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The Gospel is for Everyone (Acts 16)

Jul 25, 2021
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The Gospel is for Everyone (Acts 16)
Acts 16:11-34 gives a really clear message that the gospel is for everyone. Paul and Silas met a wealthy, God-fearing woman of high standing named Lydia. God opened her heart to hear and respond to the gospel. She and her whole family were baptized. The story continues with Paul and Silas being followed by a demon-possessed slave girl. This girl was being used by her owners for financial gain. The demon in the girl was proclaiming that Paul and Silas were “servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.” Paul became annoyed and cast the demon out of the girl in the name of Jesus. This caused the girl’s owners to become angry and they convinced the authorities to throw them into prison. While in prison, they had a chance to escape, but didn’t and led the jailer to faith in Christ.
1. The gospel changes our story
It doesn’t matter where our story begins, whether wealthy or a slave. Our story changes through an exchange where we once were sinners, but receive Jesus’ right-standing with God.
Jesus becomes our identity. There is no “certain type” of person that can come to faith in Christ. “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!” Every salvation story is a miracle. Lydia was blinded by religious activity, but the Lord opened her heart to pay attention.
2. The gospel fixed our focus
While in jail, the problem was very real and painful, but Paul and Silas worshipped anyway. Verse 25 shows that they were speaking Truth to themselves, and their focus drove them to a deeper dependency on God. The prisoners were listening to them because they were amazed at what they heard.
We can love others with the confidence that God can change them for the gospel. Paul probably saw his own story in the jailer. He let the cause of the gospel be his driver. The prisoners cared more about the jailer than they did about their own freedom. Paul set his comforts aside so someone else could see God’s goodness.
Don’t focus so much on what God wants to do in your own life, 
but what He wants to do in the life of others.
3. The gospel engages our world
In verse 30, the jailer is so overcome by the gospel that he doesn’t even ask what happened (the earthquake and the shackles falling off), but he instead asked “What must I do to be saved?”
The gospel of God is salvation. Don’t stop praying for loved one’s hearts to be softened to the gospel.

Faith in Jesus always leads to a response. The gospel mission field begins where our feet are planted now. We impress on our next generation what matters most to us, and it is a daily rhythm.

To Discuss Today:
1. Do you find your identity in Jesus or in other things? What are those things and how do they hurt and deceive you from who God says you are?
2. Tell your salvation story to your family. Find someone in your “mission field” to share your salvation story with this week.
3. Do you typically look for likenesses with others or differences with them? How is this different with friends, neighbors, people groups? What does the gospel compel us to do?
4. How is the gospel a part of your daily rhythm? If it is not, how do you move towards that reality?