Video Transcript: You and Your Household

That in your homes, you're following our Bible reading plan. Right now we're in  one of the most exciting books of the Bible, the Book of Acts, which shows the  mighty power of the Holy Spirit working through the apostles and spreading the  

gospel throughout many parts of the world, and showing how God works in  wonderful ways. And we're going to read from the book of Acts, one of the really  great stories in the book of Acts, Acts chapter 16, verses nine through 40. And  this particular part of the book of Acts, describes how the gospel first came to  Europe. And how one of the first places in Europe to hear the gospel was the  city of Philippi. We now have a book of the Bible written to the Philippians, to  people who became believers in that city. But the book of Acts describes how  the gospel first came to Europe and how the gospel first began to take root. in  Philippi. The apostle Paul was on his second missionary journey at the time with his partner Silas, and they were traveling from city to city, they had traveled  throughout the Roman province of Asia Minor, which today is the region called  Turkey. And when they came to Troas kind of on the edge of Turkey and on the  edge of the sea. They were there because it seemed they were running out of  options. Again and again. They tried to go to other places in a little different  direction. And the Bible says the Holy Spirit kept us from going there. And then  during the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia in the area in the  northern part of what's today Greece of a man of Macedonia standing and  begging him, come over to Macedonia, and help us after Paul had seen the  vision we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had  called us to preach the gospel to them. From Troas we put out to sea and sailed  straight for Samothrace, and the next day we went on to Neapolis. From there  we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of  Macedonia. And we stayed there many days. On the Sabbath, we went outside  the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat  down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those  listening was a woman from the city of Theia. Tyra named Lydia, a dealer in  purple cloth, she was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to  respond to Paul's message. When she and the members of her household are  baptized, she invited us to her home. If you consider me a believer in the Lord,  she said, Come and stay at my house. And she persuaded us. Once when we  were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a  spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for  her owners by fortune telling. She followed Paul and the rest of us shouting.  These men are servants of the Most High God who are telling you the way to be saved. She kept this up for many days. Evidently, the apostle didn't appreciate  the advertising, even though it was accurate advertising. They were serving to  the Most High God, they were telling people how to be saved, but the apostle  still didn't like it that a spirit was controlling this girl. Finally, Paul became so  annoyed that he turned around and said to the spirit, in the name of Jesus 

Christ, I command you to come out of her. At that moment, the spirit left her  when her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone. They  seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the  authorities. They brought them before the magistrates and said these men are  Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar, by advocating customs unlawful  for us Romans to accept or practice. The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with  rods. After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and  the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. When he received these  orders, he put them in the intercell and fasten their feet in the stocks. About  midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God and the other  prisoners, were listening to them. Just think about that for a moment. You've  been an object of racial discrimination. Yeah, these men are Jews. You've been  targeted also for religious discrimination because they're followers of Jesus. And they've been falsely accused of advocating unRoman things, things that don't  quite fit in with us fine Romans, even though actually Paul and Silas were  Roman citizens, and the mob didn't know it yet, but they're in trouble. You know,  the old saying no good deed goes unpunished. They set this girl free from an  evil spirit, but the money dried up for the slave owners. And so that was the real  motivation behind the attack a few people losing their money. But then  everybody's Oh, it's their Jews, their followers of Jesus, their unRoman. And so  how do Paul and Silas react? Do they whine and complain and file a lawsuit?  Well, they decided this is a good time for hymn singing, we can't go anywhere  else. So they start singing and praying, and the other prisoners are listening.  Well, I bet they were. You know, when that happens to somebody something so  painful, and they're still singing, you say boy. I wonder what's up with those  guys. Suddenly, there was such a violent earthquake, the foundations of the  prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open and everyone's  chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the  prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, don't harm yourself. We are all here.  The jailer called for lights rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas.  Then he brought them out and asked Sirs, what must I do to be saved? They  replied, Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved you and your  household. Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in  his house. At that hour, the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds.  Then immediately he and all his household were baptized. The jailer brought  them into his house and said a meal before them. He was filled with joy,  because he had come to believe in God, he and his whole family. When it was  daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order. Release  those men. The jailer told Paul the magistrates have ordered that you and Silas  be released. Now you can leave Go in peace. But Paul said to the officers, they 

beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No. Let them come  themselves and escort us out. The officers reported this to the magistrates. And  when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed.  Because if you beat a Roman citizen without a fair trial, you were in deep, deep  trouble. They came to appease them, and escorted them from the prison  requesting them to leave the city. After Paul and Silas came out of the prison,  they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and sisters and  encouraged them.Then they left. This ends the reading of God's Word. And God always blesses His Word to those who listen. One of the exciting things about  reading this story and indeed about reading the entire book of Acts is what God  did through mighty missionaries. One of the main things you see in the book of  Acts is what a few people empowered by God can accomplish. Acts focuses  really on two main leaders, the apostle Peter, in the early chapters, and the  apostle Paul, in the later chapters, but we see throughout that, that these people equipped by God, were very powerful in spreading the gospel. And so one of the things you can do in reading a story like this, or more widely in the book of Acts,  is to get a sense of what was involved in being such powerful and effective  missionaries. The big thing that we see right away in the book of Acts is that  they were Spirit empowered. They weren't just operating in their own strength,  they had the might of the Holy Spirit. In some of our studies lately, we've been  looking at the book of Romans and hearing what the apostle Paul writes about  the Holy Spirit and explaining some of the deeper things about the Holy Spirit's  work. But when you read the book of Acts, one of the things you're really  impressed by is just the action of the Holy Spirit and the impact of the Holy Spirit in spreading the gospel. And you see again and again, that it is God's work and  the work of His Holy Spirit to change hearts. When Paul was preaching in one  place, the wording that's used is that all who were appointed to eternal life  believed. God had sent Paul already having appointed people to eternal life. And they came to faith, because the Holy Spirit did something inside them that  helped them to believe the message and to receive eternal life in Christ. You see that in an individual case with Lydia? How does the Bible describe it? It doesn't  say Lydia made a decision for Christ. You could say that because the decision  for Christ was involved. But the way the Bible phrases it is, the Lord opened her  heart to respond to Paul's message. God did a work it was the Holy Spirit, who  opened the heart of that woman. And you see the power of the Holy Spirit in  dealing with hostile spirits, you see in a number of places where evil spirits are  driven out of people that had been dominating and harming their lives. And in  this story, the apostle Paul, by the power of the Holy Spirit sets her free from an  evil spirit. The power of the Holy Spirit is there in the preaching of the Word. And in the message of the gospel, the power of the Holy Spirit is there in power  encounters against evil spirits, sometimes, the Holy Spirit will shake the earth, if 

that's necessary to get his work done. So again, and again, these missionaries  are empowered by the Holy Spirit. And of course, wherever the Holy Spirit is at  work, the focus is on Jesus Christ. Jesus said, that the Holy Spirit will take from  

what is mine, and make it known to you He will bring glory to me, by taking from  what his mind and making it known to you. Anybody who is controlled and, and  governed and empowered by the Holy Spirit is going to be a Jesus focused  person. When the Apostle was asked, What must I do to be saved? He had an  instant and simple answer, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved you  and your household. That's what the Holy Spirit does. He says, Believe in the  Lord Jesus, follow the Lord Jesus glorify the Lord Jesus depend always on the  Lord Jesus. So they had a message that was always leading people to Jesus  making disciples for the Lord Jesus. There are many things that Christians may  do, that we may be involved in nice things, loving things that the Lord calls us  into. But the source of all of that is the reality of Jesus Christ, and His life  transforming power. Look at what happened to that jailer, and what the change  was in his life simply by knowing Jesus, and coming to know God through Jesus Christ. The apostles were world shaking, when they came to Thessalonica. One  of the accusations was, these are the man who are turning the world upside  down. And now they've come to our city, when they got to Philippi the money  dried up for slave owners and people who were making use of evil spirits. And  so they got all in a dither, because where the gospel came, it made changes.  And not everybody liked those changes. When they got to Ephesus. The  apostles didn't directly attack the other religions, they preached Jesus. And in  Ephesus, people had a big bonfire where they burned 50,000 drachmas worth of magic stuff and other things, that 50,000 days wages. That's what they burned  up in one bonfire. And they hurt the business of those who were selling images  of Artemis or Diana, she was also called their favorite goddess. And so there  was a big riot. And once again, behind the riot that filled the whole city were a  few guys whose money was drying up. The people who sold the images of the  goddess they got really mad when sales dropped. And so Demetrius gives this  speech he says, Well, man, you know, you know that we had a good income  from this deal. And you see what's happening to sales. It's just down down down at Oh, we love Diana so much. Yeah, we are very devout people too. And so  given the fact that we're losing all this money and that we love her so much, let's have a little riot here. And so the whole city is in an uproar. They're screaming in  a stadium for two hours. And, and Luke who was with Paul, just comments kind  of rily. Most of them didn't even know why they were there. They're all yell and  oh man this yelling is you know, everybody else is yelling, I should yell, too. So  that's what happens when you get demonstrations and mobs there's a few  people Who know what's going on and why they really organize the deal in the  first place. And most of the rest really don't have a clue. They're just there to yell. At any rate, what even with it was a riot, whether the apostles were getting 

attacked here and there one thing you had to say they were tough to ignore.  They shook the world, they turn the world upside down, or turn it right side up,  depending on how you look at it. But they made an impact. And they made  converts and they made enemies. They were joyous. You see, when people  were converted the kind of joy they had the first African convert that we read of  the Chancellor of the treasurer of Ethiopia, the last thing we hear of him and his  chariot, as he rides away as he went on his way rejoicing. The last thing we see  of the jailer is that he was filled with joy, because he had come to believe in God, he and his whole family. So this joy of the Lord, that touched the hearts of new  converts was a wonderful thing. But there's also just this joy that characterized  the missionaries and the apostles of the Lord. It's tremendous thing when you  read early in the book of Acts, that they're whipped, and thrown in jail, and it  says, They rejoice that they were counted worthy for suffering for the sake of  Christ, there's a good deal he suffered, I'm suffering means that I'm in solidarity  with him. And here, too, you have the apostles, they've been beaten within an  inch of their life. They're locked in the nastiest, highest security dungeon that  there is in the city. And they are singing hymns of praise to God. That is  powerful. If Christians are just one more interest group, who whines and  complains like everybody else, how many people are going to be listening to us  carefully. Those kinds of groups are a dime a dozen in our country. Everybody's  lobbying for something, everybody's suing somebody for something. Somebody  who sings after they've been beaten, now there, there's somebody you might  pay some attention to. And when the apostle later on wrote to the Philippians, I  wonder if some of those Philippian readers went back to this scene of singing in  the dungeon. I'm sure they all heard about it from the jailer. When the Philippian  readers heard Paul, right, do everything without arguing and complaining, so  that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault as you  shine like stars in the universe. As you hold forth the word of life. It's when  you're not arguing and complaining and whining, that you're shining like stars in  the universe and holding out the word of life. And then later on, he writes to the  Philippians, Rejoice in the Lord. Always. He doesn't say, rejoice in the Lord,  when it's all going well for you. And he doesn't say, Just rejoice in how nicely  things are going. He says, Rejoice in the Lord. Even if you got nothing else to  rejoice about. You got the Lord rejoice about because you're in the Lord, you're  in Christ Jesus, and he's in you. So you rejoice in him always. Again, I say,  rejoice. Let your gentleness be evident to all the Lord is near. Don't be anxious  about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving,  present your requests to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all  understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. You hear  that wonderful verse? And then think again about the people he was writing to  rejoice in the Lord always. The Lord is near, don't be anxious. But pray, what  was he doing when he was sitting in the jail with Silas, they were praying, and 

they were praising. And they were being guarded by a jailer? Well, not quite.  The peace of God that surpasses all understanding was guarding them. And  when the peace of God is guarding you, there might be an earthquake, and you  might not be in jail anymore. So you have this tremendous joy. It was a  contagious joy that the missionaries had, that the new believers had. And that is  the key to being effective in the Lord service. We in our own lives, let's seek that  joy of the Lord and rejoice in Him and not just be one more interest group of  whiners. And a final thing to notice about those mighty missionaries is that they  were wise they were shrewd. Jesus said when he first sent out some apostles,  I'm sending you out, like, sheep among wolves Be wise as serpents and  harmless as doves. So there is something about you know, witnessing, like  animals. You know, we're sheep. We're out there among the wolves. You got to  be shrewder than a snake even though you're not as nasty as a snake or as  poisonous as one you got to be as sneaky and smart as one and the Apostles  were very smart. They were sometimes led by the Holy Spirit when they didn't  know where they needed to go. So Paul's mission into Europe was a direct  prompting from the Holy Spirit. But he also had this wisdom from God. And they  would go to the most strategic cities in a region, and they would go to the most  likely and best place. First, is the apostle Paul praising Romans to the Jew first,  and also to the Gentile, because in God's plan, Not only had he been working  with the Jewish people for generations, but they had been scattered because of  various exiles and challenges. And so in nearly every city in the Roman world,  there were already believers in the one true God, already believers who knew  the Bible, and who could be told, based on the Old Testament that Jesus was  the Messiah. And so when they get to Philippi, they go to the riverside, which is  going to be the most likely place of prayer. Evidently, they meet with them there.  They, they had a strategy, and they followed it. And it had a tremendous impact.  They were also wise in dealing with tough situations. I mentioned before that the apostle and the both apostle Silas and Paul were singing and praising God while they're sitting there in the dungeon. But I decided not to cut off that last  paragraph that we read, where the magistrate say, the next morning, you can go now. And Paul says, oh, yeah, we'd like an escort and an apology. So he wasn't  that just because he rejoiced in the Lord that he said, Okay, it's doormat time,  we don't care who beats up on us, he thought, well, I bet if they found out they  beat two people who were Roman citizens, unintentionally, just assuming that  we had no rights, and they could get in deep, deep trouble. I'm gonna give them  something to think about next time, they want to beat up on some Christians.  And so they, they made sure that they got an escort, they left town, but those  who are left behind, we're probably gonna get treated just a little bit better, at  least for a while, because of the standing that they had as citizens who were  protected by law. So again, they didn't let government mistreatment, stop their  joy or stop their witness. But where there were laws and rights that were given 

them, they found out what they were, and they asserted them without filing  some big lawsuit or making some big Hullabaloo, they nonetheless said you,  you don't treat people that way. You don't, you shouldn't have treated us that  way. And we want to, we're not just going to go away quietly without making  sure that you know it. So when you read the book of Acts, notice again, how  wise and shrewd, they were in a good judgment God gave them in various  situations. I know, when I was in Israel, with Jews for Jesus, we had some  interesting conversations. I was a student at the time, and they they often were  assaulted by people many times by more extreme, fellow Jews. And they said,  Well, we never, we never fight back. But if we are physically assaulted, we will  press charges. So they, they knew their rights under law, that you don't have to  be somebody's punching bag, if people start hitting you just because you're a  Christian. So there, there's different calls that you might need to make. And  when we were there, by the way, we were pelted with eggs, had people shoot a  fire hose at us and, and got kicked and punched. So yeah, it wasn't just  theoretical, these things can happen and how you handle it. You know, again, I  wasn't that smart. One guy that was I was just walking along in a crowd at the  end of Sabbath. And I noticed all of a sudden that somebody kept bumping into  me and it was a little crowded, so I didn't think anything of it. And after a while, I  noticed that there was always smoke in my face. And some guy was always  blowing smoke in my face. And then after a while we're walking along is very  crowd and ultimately stopped right in front of me and I bumped into him. And he  looks at me and says, and I was wearing a Jews for Jesus t shirt. And he says  people who bumped into me get burned. I said, Well maybe you want to be a  little more careful. And the later you know after and he just ran off and I knew  right away that there was trouble coming so I ran and told our leader that and I  saw him coming running back out of a cafe with several guys so I told our leader I think there's trouble coming. He said will you just run and yell (indistinguishable) and  get some police. So I did and by the time I got back there the the our leader had  been attacked by those guys and then they had run off. He had run off and left  his friends holding the bag. So the police caught the soldiers. You know, there  weren't any police but there were three or four guys with machine guns I thought they'd probably do so. They they were there and and finally they questioned  them and They said, Oh, we they didn't even know that guy and finally they just  let them go. But then later on, I was talking with Tuvia, who is the leader of the  group, And he said, Well, you know, we should have probably coached you a  little better on that. Because you know, you, you didn't think you were  threatening anybody. But if you're 6'6” and over 200 pounds, and you say to  somebody, you ought to be more careful, that could be construed as a threat. So he said, You're really you have to, you have to think through how you handle  these things. And what you say, at any rate, in in these kinds of situations,  wisdom from God, and the ability to choose words and actions, well, was all a 

part of it as well. It'd be a mistake, though, to look at these and just say, wow,  you know, there were mighty missionaries way back when and somewhere else. And you know, it's nice, let's admire them and then move on. You might say, why do we need to pay attention to missionaries? Well, I sometimes run into people  who say, Well, I couldn't. I couldn't do missions, and I certainly can't do  evangelism. And if I'm feeling rude, then my short answer is, then I hope you  never have children. Because if you ever have children, you're gonna have to  evangelize, you're going to have to teach them the gospel, at the very least, if  you have others who are friends or neighbors in your life that you have  opportunities with, and May the Lord give us the opportunity to talk with them.  So learn from the great missionaries, even though we might not measure up to  them. The Lord calls us to evangelize our very own children, those in our circle  of acquaintance and our circle of opportunity. When we look at the mighty  missionaries, it's also interesting to just look in this passage at that one great  statement. The jailer says, What must I do to be saved? Now there are some of  us who having studied, the apostle Paul might have expected a somewhat  different answer. Those who have listened to Paul the theologian for a long time, and have laid heavy emphasis on certain doctrines would have maybe  answered and expected Paul to answer. What must I do to be saved? You'd say, Well, you can do nothing to be saved. Salvation is of the Lord, you were  appointed from all eternity, or you weren't. And so you know, who knows what  you could do to be saved? You can't do anything to be saved, you're not saved  by anything you do. Well, that wasn't even though you Paul has certain theology that speaks of salvation is God's work and develops the doctrines of grace.  When a human being asks him, what must I do to be saved? He gave the real  short answer. Believe in the Lord Jesus. Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will  be saved, you know, from Paul's letters, that he could go into great depth and  that he had mighty thoughts about God's work behind the scenes, and about the inner workings of the Holy Spirit, and all of these subjects about which God  revealed so much to him. But when push came to shove, he was a great  missionary because he knew how to cut to the chase. When people were  worshipping all kinds of other gods and goddesses. He says, there's one God  that made every nation of people so that we would reach out for him and find  him. He just had that simple message of a creator and your his creations, his  creatures. When someone says, What must I do to be saved? He said, Believe  in Jesus, the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved. And that man was that man,  you look at him. And one moment that jailer is almost sadistic, he's being very  cruel to Paul and Barnabas, they've already been beaten. And then he fastens  their feet in the stocks. They weren't going anywhere. They were already in the  most secure dungeon in the prison. But he fastens their feet in the stocks. So  they're all stiff and can't move at all. And that's how they're going to be all night.  He's not very nice. And then when things go south for him when things go 

wrong, his first reaction is whip out his sword and I'm going to kill myself if my  life isn't going the way I want it to life ain't worth living. And they might do some  mean things to me if I let the prisoners get away, so I'll just I'll just kill myself  before they can do those things. He's very impulsive, quick to destroy himself.  And once he has believed in the Lord, He's filled with joy. And he's tending to the wounds of the man whom he had been abusing not that long before. What a  tremendous difference the Lord Jesus makes in saving him. In giving him eternal life, but also transforming his life by coming in and taking over his heart and  what an encouragement that is for each of us. The Apostle himself didn't give up on the jailer. Hey, just because you're mean you're because you miss treat  people, just because you're really hammering the Christians doesn't mean you  can't become one, you pass. And Paul knew that from personal experience, he'd been the number one Christian hunter in the world, the number one jailer and  killer of Christians, and God had changed him. So why not this jailer, the apostle never gave up on anybody. And the Lord still doesn't give up on anybody. And  that's the tremendous good news in this simple salvation, this declaration, hey,  Believe in the Lord, Gee, I don't care what you've been doing. I don't care what  you did to me. You believe in the Lord Jesus, and you're going to be saved. And  we need to rejoice in that every one of us. Some of us may have stuff we're not  too proud of stuff, we're downright ashamed of things. We say, oh, man, I don't  know if God could ever forget, forgive that, hey, if the guy who beat up the great  missionaries and was cruel to them, and wanted to kill himself and was so  messed up, could be filled with joy, and be transformed? Why not? Why not  you? Why not me? Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved. That is one  of the great announcements and promises of the gospel that you can find  anywhere in the Bible. It doesn't come any clearer or simpler, or more powerful  than that. But that's not quite the whole thing yet. And so I do want to talk about  those last few words, you and your household. We sometimes think that we  have proclaimed the gospel fully when we say Believe in the Lord Jesus, and  you will be saved. That wasn't the full gospel that Paul gave to the jailer that day, he said, you're going to be saved and your household is going to be saved. And  we might think yourself, well, yeah. But Paul had a prophetic insight from God.  And he just knew what was going to happen in the next few minutes that in this  particular case, a household would be saved along with the guy. Yeah. Not so  fast on that one. It was a it wasn't just some exceptional prophetic revelation that this household was going to be saved, it was actually seem to be more like  normal operating procedure, that very often in the New Testament, when a head  of household was saved, the rest of the family was brought to salvation, as well.  Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved you and your household. You  remember back to Joshua 24. As for me and my household, we will serve the  Lord. Abraham was called by God, so he and his household after him would  keep the ways to the Lord, the Lord dealt with individuals, of course, personal 

faith is so very important. But he deals with households. And so we want to keep that part of the gospel as well. When you look through the book of Acts, there's  three things I want to highlight about it. Entire households were often saved  together all at the same time. And family solidarity remain important in God's  new covenant. God deals with people through covenants, I sometimes have had people say, Well, are you one of them covenant theologians that emphasize his  covenant so much? And I said, well, sorry, I kind of have to be covenant has  mentioned, what 280 times in the Bible, it's not one of those things that you can  just ditch somehow or other you got to be a covenant theologian what you make of it I, but covenant matters. And my point here is that under the Old Covenant  family mattered a lot in the promises to Abraham into the subsequent  generations. And if someone were to say, well, this is a brand new covenant  family ties don't matter as much. Well, evidently they do. Because again, and  again, in the New Covenant throughout the book of Acts, as you see it in action,  a family solidarity matters a lot. Another thing about households is that a  household usually served as the local mission base, when the Mission Teams  traveled to new places, you find Paul and Silas or Paul and Barnabas or other  missionaries, often staying at someone's house. And people know that that's  kind of where some of the meetings are happening, or else some of the  meetings may be by a riverside, but the the missionaries themselves find a  place to stay in friendly territory. But when they're coming in to a new city, they  need kind of a base of operation. And they don't buy an office or rent office  space. They work out of somebody's household. And you'll also find that  households often hosted the worship meetings of local church bodies, they  weren't the only place sometimes they would meet at Riversides or in the open  air or in other public places, but they didn't have church buildings, and they often just met in local homes. Just a quick walkthrough of households in the book of  Acts, some material to remind you of the importance of houses every day they  continue to meet together in the temple courts. This is right after Pentecost they  broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere heart praising God, and enjoying the favor of all the people and the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. So they met in the temple of Jerusalem. But  they also met in each other's homes and had the Lord's Supper there and  praised God together their. In Caesarea, an angel told Cornelius, Peter will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved. And  once again, we could say, well, that was just a special angelic message that on  this one particular occasion, a household would be saved. But as we've seen,  that's kind of a common thing. It just happens again and again. But this is the  first Gentile believer where Peter really found out that he had to, that he had to  bring the gospel not just to his fellow Jews, but also to others. And it was a  message for Cornelius and his whole household. We've seen Philippi, Lydia was baptized along with the members of her household. And then these quotes 

about the jailer, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved you and your  household, they spoke the word of God to Him, and to all the others in his  house, he and all his family were baptized, he had come to believe in God, he  and his whole family. So again, I'm not using this passage to defend or to  promote a particular view on infant baptism. We don't know how many infants, if  any, were in these households, on this occasion, they're speaking the Word of  God to others in their house. And the point here simply is that there is a  household solidarity. And it seems like when you got one, you got a bunch of  them. And that seemed to be kind of the normal thing that was going on. in  Thessalonica. Well, these men who have caused trouble all over the world are  another translation. These men who are turning the world upside down, have  now come here, and Jason has welcomed him into his house. So Jason is the  guy who gave his household as their base of operation. In Corinth, Crispus, the  synagogue ruler and his entire household believed in the Lord the apostle refers to Stephanas. I also baptize the household of Stephanas. You know that the  household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia and they've devoted  themselves to the service of the saints. in Ephesus, he says to the Ephesian  elders, you know that I have not hesitated to preach anything that would be  helpful to you. But I've taught it publicly and from house to house in Colossians.  The letter to the Colossians was to the church in Colosse but also Philemon, a  friend of Paul lived in Colosse and so he addresses a letter to Philemon himself, but then also to the church that meets in your home. And then there is Rome  itself. Paul in his list of greetings near the end of the letter to the Romans, his  greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, greet also the  church that meets at their house, Priscilla and Aquila, were from Rome. But the  Emperor Claudius had issued a decree to boot all the Jews out of Rome for a  while. So they went to Corinth, but God works all things for the good of those  who love Him. So in Corinth, they run into this guy named Paul. And they also  share the gospel with a person named Apelles who becomes a mighty preacher. And then eventually they end up back in Rome, and there's a house church  meeting in the home of Priscilla, and Aquila. And she's always listed first. So for  some reason, she must have been maybe the more prominent of the two in in  her witness to others. But anyway, both of them were very important in the Lord.  And it was their household that hosted the church. And then there is just the talk  in the New Testament of the church as God's household, the household of faith,  or an equally good translation of Galatians 6:10, would be family of faith that has kind of a familiar ring to it. And then you have elsewhere, members of God's  household, God's family in heaven and on earth and the letter to the Ephesians.  When Paul's writing Timothy, he speaks of God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. And then Hebrews and  Peter use that same phrasing the household of God. So one of the pictures of  the church in the New Testament is simply God's household. And it worked and 

spread so much through households. We've seen the work of the mighty  missionaries, but much of the spread of the gospel also just occurred through  the ordinary people who kind of gossip to the gospel to the people they ran into,  and through the households, where Paul would plant the seed and then take off  basically, that was a big part of Paul's missionary method. Sometimes he'd hang around for about a year or a year and a half teaching others, but sometimes he'd hightail it out of town, not always by choice, but with a posse on his tail. And  then what was left behind, well, some converts that have been made and their  households. And so they would use their families as a base for spreading the  gospel to other people for hospitality, for worshiping the Lord in their home. So  again, when you get that Big Bird's Eye Picture entire households are often  saved together, and family solidarity continued to matter. So in your own vision  for your own family, and your vision of how God works through the gospel,  remember that the Gospel says, Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be  saved you and your household. That's God's normal way of operating. And so  that's a great encouragement to us that ordinarily, when God saves a head of  family, you're gonna see some good things happening in the rest of that family,  as well. The household usually served as the local mission base, look at ways  that your household still can be a witness to others in your own neighborhood.  Sometimes in your presence on Facebook, or other social media, you don't  need to preach a sermon every three minutes on Facebook, but you can let it be known that you love and serve the Lord. And again, for 300 years, there were no church buildings, or just worked. I'm not saying we should go around and burn  them all down now, or say that church buildings are bad. But they didn't need  them for a few centuries. So obviously, the building itself is not the key to  Christian growth. But the households were very important in the spread of the  gospel and in as the places of worship. And I, while we're doing reminders  today, the importance of household let me remind you again, of 12, very  important words for remaining steadfast in the Lord. Those of you who grow up  in Christian households, as well as those of you who lead them. First of all, trust  Jesus deeply believe in the Lord Jesus, and follow the spirit daily. And part of  that is daily discipleship, not just once in a while, say, Well, yeah, I happen to  believe in Jesus, but spend time in God's word every day, pray every day, walk  with the Spirit, ask the Spirit to guide your steps every day. And that's the key to  staying close to him. attend church weekly, at least, it's very important to be  involved with a wider group of people, some who have discovered the  importance of household and rediscover the importance of parenting, have  unfortunately gone way overboard and said, well, there were no church  buildings back then I don't even think there's my you know, we can just have  church at home with us and our family. Who else do we need? Well, if there  were nobody else, and you were the only Christian family, there was, okay, have at it. But you're actually called to be part of a wider body of believers of some 

kind. And so to be involved, I've, I've seen people who thought they could do  church on their own. And that didn't fare so well. Because that's not how God  designed it. And then fourth, marry a strong believer, you blow that one, well,  then all the other, you can have years and years and years of Christian  

instruction. If you marry somebody who's not a believer at all, then you can kind  of expect that your children are not going to walk in the ways of the Lord. Unless the Lord does a wonderful work of grace, because you chose you made your  choice. You chose that the Lord didn't matter that much in your family, you're  gonna go with your own route. Don't be shocked if your children follow the  unbelieving spouse because that was basically your choice. You hitched their  wagon to him. So again, these are these are 12 words. They're pretty simple.  not always very easy, though. But they're the gospel is very simple. And staying  in the Lord as a household is not all that complicated all the time. There are  some very simple and basic things that you need to do. And if you don't, it's  going to make your life real tough. Psalm 25 is a psalm that I've been  memorizing, and the opening of it is oh, my God in you I trust, Believe in the  Lord Jesus. That's basically the confession of faith I trust in You. By the way,  those three opening words, this is the only time you really ought to use them. When you're praying to God. Oh, my God is not your way of expressing shock,  surprise or pleasure. You really think you ought to go around OMGing all the  time, when God is God? Oh my God in you I trust. That's the only time you use  those three words. If you're going to follow it with in you I trust, I'm gonna pray to you. All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness for those who  keep his covenant. In his testimonies his soul shall abide and well being his  offspring shall inherit the land. The friendship of the Lord, is for those who fear  Him and He makes known to them his covenant. What beautiful words do you  want your soul to abide and well being? Do you want your offspring to inherit the land? Do you want them to be Among those who inherit the earth, in the  kingdom of God, the friendship of the Lord is for those who trust Him who fear  him. And he makes known to them as Covenant when God makes known to you His covenant, it comes in this form, Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be  saved you and your household, you're part of my covenant, I will be a God to  you, you will be My people, and I will never leave you, nor forsake you. Dear  Lord, we thank you for your great gospel for the Lord Jesus Christ for the might  of the Holy Spirit, for the apostles and saints and martyrs who spread your  gospel, and of whom we can be the heirs. We pray, Lord, that surrounded by  such a great cloud of witnesses, we may walk by faith and trust in You. We  thank You, Lord, for the great sign of baptism of belonging to you. And for the  many believers and households who have been marked by that sign. We thank  You, Lord, for the families and homes who went before us and were testaments  to your grace. And we pray that in our own generation, you will rule and reign in  our households, that you will fill us with your joy, that we may experience the 

friendship of the Lord as people who keep your covenant and your testimonies  that our children may be mighty in the land, that those who are yet far off or  even our enemies of the Gospel may also hear the good news that they too, can be changed in marvelous ways as that Philippian jailer was, as Lydia was, as so  many others have been throughout the centuries and still are in our own time.  And Lord, where some of us may have grown weak in our faith or sloppy in our  commitment strengthen again, our desire to walk with you, strengthen again, our confidence in you as the one and only Savior, the complete savior. And then let  us shine for you with joy not with complaining or arguing or just gloom but with  the joy of the Lord always shining from us as we sing your praises. In Jesus  name we pray, Amen.

Last modified: Tuesday, March 21, 2023, 8:00 AM