Summary: Exposition of Acts 16:25-40 regarding the Philippian Jail events

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Text: Acts 16:25-40, Title: Shaking Philippi, Date/Place: NRBC, 10/5/08, AM

A. Opening illustration: One sunny Sunday morning, Henry Jones awoke to find his wife standing over him, shaking him by the shoulder. "You have to get up," she urged. "We have to get ready for church.” "I don’t want to go to church," he replied. "I want to stay in bed.” Crossing her arms over her chest, his wife demanded, "Give me three good reasons why you should stay in bed and not go to church." "OK," he answered. "First, I don’t get anything out of the service. Second, I don’t like the people there. And third, no one there likes me. Now can you give me three good reasons why I should go to church?" His wife responded, "First, it will do you some good. Second, there are people who really do like you, and they’ll miss you if you aren’t there. And third, you’re the minister!"

B. Background to passage: Paul and Silas (at least) have been thrown into prison after being beaten with rods for casting the demon out of a girl and causing a riot. I wonder how you write that one up. Anyway, their imprisonment sets off a chain of events that can only be described as providential. And this set of events really shook the town of Philippi

C. Main thought: In the text we will see three things that shook in Philippi

A. Shaking the Prison (v. 25-26)

1. Now we all know that the Apostle Paul was a strange man. And now we see him battered, bruised, bleeding, with his feet in stocks, in a dirty, rat-infested prison, and he is singing! In fact, he and Silas were praying and singing, and all the other prisoners are listening. It was a well known way to deal with troublesome situations in the ancient world. They were confident in God and renewing their minds and hearts to that confidence. And that confidence is in Christ regardless of circumstances, because sometimes he delivers and sometimes he doesn’t. Sometimes He heals, and sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes He causes things to get better, and sometimes He causes them to get worse. All for His good and wise purposes.

2. Eph 5:18-19, Philip 4:4, 2 Cor 1:8-9, 4:16-17, 1 Peter 5:10,

3. Illustration: Jonathon Edwards believed that music had a special effect on the soul, A couple of days after the experience the reporter who first wrote about the event talked to Chippie’s owner. He asked how the bird was doing. She said, "Well Chippie doesn’t sing much anymore-he just sits and stares." It’s no wonder. One minute the little guy was swinging and singing, and before he knew it, he was sucked in, washed up and blown over. In the moving Facing the Giants, coach says we are going to praise Him if we win, and we are going to praise Him if we lose. C. S. Lewis describes the role of suffering in the life of the believer as “soul-making.” It is the shaping of the Christian with the hammer and chisel of adversity. Lewis also said “God whispers to us in our pleasures; speaks in our consciences; but shouts in our pains.” Tertullian said, “The legs feel nothing of the stocks when the heart is in heaven.” "Suffering becomes beautiful when anyone bears great calamities with cheerfulness, not through insensibility but through greatness of mind."

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