Every church has a story about how it was started. On our website you can find out about how Canton Baptist Temple began. Since we are studying the letter written by Paul to the Philippians it is good to know about the founding of the church. As we continue our series, Joy for the Journey, we want to examine this question: how did the church at Philippi begin? We’re going learn how it all got started!
The apostle Paul founded the church at Philippi on his second missionary journey. You can read about the founding in Acts 16. The first convert was a woman named Lydia. Notice several observations about Lydia:
- She was a worshipper of God. Lydia believed in God of the Old Testament. She identified with the Jewish community in Philippi. God was already working in Lydia’s life. The same is true where you and I live. God is working in the hearts and lives of the lost in our community.
- She listened to Paul as he shared the Gospel. Because of what God was already doing in Lydia’s life, she was ready to hear the Gospel. Not everyone will accept the Lord, but many are ready to listen.
- She accepted Christ as her Savior. Paul was clear as he shared the Gospel, and God did the convicting work in her heart. When we share the Gospel of Jesus Christ, God works in people’s hearts. Evangelism is not about arguing with people or manipulating them. We are called to share the Gospel and let the Lord do His work.
- She followed the Lord in believer’s baptism. This is always the pattern in the New Testament. Those that believe follow the Lord in baptism. Baptism does not save. Romans 10:9 clearly states:
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”
- She served the Lord after she was saved and baptized. We are not just saved from something. We are also saved for something. God calls every child of God to grow in discipleship and service.
Lydia wasn’t the only one saved. A young girl possessed with a demon was delivered from that demon by the work of God through the apostle Paul. Her masters were upset because they lost their means of making money. As a result, Paul and Silas were thrown in jail.
Then something amazing happened. In the middle of the night, while they worshiped God, there was a divine earthquake. The keeper of the prison feared that all the prisoners had escaped, so he was about to commit suicide – after all, if all the prisoners couldn’t be accounted for, he knew he would be killed.
But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. (29) Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, (30) And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (31) And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. (32) And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. (33) And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. (34) And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. Acts 16:28-34
How did the church at Philippi get started? I was started by the river and in a prison. God worked in people’s lives and brought along Godly leaders to share the Gospel.
Is God working in your life? Do you know Christ as your Savior? It is the most important decision you will ever make. If you don’t know what the Gospel is, you can read about it by clicking here. Please do not hesitate to connect with us through a connection card, or by calling the church office.
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