

The jailer repented and washed their wounds and gave them food. There was a change in him that was evident. His entire family was offered the chance to believe. They did and got baptized right away. What a night?! Godly belief leads to godly repentance which leads to godly obedience and finally leads to godly joy. This brings Psalm 16:11 to remembrance. Joy is only found in the presence of the Lord.

Below are the stages of the jailer’s salvation:

  • Godly grief
  • Godly repentance
  • Godly obedience
  • Godly joy

It’s interesting to think about how the jailer beat Paul and Paul himself had beaten and murdered many of Jesus’ followers in the past. Jesus can save anyone! If he could save the jailer, Paul, and many more Biblical examples, then surely he can save me, you, and your loved ones. This is a great encouragement for us all!

Paul Insists to be Publicly Cleared

It’s a big issue to beat a Roman citizen without a formal hearing. If it was found that a city beat Roman citizens, a Roman legion of soldiers could march to that city and burn it to the ground. Paul insisted on being publicly cleared of the charges so the people of Philippi would not continue to believe that he was a troublemaker and a lawbreaker.

‘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.” ‘

Acts 16:37

Summary

Who is like our God:

  • Who Brings Freedom out of Slavery
  • Who Brings Worship Out of Pain!
  • Who Brings Life Out of Death

No one is like our God…Praise Him!

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