Sermon Overview & Discussion Questions: "Three Unexpected Converts"
Paul and Silas inspire us how to suffer well in Acts 16:16-40. While they are bringing the gospel to Philippi, a demon tries to interrupt their witness though a possessed slave girl. Paul casts out the demon after a few days, but this enrages the girl’s slave owners as they lose their profit. The result is that Paul and Silas are beaten and jailed with false accusation and gross injustice. Paul and Silas pray and sing while in jail, and are freed by an earthquake in the night, leaving a fearful jailer wanting to end his life. Paul speaks up though and invites the man to “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and be saved,” to which the jailer then finds salvation in the gospel of Jesus Christ! As CJ said, “May this gospel power continue to resonate with us and be on display all for His glory.”
- Paul models and will one day write to these Philippians to do all things without grumbling and complaining that they might shine as lights in the world. How does reflecting on the suffering and victory of Jesus empower us to shine and worship when we suffer rather than complain?
- CJ said that “You cannot ignore people who sing when they are suffering.” Who have you seen respond to suffering with faith rather than complaining, and how has that affected you?
- CJ reminded us that “Sometimes people don’t respond to the gospel until everything in their life collapses.” How does this inform our perspective of and response to suffering?
- How can we come alongside each other with prayer and encouragement when those close to us are suffering?
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