Summary: Travelling with the Apostle Paul - Silas - sermon by Gordon Curley PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request – email:


(1). Silas the Leader.

(2). Silas the Missionary.

(3). Silas the Prisoner.



• Acts chapter 15 verses 22-40

• Acts chapter 16 verses 16-40.

• 2 Corinthians chapter 1 verse 19

• 1 Peter chapter 5 verse 12

• 1 Thessalonians chapter 1 verse 1

• 2 Thessalonians chapter 1 verse 1

• When you think of Silas from the Bible,

• What is the first Bible story that comes to mind?

• For most of us it is probably when the apostle Paul and Silas,

• Caused a riot by preaching about Jesus.

• I preach and they give folks a cup of tea or coffee afterwards to wake them up;

• Paul and Silas preach and there is a riot!


• Reminds me of John Wesley the 17th century Anglican clergyman, evangelist,

• And founder who with his brother Charles founded the Methodist Church,

• John Wesley shocked the establishment of his day;

• By preaching the real gospel message,

• And also by preaching outdoors in the open-air.

• In his diary we read these words.

• Sunday morning, May 5, preached in St. Ann’s,

• Was asked not to come back anymore.

• Sunday p.m., May 5, preached at St. John’s, deacons said, "Get out and stay out."

• Sunday a.m., May 12, preached at St. Jude’s, can’t go back there either.

• Sunday p.m., May 12, preached at St. George’s, kicked out again.

• Sunday a.m., May 19, preached at St. somebody else’s,

• Deacons called special meeting and said I couldn’t return.

• Sunday p.m., May 19, preached on the street,

• Kicked off the street.

• Sunday a.m., May 26, preached in meadow,

• Chased out of meadow as a bull was turned loose during the services.

• Sunday a.m., June 2, preached out at the edge of town,

• Kicked off the highway.

• Sunday p.m., June 2, afternoon service, preached in a pasture,

• 10,000 people came to hear me.

• TRANSITION: Like Wesley, when Paul and Silas preach and there was opposition,

• Paul and Silas preach and there is a riot!

• As a result they were beaten and thrown into jail;

• There crime was preaching the message of Jesus!

• The account goes on to say (vs 25):

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

• Wow! That is how to handle a prison experience,

• They were mistreated, falsely charged and violently beaten (vs 22),

• But they are not feeling sorry for themselves;

• Instead they are rejoicing and witnessing!

• Now before we carry on with this story;

• Let’s just pause for a moment and take a quick detour.

• Because we know about the apostle Paul, but who was Silas?

(1). Silas the Leader.

(1a). He was a ‘chief’ man.

• We first are introduced to Silas in Acts chapter 15;

• Where Silas was an active participant and leader in the Church;

• He was given a great name by Dr Luke who recorded the book of Acts;

• He is called (Acts chapter 15 verse 22):

• K.J.B.: The “chief among the brethren”

• N.I.V.: “Leaders among the church.”

(1b). He was a ‘chosen’ man.

We are also told in chapter 15 that Silas became a “chosen man”

• He was chosen with Judas (called Barsabbas),

• For a very important and very sensitive job.

• Their job if they chose to accept it;

• Was to go to the Gentile Christians in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia;

• To teach and explain to the Church,

• That Gentile believers did not have to observe the Law of Moses to follow Jesus,

• They did not have to believe in Jesus and then become Jews

• The gospel is not a Jesus plus message.


• Christianity was born out of Judaism, by fulfilling it.

• i.e. think of tadpole & frog, or caterpillar & butterfly.

• One naturally produced the other.


• The best example of how Christianity fulfilled Judi sum is sacrifice.

• We don’t make sacrifices today like they did in the Old Testament,

• In Old Testament times;

• God told the people to sacrifice animals as a temporary covering for their sins.

• It was a temporary plan for the perfect sacrifice that was coming.

• When Jesus came he gave his life as that perfect sacrifice;

• Once and for all time, it never needs repeating and cannot be improved upon.

• This sacrifice is the permeant plan of God.

• Everything before was like shadows;

• But the death of Jesus is the substance!

• TRANSITION: Now the early Church was still learning all of this;

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