Summary: To learn from Paul’s approach how he spoke to people about the gospel- emphasizes Lydia and her conversion
Paul’s First Convert in Europe
Primary Purpose: To learn from Paul how he approached people with the
As we begin our second missionary journey with Paul we see that the
Holy Spirit is directing their path toward new territory for them. He has
closed 2 doors, but now he opens another one that will lead into Europe.
After seeing a vision, Paul and his companions set sail and arrive eventually
in Philippi. Philippi was a Roman colony. That means that it was a free city
from taxation and a self-governing city. It was a city where Roman soliders
would be given tracts of land as their retirement can up. They would settle
there and be loyal to the Roman government since they had risked their lives
in battle for it. Not many Jews would have been in Phillippi. This is seen in
that it only took 10 Jewish men to establish a synagogue, but they couldn’t
come up with that few in a very large city. Instead, there is a place of prayer,
that Paul finds Lydia and other worshipers at. We know about Lydia
1. She was wealthy- she was a seller in purple fabric, which would have been
some very expensive fabric. She did well enough at this trade that she was
able to own a home away from home. After being baptized, she uses her
wealthy to show Paul and his companions hospitality.
2. She was a worshiper of God- she was a seeker. God was already doing
something in her life. She was receptive to what Paul had to say. That is a
big reason why Paul went there, to find those whose hearts God had already
3. She was touched by God to respond in faith. Faith is always a gift of God.
Scripture tells us that the Words of the Cross are foolishness to those who are
lost. (1 Cor 1:18). God had brought her to the open where she was actively
listening to what Paul had to say. It says “The Lord opened her heart”. The
word opened means to open completely. She was completely sold out on the
gospel without hesitation. Not only that, but she had led her family to
worship with her or immediately afterward shared what she had learned to
help convert her entire family. v.15.