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Travel to Philippi and Lydia’s Conversion: Acts 16:11-15

September 6, 2020 Speaker: Bob DeWaay Series: Acts of the Apostles

Scripture: Acts 16:11-15

This class covers details of the historical situation of Paul’s journey from Troas to Macedonia in response to the Macedonian vision. We show many ways that Luke (who traveled with Paul on this journey) is accurate down to specifics in his description of the places they travel and how they traveled. We respond to the false idea that the Bible needs to be seen as inspiring stories based only on myths.

We explain how history of that part of the Roman Empire led to the situations in Philippi, Thessalonica, and elsewhere in Macedonia. There were senatorial provinces and imperial provinces that were governed differently. Paul found Lydia with some Jewish women who were worshipping by a river near Philippi. Lydia is a key person for the spread of the gospel. Her trade as a seller of purple fabric is also true to historical details (she was from Thyatira). We discuss how purple dye was obtained from shellfish or plant roots.

Our passage says that God “opened” her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. This leads us to a discussion of distinction between the external and internal calls of the gospel. God uses the means of gospel preaching to open the hearts of those who are saved.