Of all Paul's friends, with the exception, perhaps, of Luke, Paul's beloved friend, Timothy was regarded by him with the tenderest affection; he was his dearly loved son, faithful and true. Various defects have been alleged to exist in Timothy's character. These defects are inferred from the directions and instructions addressed to him by Paul in the Pastoral Epistles, buy these inferences may be wrong, and it is a mistake to exaggerate them in view of his unbroken and unswerving loyalty and of the long and faithful service rendered by him to Paul, "as a child serveth a father" Php Act ; 1Cr ; ; 2Ti ; Act ; 1Th Act ; Phl , Phl ; Phm ; Hbr ;.
See postscript to 2 Timothy Phl ; 1Ti The disciple thus named was the son of one of those mixed marriages which, though condemned by stricter Jewish opinion were yet not uncommon in the later periods of Jewish history. The father's name is unknown; he was a Greek, i. The absence of any personal allusion to the father in the Acts or Epistles suggests the inference that he must have died or disappeared during his son's infancy.
The care of the boy thus devolved upon his mother Eunice and her mother Lois 2 Timothy Under their training his education was emphatically Jewish. The language of the Acts leaves it uncertain whether Lystra or Derbe was the residence of the devout family. The arrival of Paul and Barnabas in Lycaonia, A.
During the interval of seven years between the apostle's first and second journeys the boy grew up to manhood. Those who had the deepest insight into character, and spoke with a prophetic utterance, pointed to him 1 Timothy ; as others had pointed before to Paul and Barnabas Acts as specially fit for the missionary work in which the apostle was engaged.
Personal feeling led St. Paul to the same conclusion Acts and he was solemnly set apart to do the work and possibly to bear the title of evangelist 1 Timothy ; 2 Timothy ; A great obstacle, however, presented itself. Timothy, though reckoned as one of the seed of Abraham, had been allowed to grow up to the age of manhood without the sign of circumcision. With a special view to the feelings of the Jews making no sacrifice of principle, the apostle, who had refused to permit the circumcision of Titus, "took and circumcised" Timothy Acts Henceforth Timothy was one of his most constant companions.
They and Silvanus, and probably Luke also, journeyed to Philippi Acts and there the young evangelist was conspicuous at once for his filial devotion and his zeal Philippians His name does not appear in the account of St. Paul's work at Thessalonica, and it is possible that he remained some time at Philippi.
He appears, however, at Berea, and remains there when Paul and Silas are obliged to leave Acts going afterward to join his master at Athens 1 Thessalonians From Athens he is sent back to Thessalonica, ibid. He returns from Thessalonica, not to Athens, but to Corinth, and his name appears united with St. Paul's in the opening words of both the letters written from that city to the Thessalonians 1 Thessalonians ; 2 Thessalonians Of the next five years of his life we have no record. When we next meet with him, it is as being sent on in advance when the apostle was contemplating the long journey which was to include Macedonia, Achaia, Jerusalem and Rome Acts It is probable that he returned by the same route and met St.
Paul according to a previous arrangement 1 Corinthians and was thus with him when the Second Epistle was written to the church of Corinth 2 Corinthians He returns with the apostle to that city, and joins in messages of greeting to the disciples whom he had known personally at Corinth, and who had since found their way to Rome Romans He forms one of the company of friends who go with St. Paul to Philippi, and then sail by themselves, waiting for his arrival by a different ship Acts The absence of his name from Acts … leads to the conclusion that he did not share in the perilous voyage to Italy.
He must have joined the apostle, however, apparently soon after his arrival at Rome, and was with him when the Epistles to the Philippians, to the Colossians and to Philemon were written Philippians ; ; Colossians ; Philemon 1. All the indications of this period point to incessant missionary activity.
From the two Epistles addressed to Timothy we are able to put together a few notices as to his later from 1 Timothy that he and his master after the release of the latter from his imprisonment, A. The position in which he found himself might well make him anxious. He used to rule presbyters most of whom were older than himself 1 Timothy Leaders of rival sects were there. The name of his beloved teacher was no longer honored as it had been. We cannot wonder that the apostle, knowing these trials should be full of anxiety and fear for his disciple's steadfastness.
In the Second Epistle to him, A. The last recorded words of the apostle express the earnest hope, repented yet more earnestly, that he might see him once again 2 Timothy ; We may hazard the conjecture that he reached him in time, and that the last hours of the teacher were soothed by the presence of the disciple whom he loved so truly. Some writers have seen in Hebrews an indication that he even shared St.
Paul's imprisonment, and was released from it by the death of Nero. Beyond this all is apocryphal and uncertain. He continued, according to the old traditions, to act as bishop of Ephesus, and died a martyr's death under Domitian or Nerva. A somewhat startling theory as to the intervening period of his life has found favor with some. If he continued, according to the received tradition, to be bishop of Ephesus, then he, and no other, must have been the "angel" of the church of Ephesus to whom the message of Revelation was addressed. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.
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Timothy - Easton's Bible Dictionary
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Dictionaries :: Timothy. Easton's Bible Dictionary Timothy: honouring God, a young disciple who was Paul's companion in many of his journeyings. One of Paul's Converts: Timothy was one of the best known of Paul's companions and fellow-laborers. A Native of Lystra: He was a resident, and apparently a native, either of Lystra or Derbe, cities which were visited and evangelized by Paul on his 1st missionary journey Ac Converted at Lystra: In 2Ti , 11 Paul mentions that Timothy had fully known the persecutions and afflictions which came to him at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra.
Becomes a Co-worker with Paul: On this 2nd visit to Derbe and Lystra, Paul was strongly attracted to Timothy, and seeing his unfeigned faith, and that from a child he had known the sacred Scriptures of the Old Testament 2Ti , and seeing also his Christian character and deportment, and his entire suitability for the work of the ministry, he would have him "to go forth with him" Ac Circumcised: Paul was willing to agree to this being done, on account of the fact that Timothy's mother was a Jewess.
His Ordination: Showing the importance which Paul assigned to this act of ordination, he refers to it in a letter to Timothy written many years afterward: "Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery" 1Ti Accompanies Paul: Thus, prepared for the work, Timothy went forth with Paul on the apostle's 2nd missionary journey. Salutations: In connection with this salutation from Timothy, it should be noticed that it was Paul's custom to associate with his own name that of one or more of his companions, in the opening salutations in the Epistles.
At Ephesus: On Paul's 3rd missionary journey, Timothy again accompanied him, though he is not mentioned until Ephesus was reached. In Jerusalem: From Greece the apostle once more set his face toward Jerusalem, Timothy and others accompanying him Ac In Rome: The details of the manner in which Timothy was now employed are not recorded, until he is found once more with Paul-during his 1st imprisonment in Rome. Appointed to Ephesus: Paul's hope was realized: he was set free; and once again Timothy was his companion in travel.
His Position in Ephesus: "The position which Timothy occupied in Ephesus, as it is described in 1 Timothy, cannot without doing the greatest violence to history be called that of a bishop, for the office of bishop existed only where the one bishop, superior to the presbytery, represented the highest expression of the common church life. Mention in Hebrews 13 : One other notice of him occurs in Heb : "Know ye that our brother Timothy hath been set at liberty; with whom, if he come shortly, I will see you. His Character: Nothing further is known of him. Written by John Rutherfurd. Far from denigrating the verbal, cognitive appeal of the gospel in favor of the visual, experiential impact of miracle, Luke sees signs and wonders as confirming support to the gospel.
The Holman Apologetics Commentar y notes that "God often granted signs and wonders in the book of Acts, so why do things not continue in this same way today as Christians attempt to evangelize the world and bear witness in secular Western societies? The intense and consistent nature of signs and wonders in the book of Acts is not normative, but points to the arrival of a new era. A similar feature of clustered miracles happened at earlier points in biblical history, particularly at the time of the Exodus and the time of Elijah and Elisha.
God did things with special intensification in those special periods, as a way of initiating new movements or new epochs of his work. The early church era is the exemplar of this approach. God in his sovereignty can choose to work miracles at any time and place, including today, but in the outworking of his plan there is variation in the intensity of these special signs.
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The Gospel is divisive! In fact, if we fail to see this effect in at least some of our Gospel presentations, it behooves us to re-think the Gospel we are proclaiming! Jesus is the proverbial "line in the sand," and one can be either for Him or against Him, for He left no option for straddling the fence! In a word Jesus tolerates no " spiritual mugwumps! Clearly their bold speech and the signs and wonders did not impact everyone the same way. Stedman observes that "The fifth and final mark of the gospel given in this section is that of division.
This is always the case with the gospel. It is like a ferment turned loose in society. It is not intended to bring peace, except to the individual heart. It is intended to be divisive. And one of the marks of true evangelism is always that those who are being affected by it are divided.
They are either for, or against. No neutrality is possible when the gospel is preached in the power of the Holy Spirit. You either accept it, or you reject it. There is no middle ground. If there is a church in a city, and that city is not divided, then there is something wrong with the church, because it is not preaching the gospel as it ought to be preached.
There ought to be a clear-cut division as the gospel comes in. The Word of His grace. There is no neutrality regarding the Gospel. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do or "to give an account".
The same Sun cf "Son" that melts the ice, hardens the clay. If an individual Christian or a local church is truly preaching Christ, there will be a division between friends and community. If there is social acceptance of a local church by the world, that Christian church is not doing its job. To separate or cause to separate violently or abruptly. This is the first time either Paul or Barnabas had been called apostles. At other points Luke distinguishes Paul and Barnabas from "apostles" Acts ; Acts , Acts , Acts ; Acts , but here he applies the term to them. What does he mean here?
Does Luke differ from Paul in his understanding of Paul's apostolic status? Luke, like Paul, appears to use apostles both in a restricted sense for "the Twelve," chosen by Christ during his earthly ministry and witnesses of his resurrection, and in a broad sense for "missionaries," commissioned messengers of the gospel compare 2 Cor ; Gal ; Phil The latter meaning is intended here compare Acts Both Paul and Luke were aware of Paul's apostleship and its extraordinary nature Acts ; 1 Cor They simply chose different ways to present Paul's similarity to and distinctiveness from the Twelve.
Paul freely used the term apostle, while Luke in the main reserved it for the Twelve, though he employed cognates to describe Paul's calling Acts ; Acts Paul said he was "untimely born," while Luke described that untimely birth in the context of the ministry of the Twelve and highlighted its distinctiveness by consistently avoiding references to Paul as an apostle. If to plethos tes poleos is employed here as a technical term for an assembly of citizens of a city-state, the division may reflect an official response Longenecker Gotquestions adds that "Beyond the unique twelve apostles of Jesus Christ, there were also apostles in a generic sense.
Luke used the word " apostle " in a technical sense to describe the Twelve apostles plus Paul in Acts. He also used it less frequently in a non-technical sense to describe any believer sent out into the world with the salvation message e. Similarly there were some with the prophetic office, but many more with prophetic ministries. See John E. The next time you are attacked for righteous words or actions, remember that behind the human attackers is the enemy of your soul, the devil's henchmen!
And in this case it follows that God allowed this persecution as a means of moving the missionaries on to their next divine appointment in Lystra. Some think this suggest three groups aligned against the missionaries - Jews, Gentiles and rulers, but the latter could be the leaders of the Jews and the Gentiles which would in effect be only two groups. Gangels says horme describes "a spontaneous reaction uncontrolled by reason and planning. BDAG says the word describes "a psychological state of strong tendency,.
It is our urgent need. Each morning "dress for battle! For our struggle pale is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. In short, these missionaries were Spirit filled men. It behooves us to be Spirit empowered men and women when we seek to share the Gospel. One of my mentors used to say "Preach the Word and duck!
It is almost a certain guarantee that when you proclaim the Gospel faithfully in the power of the Spirit and for the glory of God, you will be vigorously opposed and as here it often comes from some who call themselves "religious" or "Christian" Sad but true! The attempt to stone them appears to have been an act of mob violence rather than a formal Jewish attempt at execution cf. Acts Undoubtedly this mixed mob had murder of the missionaries on their mind! Considering that the opposition was getting ready to stone them, it would seem reasonable that Paul and Barnabas saw a mob coming toward them with stones in their hands!
Whatever the specific indicator of insurrection was, it was clearly and quickly perceived by the missionaries. Jack Andrews comments that in some way "God made known to His servants the plot of the people. He was protecting His servants. When we face opposition because of our faith in Jesus we will not face opposition without Jesus. Tony Merida comments that "In this act of relocating, we should notice the combination of prudence andperseverance. The missionaries were brave but not stupid! In fleeing danger, they lived to preach another day.
Sometimes the best way to make the gospel known may mean remaining; at other times it may mean relocating. For such matters one must seek the Father, who promises to give his children wisdom when they ask him Jas This would signify that they left Iconium not so much out of fear but because in some way not stated here in Acts 14 the Lord rescued them. This basic idea is that of bringing someone out of severe and acute danger. The Lord rescued them but the responsibility of the missionaries was to flee town.
Gangel points out that "This flight was more than just geographical; it was political in terms of boundary. Paul and Barnabas literally crossed from one political region to another; these verses emphasize that transition. What is the picture of sheep in the midst of wolves, but a picture of danger and conflict.
That was Jesus' promise. And based on that certainty of conflict the disciples were to be shrewd as serpents which were held to be smart, cunning, cautious and in this metaphor symbolized wisdom the disciples were to exhibit. In the present context in Acts 14, the disciples were to be wise as serpents and move on down the line so to speak! If the Lord had wanted Paul and Barnabas to remain on at Iconium even in face of the danger, he would have told them. They were born-again, not born yesterday. The Lord protects His children, but He wants us to use common sense. So the missionaries departed.
They did not stand fast and tall and try to reason with the crowd coming against them. They did not presume upon God to protect them from the mob. Paul and Barnabas went to the different district because it was safe. Later Roman writers such as Cicero contradicted the passage, asserting that Iconium was also in Lycaonia.
For years this was used to show the historical unreliability of Acts. That places the author as an eyewitness to the events. Examples such as this can be multiplied. The conclusion is that Acts is found to be a reliable work of history that correctly depicts life in the first century A. The Word of Truth is true and tested Pr and is your trustworthy sword of the Spirit in spiritual warfare as you "joust" for the souls of men. Ancient ruins can be seen near Klistra, including a church with a big cross marked on the wall, a winery, house-like buildings, and the ruins of a city located over the top of a hill which is locally called "Alusumas", where another ruined church ruin can be seen.
According to local people, the less-visible city was constructed over the hill to hide from enemies of ancient Anatolia. This site is still awaiting excavation. Kenny Rogers sang the theme song. Part of that song speaks to the situation with Paul and Barnabas. The opposition came to a head and it was time to move on down the road to the next city! One might think that this first encounter with life threatening might have dampened their enthusiasm for proclamation of the Gospel.
Clearly that was not the case. These men were not driven by insanity but by a passion for souls to be saved, a passion empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jim Elliot was in the "bold mold" of Paul and Barnabas! May their tribe increase! As Larkin says "The gospel's opponents stirred up and poisoned souls against messengers of the truth, creating division and spawning a bloodthirsty plot of mob violence.
The gospel messengers manifested evangelistic effectiveness, persevering boldness, miraculous divine confirmation, tactical prudence and persistence in witness. Whose message should Theophilus and we believe? And so they did. Kenneth Gangel observes that "The pilgrim and stranger motif throughout the New Testament begins to take incarnate form in these missionaries, now driven out of the second city on this trip. Rejected disciples who proclaimed a rejected Lord represented the New Testament standard.
They stand in refreshing stark contrast to the contemporary prosperity gospel in which Christianity wants to be popular, large, influential, and wealthy. No kingdom politics or civil religion here, just the basic gospel proclaimed wherever people will listen. No foe could daunt him, no fear could haunt him. They could throw him out of Pisidian Antioch and chase him out of Iconium, but they could not stop him from preaching There was no place where Paul was afraid to preach the gospel.
He preached the gospel in Athens, the intellectual capital of the world, and was mocked; he preached the gospel in Jerusalem, the religious capital of the world, and was mobbed; he preached the gospel at Rome, the political capital of the world, and was martyred. But he preached the gospel. Do we in like manner speak of Jesus in every company? If not, we fall short of our duty. The missionaries were preaching that Jesus death on the Cross brought victories over sin's penalty and power, over Satan and over death. While the Spirit is not mentioned specifically, it is very clear that their boldness in face of the recent threats was not natural but supernatural.
These missionaries were filled with and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Toussaint adds that "The verbal construction they continued to preach the good news emphasizes continuity of action over a period of time. As we will discover in Acts Timothy, one of Paul's favorite disciples, hailed from Lystra and one has to wonder if this is when Timothy was first exposed to Paul, who he would join some years later on Paul's second missionary journey.
You may need to read that again! It is a very important truth and below are a few resources to re-enforce the importance of learning to preach the Gospel to yourself! Arnold - Patterns in Evangelism. Robertson has an interesting note that "We are to think of extensive evangelistic work perhaps with the assistance of disciples from Antioch and Iconium since Paul and Barnabas could not speak Lycaonian. Before you read about the miracle do not the fact that Paul had already preached the Gospel before he performed the miracle Acts And what was the result?
Luke describes a lame man who had faith to be made well Acts Where did that faith come from. Of course his faith was the gift from God, but it was also associated with the proclamation of the Word of God, for Paul teaches in Romans that " faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. God's plan for spreading the Gospel was not to be frustrated by lack of a synagogue! As providence would have it Lystra "was the home of at least one hopeless cripple If God can work in Lystra, there is hope for America filled with a veritable plethora of "strange gods"!
This is also where traveling philosophers and entertainers attracted attention. I like to imagine it as the Wild West. The Lystrans were generally uneducated and, it also seems, gullible. It was, then, a much different place from Iconium. Gangel writes that here at Lystra "the gospel plunges into raw heathenism, the like of which these missionaries certainly never before saw in such primitive form. Surely their residence in Antioch displayed all the wickedness available anywhere in the civilized world. Still, the difference between Antioch and Lystra could be compared to the difference between a capital city like Lima, Peru, and the jungle tribes living two or three hundred miles inland.
Jack Andrews observes that " Lystra was a city of strange gods cf 1 Cor , 6. We live in cities of strange gods today. America is full of strange gods. It holds a low opinion of God, and when it advertises that opinion, it is guilty of circulating an evil rumor about the Majesty in the heavens. Thus it slanders the Deity. No wonder God hates it. We should beware of the comfortable habit of assuming that idolatry is found only in heathen lands and that civilized people are free from it.
This is an error and results from pride and superficial thinking. The truth is that idolatry is found wherever mankind is found. Whoever entertains an unworthy conception of God is throwing his or her heart wide open to the sin of idolatry. Let that person go on to personalize his or her low mental image of the Deity and pray to it, and he or she has become an idolater—and this is regardless of his or her nominal profession of Christianity.
It is vitally important that we think soundly about God. Since He is the foundation of all our religious beliefs, it follows that if we err in our ideas of God, we will go astray on everything else.. The lameness was congenital and total. If there had been Paul and Barnabas headed straight for the Jewish house of worship. And so we can deduce that the Jewish population of Lystra was quite small.
Barclay quipped that "The further on Paul and Barnabas went, the further they got from civilisation. When we were yet without strength Christ died for the ungodly. The incident narrated here Acts —18 shows how they got a real hearing among these rude heathen. In the present context the idea is one who is impotent and it was commonly used with that sense in the secular medical writings.
He had "impossible" feet so to speak, feet that were unable to do anything. The stage was set for God to present the credentials of His missionaries to these heathens. Everybody has to serve somebody! Don't be deceived into thinking you are "free" because you can do as you please. True freedom is not the power to do as you please, but the power to do as you should to please your Heavenly Father!
Who are you going to serve? That is the critical question we should all consider asking ourselves every morning for the rest of our lives! Who you gonna serve today? It is not "Let go and let God," but more accurately "Let God and let's go! It can also describe impaired functioning of the hands. Though most often used in a literal sense of actual physical handicap.
Now Peter and John were going up to the temple at the ninth hour, the hour of prayer. Toussaint points out that "In each case the cripple was lame from birth Acts ; ; both Peter and Paul gazed at the one to be healed Acts ; ; and both healed men responded by jumping and walking Acts ; This shows Paul was equal to Peter in his apostleship. Neil agrees with Toussaint commenting that "In opposition to those who would challenge Paul's claim to apostolic authority based on his direct commission from the risen Christ, Luke is concerned to show that his hero shares with the chief Apostle [Peter] the healing power vested in his disciples by the Lord himself Jn and exemplified in Jesus' own ministry Lk.
There he found a man named Aeneas, who had been bedridden eight years, for he was paralyzed. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance. What was Paul speaking? Undoubtedly the Gospel. And how should one respond to the Gospel? By hearing with faith that results in obedience. Contrast the reaction of the Jews those who were "well The heart response of this lame man was the antithesis of the response of the Jews in Acts Boice points out that "The apostles did not go into these cities to do miracles, and then to preach.
Rather, it was the other way around: They went to preach; then sometimes there were healings. Unbelievers in the crowd will discourage you. Scoffers in the crowd will frustrate you. Preachers need to find those who believe and focus on them and keep preaching the truth! Frequently, after the meeting was over that person would come to me and tell me that at that precise moment he knew—just knew—that Christ had died and risen again for him and that he was truly born again.
It is likely that Paul was simply conversing with some of the citizens in the marketplace, telling them about Jesus, and the lame man overheard what he said. While Luke does not have the same phrase, there is little doubt that again Paul was filled with the Holy Spirit as he fixed his gaze on the lame man. But this time the "spiritual stare" was for good not for evil!
Paul saw something in the lame man's face and manner showed that he believed he could be made well. The verb for made well is sozo see below which is used over times in the NT most often translated as save or saved over 80 times. He believed God could heal him, not that God would do so. Confidence that God would heal him, in other words, is not what made him whole. It was confidence that God through His servant could heal him that constituted his faith e.
His faith was a factor in his receiving healing cf. Mark Constable's Notes on the Bible. Jack Andrews says that "This man believed what Paul preached and he believed that Jesus Christ could heal! The man who brought his demon possessed man to Jesus to be healed cf Mt The Roman Centurion that asked Jesus just to speak the word and his servant would be healed Mt , Jesus said he had never seen such great faith in all Israel.
The term implies both knowledge and action. The Gospels record Jesus healing individuals who had faith see passages below. One can misinterpret these passages and say they mean that the individual's faith per se saved them, and in so doing actually miss the true object of the faith which was ultimately and fully in God, and not "faith in their faith. The power of Christ was what effected the cure, but His power was applied in connection with their faith. In the same way, salvation comes to a sinner through faith. Everyone who is saved must believe, but it is the power of Christ that saves, not the power of faith.
Faith is only the instrument, not the power itself. Guzik makes the point that "This certain man without strength in his feet made the important transition from hearing about the work of Jesus to believing that it was for him. Not everyone makes this same transition, but they should. Acts 14 Commentary. And he leaped and walked. Stedman says that Paul "Suddenly, unquestionably led of the Spirit" spoke as if with a megaphone!
Although today's believers do not possess miraculous healing power as Paul did, the principle is instructive—God's power is absolutely necessary if His work is to be accomplished Eph. The power "to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think" Eph. The power of the Holy Spirit is released in believers' lives as they walk moment by moment in obedience to the truth. That enables them to be used as agents through whom no physical healing occurs, but rather the transformation of the soul in salvation and sanctification.
Along with power and results in service for Christ comes the temptation of pride. It is often difficult to acknowledge that the results stem from God's power, not human ingenuity and ability. Peter wrote of the centrality of humility in 1 Peter James echoed those thoughts in James , Humility is the supreme spiritual virtue because it gives God His rightful place.
Paul had used this very word in his first sermon in Antioch Pisidian to describe the rising up of Jesus Acts , In a somewhat paradoxical way the standing up of this lame man set in motion a series of events that got Paul stoned from which he then got up anistemi Acts Upright ortho - "orthopedics means " 1 of direction; literally straight, in a straight line; figuratively, of persevering on a correct course of life toward a goal straight, right Heb As Stedman says "the lame man, though he had never walked in his life, made the effort to obey.
He had faith enough to try, and the moment he began to obey, the power to obey was given. It does not make any difference whether the problem is physical, emotional, or spiritual; you are going to be held in its bondage until you begin to obey the Word of God about it. When you make the effort to obey, God will set you free. But he will never move until you obey. That is the way faith works. Most people are kept from seeing God at work in their lives because they keep waiting for God to do something, in order for them to believe.
No, he has already done all that he is going to do in advance. When you believe what he says, then he will give you the power to be free. This miracle is a mighty parable of the many who have been spiritually lame, unable to take a step toward God, but who have been set free to do so by the gospel. It cracked the city wide open. The whole populace immediately took note of Paul and Barnabas in their midst. John G. If God is in it, you can examine it thoroughly and the evidence will be obvious.
Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will shout for joy. For waters will break forth in the wilderness and streams in the Arabah. The 39 uses in the Gospels always refer to literal, physical walking. They came into these places without any New Testament with the message of the gospel.
What were their credentials? How could they prove their message was from God? The sign gifts were their credentials-they needed them. Today we have the entire Bible, and what people need today is to study this Bible and to learn what it has to say [cf. Acts ]. As far as I know, there is no one today with any sign gifts.
This kind of healing does not take place today; therefore, there are no sign gifts. God heals today in a sovereign way through faith and prayer but it is questionable whether the sign gift of miracles is still in existence. When the Gospel is preached. This does not always involve physical miracles of healing. In fact, physical miracles are rare, but things happen that we can not always explain in human terms.
Men and women experience the freedom that is in Christ Jesus. They are able to rid themselves of habits, thoughts and attitudes that were harmful and injurious to them before conversion and which enslaved their personalities. With this release, there is sometimes supernatural phenomena surrounding it. The man in Lystra in whom God worked a miracle, resulted in mayhem in Lystra. It seemed innocent enough at the outside, but because the words were unknown to the missionaries, the intention of the crowd was hidden from them.
As Gangel points out "In Lystra we see a significant contrast with Acts 3, where Peter could immediately discern that the Aramaic speakers around him intended to give him and John credit for the healing. The Lord Jesus was God manifest in flesh; He came down and took upon Himself flesh and blood; these heathen claimed, "The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men".
In other words, they considered that they were having a visit from the Greek gods Jupiter or Zeus and Mercury or Hermes. Consider a similar idolatrous statement by the people of Ephesus in Acts What the Bible teaches — Acts and James. Idols do not come off the throne of one's heart easily, especially if they have been bowed down to and served for many years! The pagans believed in mythological tales which are a counterfeit and say that the gods became men. Satan always counterfeits that which is true and gives glory to God, because he desires the glory due only to God.
And so these pagans in Lystra believed Satan's lie of " counterfeit incarnation " and failed to believe the truth that Jesus Christ "although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men COMPARE the "counterfeit" statues of the Greek "gods" who were made in "the likeness of men!
Being found in appearance as a man , He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Php What a subtle attack this flattery was. Sometimes popularity is the weapon Satan employs most successfully of all to ruin the presentation of the gospel. He was welcomed as the god, Lono, and he and his men were given anything and everything. Believe me, that means everything they wanted. They were attended day and night. But strangely, though Captain Cook thought this was wonderful and accepted their worship, one day as they were about to launch their boats and return to their ship, a native who was angry with him for some reason grabbed hold of the captain.
Without thinking, Captain Cook swung at him and knocked him down. The native retaliated, hitting him on the head with a club, and the Captain groaned. When the natives heard this, one of them cried out, "He groans. He is not a god! You can see a memorial at the site today. On one of their missionary journeys, they faced a situation during which they refused to accept vainglory.
They immediately prepared animals to sacrifice in honor of Paul and Barnabas. We do not rival the apostles in our accomplishments for God, but we all have things we do for Him. All rights reserved. Remember that this all began with the miraculous healing. Miracles certainly did not save these persistent pagans! The miracles did however attest to the authenticity of Paul and Barnabas except that for the pagans it was a case of mistaken identity!
philippi paul's journey in the bible
As Jack Andrews says "What should have sparked true worship of God, sharing of the gospel, salvation of the lost, and glorification of the Lord sadly sparked a frenzied effort at worshiping false gods. Hermes was the emissary and messenger of the gods. That they identified Barnabas with Zeus suggests he presented a more distinguished and imposing appearance than Paul. There was a tradition in Lystra that Zeus and Hermes had already come to Lystra in the ancient past. These gods sought to get hospitality from the city but only two Lycaonians, Philemon and Baucis, had been kind to them and entertained them unawares.
The gods became angry with Lystra and destroyed it but gave special blessing to Philemon and Baucis. These Lystrians, when they saw the miracle of Paul and Barnabas, thought that Zeus and Hermes had returned. Zeus was the national god of the Greeks. Zeus was the most powerful of all the gods for he was said to give power to all the gods and to hold sway over them. Everything but the Fates were subservient to his will. Therefore, because Barnabas probably had a long beard he was thought to be Zeus.
Some commentators have also thought that because Zeus was portrayed as a robust, athletic person that Barnabas also fit this same kind of description. Hermes Mercury was the chief messenger of the gods and was considered the god of eloquence. Because Paul was small and spoke a lot, he was called Mercury or Hermes. These ignorant, superstitious, rural people actually felt the gods had come down among them in the likeness of men.
They went to a thousand homes and no one would take them in. Finally, at a humble cottage of straw and reeds, a poor elderly couple, Philemon and Baucis see story on Wikipedia , freely welcomed them and feasted them with what meager means they had see picture. In appreciation, the gods transformed the cottage into a temple, making the couple priest and priestess. And when they died, they were immortalized as great oak trees. The inhospitable homes were destroyed!
The people of Lystra did not want that to happen again! This time they wanted to make sure they received, welcomed, and worshiped their gods. He is an unsaved man, and he told me very candidly that he was chasing around. Mutual friends had asked me to play with him.
I attempted to talk with him about the gospel. He knew the facts of the gospel as well as I do. And you know something else? He believed them. He said he believed that Jesus died and rose again, and he believed that if he put his trust in Jesus, He would save him. In the first century the apostles performed miracles and men got their eyes on the apostles. So it was necessary to get their eyes off the apostles and turn them to the Book which presents the Lord Jesus Christ. You need to get your eyes on the Word of God and learn what God says today.
He tells us that the important thing is our personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. All those other men you mention will not even enter into the picture when you stand before the Lord Jesus someday. The only question will be your personal relationship to Jesus Christ as it is revealed in the Word of God. Go to the Word of God.
He did say that I had given him a new approach; he had never heard it that way before. He thought maybe he would try it. I encouraged him again to get his eyes off other Christians, because we all have feet of clay. This temple must have been visible to Paul and Barnabas as they came into Lystra, so they knew their reception and presentation would likely be very different than in the synagogue settings with which they were familiar. This worship includes the lie of sacrifice to appease or please whatever is worshipped. He must worship something. The deluded but sincere pagans of Lystra represent countless millions of people held enthralled by the chains of false religion.
They are zealous, devout, willing to sacrifice, eager to do their religious duty—but lost. Even in America we make Jesus into a God that fits our desires and wishes, a God who allows us to live the way we desire to live, which is exactly what the false gods do for the heathen! This is not even "logical" but when men refuse to follow God, they will fall for anything!
May the Lord Jesus make us see idolatry for what it is and turn away from all idols! I love the psalmist's prayer which should frequently be our prayer in Psalm But today we not only have room at our inn, but a penthouse suite away from reality. Jesus is V. In America, He is a custom but not the true Christ; a captured hero of a casual civil religion, but not Lord of our lives.
Arnold makes an interesting point that "Satan could not destroy the Gospel through persecution so he tried to destroy the apostles through an ego trip. The most subtle Satanic attack on any Christian worker is when men want to worship the worker rather than the Lord, to put the worker on the pedestal rather than Christ. This really feeds the ego, but Christian workers must never accept this kind of adulation and must resist it with all their might.
Paul and Barnabas never got to explain the Incarnation because the people were determined to keep them within the boundaries of their religious presumptions. When we catch ourselves backsliding into idolatry we need to take quick action like Paul and Barnabas! Literally they "leaped up" see below.
Idols that are allowed to stay can soon become idols that hold sway it rhymes! Do not delay! This is a nontechnical use here, referring to a commissioned messenger. Too much persecution has destroyed many preachers, and too much praise has ruined many others. One of the problems with miracles is that they often draw more attention to the miracle worker than to God. THOUGHT - One of my memory verses is Pr , so that this verse can always be pulled out as the "sword of the Spirit" Eph when praise comes my way, especially when it is unexpected.
The other passage that the Spirit usually pops into my mind is 2 Cor , and that usually puts out the fire in my flesh! They tore their robes - See note below. In Joshua tearing clothes demonstrates distress, and in Mark it protests perceived blasphemy. Everything that detracts from God must be repudiated.
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He is too great to share His glory with any other. The sole Creator of heaven, earth and sea can have no rivals. Herod may accept worship Acts , but the two evangelists could but rend their clothes in indignant protest. Herod would have enjoyed such praise, but faithful Christians understand that only God is to be worshiped. Toussaint adds that "Usually rips were made four or five inches into the neckline of the garment. Robertson writes "Like the high priest in Matthew as if an act of sacrilege was about to be committed.
It was strange conduct for the supposed gods! Idolatry necessitates immediate action! As Andrews says "This was not done lightly. When we combat idolatry we must be firm in our resolve and steadfast in our convictions! They ran in among the multitude. They got right down where the people were and told them to stop their idolatry! Rushed out ekpedao literally means to leap out or leap forth and thus depicts them as getting up quickly into the pagan crowd.
In the New Testament it is used only once, in Acts , where Barnabas and Paul ran quickly into the crowd at Lystra to prevent the people from worshiping the servants of God. The first mention of someone tearing his garments is in Genesis. The prophet Jeremiah received the Word of God concerning a soon-coming judgment on Judah. Jeremiah faithfully wrote the prophecy in a scroll and delivered it to King Jehoiakim. The king listened to the first part of the prophecy, but then he took a knife, cut the scroll in pieces, and burned it in a brazier Jeremiah The special nature of the high priestly office dictated a separation from some of the common customs, including that of mourning.
One tradition says that the mourner must tear the clothing over the heart—a sign of a broken heart. More important than outward shows of grief are true sorrow for sin and genuine repentance of the heart. The One who sees the heart requires more than external ritual. Psalm We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:. And saying, "Men, why are you doing these things?
Now Paul begins to speak of God's role as Creator and Sustainer in nature, but we must not forget that he has already preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Acts This reminds us of a similar scene when Cornelius bowed down to Peter in worship. Both men emphasize the insanity of worshiping humans. They were saying they had "like passions" just as those calling them gods had. They were no different. There are not some above us who are more important to God or some below us who are less important to God. NET Note adds that "In the immediate context, the contrast is between human and divine nature, and the point is that Paul and Barnabas are mere mortals, not gods.
Their conduct was more serious than the obeisance of Cornelius to Peter Acts Robertson comments that "Here we have Paul's message to a pagan audience without the Jewish environment and he makes the same line of argument seen in Acts ; Romans Paul issues a call for these idolater to repent and turn to the living God, calling them to attention so to speak with a "spiritual about face!
It describes the act of pivoting degrees, especially in a military formation. Does this sound familiar to anything we see in Christian doctrine? Of course it does, for this phrase is a great "word picture" of the call to turn from whatever dead idol we are vainly grasping and to turn and take hold of the living God. In short, it is a call to repent. One can imagine as he said this he was pointed to some of their statues of these "gods. Many today say that repentance is not part of the Gospel. They need to read Paul's declaration to these idolaters!
As Paul preaches the Gospel, he is calling for them to turn from idolatry and to the true and living God. Idolatry is in effect turning the " imago dei " upside down, so to speak! For example, Peter called on his audience to " repent aorist imperative and return epistrepho also aorist imperative , so that your sins may be wiped away.
Is that not exactly what idols do to our heart - deceive us! Jer God is saying they walked after empty idols! Our God is a live God, not a dead statue. Paul is fond of this phrase 2 Cor. Now Paul goes on to emphasize the evidence that God is not a dead but a living God in that He was the very One Who created the Universe. He took a similar approach to the pagans in Corinth declaring "The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. If one does not believe that God created everything, they begin to question if there is even such a person as God.
If they question creation and the fall of man, they have no reason to think they need a Redeemer. MacArthur adds that "It is important to realize at this point that nothing has ravaged gospel preaching to the untaught world more than the theory of evolution. Because it poses an explanation of the existence of everything without a Creator or moral lawgiver, people who accept it fail to see any need for God or a first cause. Thus they cut themselves off from all that creation, reason, conscience, and providence are designed to do—namely lead them to God. As Robertson says undoubtedly Paul has Genesis in mind as he quotes from Psalm The universe of Greek mythology thought of earth as a flat plane with air above, water around, and Hades below.
Acts ; Ps. He wanted the pagans to understand that one God made all realms of the universe and created all the creatures therein, but he was still speaking from a foreign worldview. MacArthur explains that "Since they did not know the Old Testament, he appealed to the universal, rational knowledge of the Creator, the first cause in a cause-and-effect world.
He starts with what is visible in creation and attributes it to God. So how does one begin to witness to pagans? But speaking of the Creator and His creation for this is where they have common ground. No one is saved by natural revelation but everyone receives this evidence that there is a God and all men are without excuse if they reject this knowledge. As an aside years ago Bullinger wrote a book claiming that the gospel was present in the stars, but sadly this is not true and is extremely misleading and deceptive See lengthy assessment of this false belief.
No, the Gospel is present in the Bible, so the heathen need to hear the Bible. Those heathen who are drawn to the living God by His handiwork in the heavens, will be given exposure to the Gospel as God's Spirit moves missionaries, etc to go to these people. Paul tells us sadly how most of humanity responds to the handiwork of God in the heavenlies in his letter to the Romans THOUGHT - This is one of the more important passages in chapter 1 of Romans as it helps us understand and then make a defense concerning why most of the world is the way it is - godless, immoral, corrupt, etc, etc.
Only amazing Gospel of grace can rectify this wreck! He did not start with the Bible as he always did with the Jews who believed in special revelation, but he began with general revelation. He started with nature and declared that God created the heavens, earth and all living things. He began where these pagan people were in their understanding. God has revealed Himself, to those who do not have written revelation, in nature. Men have light about God, but what light they do have they suppress and reject because they are sinners by nature. When speaking to non-church people, begin with nature and their relationship to God, then move on to Christ and special revelation.
Show them that nature has order, unity and beauty because of a Creator. Everything exists and functions because it is made and controlled by God, who is a living God and this God has revealed Himself in Christ which is special revelation. The more the world loses this link, the harder it is for the gospel to make sense. In the ancient world just about everyone thought of themselves as created beings.
The fact that people believe differently today will have to inform our approach to sharing the gospel. Here is the pattern for preaching to a non-religious people. If you want to know how to reach your neighbors who are not interested in the gospel, and who know nothing of Scripture, who have not been to church and are not interested in it, here is the way. The approach is through nature. When Paul went to the Jews, he started with the Scriptures, the truth of God that they already knew.
When he went to the Gentiles, he started with nature, the truth of God which they already knew.
He points out three things that ought to have been very plain to them if they had been thinking about their contact with nature. He appeals to the fact that, if they had really observed nature, they would realize that it is not controlled by a conglomerate of separate powers, all trying to compete with one another, as envisioned in the pagan pantheon. According to the pagan system, everything had a god. There was a god of water, a god of trees, a god of rocks.
The processes of the body had gods: there was a god for speech, a god for sex, and a god for life. And these gods, like people, were in competition with one another. Paul is saying, "You haven't really seen nature. You haven't noticed, obviously, that nature is as one; it all ties together, blending and harmonizing beautifully. It all exists and functions together because it has been made by one God, who is a living God. It is sustained and held together. It doesn't decay and fall apart but it is constantly being renewed.
So there is one living God. One of the problems about God faced by anyone in the world today is, "Why is there evil present among men?
They say, "If your God is such a loving God, who loves man, why does he permit suffering? Why does he allow evil, and injustice, and war? They understood them and argued the same way. Paul is answering by saying, "What you must know is that God, in generations past, allowed all the nations to walk in their own way. In order to permit free will, he must allow evil. That is Paul's argument, and it is unanswerable. There are those today who say, "Why doesn't God stop all the wars and injustices? But if he did, he would take away your freedom of choice, and that is the one thing you don't want to surrender.
The greatest dignity of humanity is the power to choose between two possible routes. God has given us that power, and he will not take it away. Paul says that is the reason why he allows evil. He does not allow evil to engulf humanity and wipe us off the face of the earth, as human evil would do in a few months' time if it were unrestrained. God has restrained it. And right in the midst of it, despite all the rejection and all the rebellion and the blasphemy and hatred that is poured out against him by these people whom he loves, God has shown his love by giving rain and fruit and harvest and gladness in the family circle and joy and happiness throughout the various moments of life.
That is the God whom Paul preached. What a marvelous declaration of the gospel, that God had given all these things and thus had given witness to these people about himself! So the first onslaught of the enemy falls back upon itself. The city is open to the gospel, and Paul is able to proclaim it in power. But soon the devil's evil comes full cycle. They were allowed to follow their own reason, thinking, passion, desires, and systems of religion, but now God is taking the Gospel to all Gentile nations. Paul clearly teaches the mysterious truth of God's Sovereignty and Man's free will in this passage.
It could not be stated much more plainly! And yet we all wrestle with it because of its mysterious nature. These truths are "secret things! In the generations gone by is a time phrase and one which came to an abrupt and glorious ending when Jesus stepped into the world as God in the flesh to redeem the world, Jew and Gentile, for "there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
There was a tolerance on God's part toward sinners who did not have the full revelation of His holy will. Robertson explains that "Paul here touches God in history as he did just before in creation. Stanley Toussaint explains that "Some interpret Acts to mean that God will not judge the heathen who lived before the Apostolic Age. However, verse 16 must be taken with verse Up to the time of the church, God gave no direct revelation to the nations i. The Bible Knowledge Commentary. It also has the sense of to let alone Acts It means to refrain from bothering or detaining.
Clearly now I do not approve of their message! He was biding his time in patience. A deist believes that God exists and created the world, but does not interfere with His creation. Deists deny the Trinity, the inspiration of the Bible, the deity of Christ, miracles, and any supernatural act of redemption or salvation. Deism pictures God as uncaring and uninvolved.