The Holy Spirit

Series - Something New: A Study Through The Book of Acts
Scriptures - Acts 16
Presenter - Pastor Matt Surber
Date - November 7, 2021

Pastor Matt Surber studies Acts 16 and looks at how the Holy Spirit uses the unlikeliest of people to contextualize the Gospel through divine promptings.


Sermon Notes

Acts 16:

  • How the Holy Spirit directs
  • The Holy Spirit didn’t just come to be with you – He came to be in you!

The Holy Spirit Uses People You Wouldn’t Think Could Be Used By God

  • As a “church person,” we can get inoculated to the gospel – bored of hearing about the gospel and the gospel mission (conditioned to ignore the WOW!)
  • Many times the focus on the gospel mission and multiplication is offensive to church people
  • We love the institution of the church – we love what we are used to… a “do whatever it takes” attitude to see lives transformed by the gospel” sometimes pushes church people away – we can become again, inoculated to the gospel mission.

Acts 16:1-2

Paul came also to Derbe and to Lystra. A disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a Jewish woman who was a believer, but his father was a Greek. He was well spoken of by the brothers at Lystra and Iconium.

  • God loves to take people you wouldn’t think could be used by God and use them! 

The Holy Spirit Helps Us To Communicate The Gospel In Ways Others Can Understand

Contextualization:  Explaining the gospel in a manner that is true and understandable to the person who hears it  (adapting so your friend knows what you are saying!)

Prayer, “God I’ll do whatever it takes to tell people about Jesus!”

Acts 16:3

Acts 16:4-5

As they went on their way through the cities, they delivered to them for observance the decisions that had been reached by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem… 

So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and they increased in numbers daily.  (People being Saved and Discipled!)

The HS helps us to Contextualize the gospel – communicate in a way people can understand!

The Holy Spirit Gives Us Divine Promptings

Normal Christianity – not an exception in Acts – Holy Spirit speaks to a Christian

Acts 16:6-10

And they went through the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia. And when they had come up to Mysia, they attempted to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus did not allow them…

So, passing by Mysia, they went down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing there, urging him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”…

10 And when Paul had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go on into Macedonia, concluding (rational)that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

The Holy Spirit Sets Up Divine Appointments

The Holy Spirit speaking to you is not just about your own life, but how He wants to use you in the life of others.

First Divine Appointment: Lydia

Acts 16:11-13

11 So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days…

13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together.

Acts 16:14-15

14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods (wealthy, fashion CEO, single), who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul…

15 And after she was baptized, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.

  • Lydia:  Paganism to Legalism (rules to earn God’s favor)- then freedom in Christ!

Second Divine Appointment:  Teenage Slave Girl

Acts 16:16-19

16 As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by fortune-telling. 17 She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”…  (Mocking them)

18 And this she kept doing for many days. Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour…

19 But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.

  • Greek teenager, slave, demonized
  • Power encounter with the Holy Spirit

Third Divine Appointment:  Prison Guard

Acts 16:23-28

23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks…

25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, 26 and 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 bonds were unfastened…

27 When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.”

Acts 16:29-30

29 And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Divine Appointments:  

  • Lydia – needed to see Jesus as fulfillment of OT (freedom of gospel)
  • Slave Girl – Power encounter with the HS (Jesus is bigger!)
  • Roman Jailer – Christians suffering well

First Three From The Church at Philippi – Paul loved this Church!

  • The Holy Spirit Uses People You Wouldn’t Think Could Be Used By God
  • The Holy Spirit Helps Us Contextualize The Gospel
  • The Holy Spirit Gives Us Divine Promptings
  • The Holy Spirit Sets Up Divine Appointments

Is the HS doing these things in your life?

Are you inoculated to the Gospel?

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