Summary: A demon posessed girl is set free.
Freedom from Darkness
Acts 16:16 – 16:40
Jeff Hughes – October 19, 2003
Calvary Chapel Aggieland
a. Paul and Silas finally got over to Macedonia from Galatia last week, as we continue our journey through Acts. They were faced with many trials and difficulties along the way, but now, here they are in Philippi.
b. We pick up the story here today, as we will be finishing up chapter 16, verses 16 through 40. Today’s story if filled with hardship and we will see the apostle Paul face to face with the forces of darkness, as we continue through Paul’s Second Missionary Journey.
c. First, let’s take a minute to pray, and ask the Lord’s blessing on our study this morning.
a. A recent Barna Research Survey found that nearly two out of three adults—62%—agreed that Satan “is not a living being but is a symbol of evil.” This response has remained relatively consistent throughout the Nineties. Among the more surprising findings, however, are that a majority of people who claim to be born again Christians deny Satan’s existence (52%); nearly three-quarters of Catholics say the devil is non-existent (72%); and women are more likely than men to reject Satan’s existence (64% vs. 59%).
b. The Bible tells us in 1st Peter 5:8 and 9 this - 8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
c. At Calvary Chapel, we believe that Old Cloven hoof, Satan, the Devil, is a real, created being. If we were to write him off as allegory, how could Jesus have been tempted by him in the wilderness for 40 days? The answer is, He couldn’t. If we take scripture at face value, which personally, I can’t see a different way to take it – but, if we take scripture at it’s face value, we can’t just write the enemy off as some evil force, or a symbol.
d. We are going to see today just how insidious and real Satan is in the world. We are also going to see a thread woven throughout this chapter – that God gives us peace and joy in the midst of bad things happening.
e. These are two things we are going to look at in depth in our passage. Speaking of our passage, let’s read through it right now – Acts, chapter 16, starting in verse 16.
i. 16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. 17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, "These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation." 18 And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, "I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her." And he came out that very hour. 19 But when her masters saw that their hope of profit was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to the authorities. 20 And they brought them to the magistrates, and said, "These men, being Jews, exceedingly trouble our city; 21 and they teach customs which are not lawful for us, being Romans, to receive or observe." 22 Then the multitude rose up together against them; and the magistrates tore off their clothes and commanded them to be beaten with rods. 23 And when they had laid many stripes on them, they threw them into prison, commanding the jailer to keep them securely. 24 Having received such a charge, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks.
ii. 25 But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 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 chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, "Do yourself no harm, for we are all here." 29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" 31 So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household." 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34 Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household.