When he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go into Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.
Gospel literally means good news. Since there is no bad news in the good news, any message that leaves you feeling fearful, anxious or condemned, is not the gospel. See entry for The Gospel.
A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.
Lydia was a Thyatiran trader in purple cloth. When she heard Paul preach the gospel in Philippi, she became a believer, along with her whole household. A generation later, Jesus sent a letter to the church in Lydia’s hometown of Thyatira (Rev. 2:18–29). Who planted this church? Paul never went there. Few people did. Thyatira was an obscure town in the middle of nowhere known for only one thing: purple dye. It’s possible that the Thyatiran church was planted by the purple cloth dealer from Thyatira who met Paul in Philippi.
Following after Paul and us, she kept crying out, saying, “These men are bond-servants of the Most High God, who are proclaiming to you the way of salvation.”
Salvation. The original word for salvation means deliverance or rescue. Jesus is the great Deliverer who rescues us from our enemies (Luke 1:71). See entry for Salvation.
They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
(a) Believe. Like Jesus before them, the apostles preached for a verdict (Mark 1:15). Believing the good news about Jesus is both the work of God and his command (John 6:29, 1 John 3:23). The chief takeaway of the new covenant is to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (see entry for John 3:16).
All of God’s blessings, including forgiveness, salvation, righteousness and sanctification, come to us freely by grace and are received by faith. Faith does not compel God to forgive us or sanctify us. But faith is the conduit through which grace flows. See entry for Eph. 2:8.
(b) And you will be saved. Who is saved? It is the one who trusts in the Savior (Acts 16:31). Jesus said, “He who believes in me has everlasting life” (John 6:47). See entry for Salvation.
They went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia, and when they saw the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.
Departed. Perhaps no one faced more persecution than the Apostle Paul and his standard response was to walk away, keep moving, and keep preaching. See entry for Acts 14:20.
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