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August 30, 2020 5:00 am
Hi there this is on Solomon and I'd like to welcome you to our program today. You know it's a tremendous honor to God is given us to be on stations all around the nation bringing the truth of God's word as it is uncompromising and straightforward and I'm so glad you tuned in to listen and be part of that. Thanks again for your support and your generosity that keeps us on the radio and now let's get to the word of warning, every body is wonderful to see you guys hear about taken a copy of the Bible. Let's opening it together that were to be continuing in our study of the life of the great man of God.
The apostle Paul, the apostle Paul and NIST were traveling around deleting what we call today.
The second missionary journey. They worked their way through modern-day Turkey. They crossed the Aegean Sea and now there in northern Greece here in Europe at the city of Philippi here in Philippi. There was a young lady who was demonized to began following the apostle Paul. And finally, he turned to the demon he said in the name of Jesus Christ, I command you to come out of her, and at that moment the Bible says the demon laughter you say wow that's great. I mean here.
You got this young lady was now in her right mind she's restored she's healed. I mean everybody in Philippi must've been must've been thrilled.
Well, not exactly tell you why, because verse 16 tells us that she earned a lot of money for her owners by fortune-telling this young girl was the Ms. Cleo of Philippi, and when the demon suddenly was cast out of her car hotline went off there. You know what I'm saying and so these guys are pretty upset about that and so that's where we want to pick up the story. Verse 19 when the owners of the slave girl realize that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and they dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. Now this whole section of acts chapter 16 is full of information, where modern archaeology has confirmed the historical accuracy of the Bible to begin with Luke here in this verse mentions the marketplace. Literally, the beam Greek where the girls owners drag the apostle Paul and Silas now will beam up.
It was a raised platform where judges would sit to hear cases in hand down judicial sentences and weed today in archaeology have on earth the actual beam in ancient Philippi where the Bible says that these men dragged the apostle Paul and isn't it interesting.
We dug up the city of Philippi. We found that there exactly the way the Bible says that it was in Paul's day. Let's go on our show you some more. Verse 20 says they brought Paul and Silas before the magistrates now here we have another confirmation of the historical accuracy of the Bible.
Luke tells us here that the apostle Paul was brought before Philippi magistrates tomorrow. We know from history that a Greek city would normally be ruled by a single official. He was called a strata DOS meaning a ruler or general. This practice went all the way back to the early Greek city states were everybody by democratic vote would elect this strata DOS to lean over the city. One of the guys like this. You might remember the name Pericles of Athens was one of the strata joy. One of these rulers but here the Bible tells us that in Philippi there was more than one magistrate more than one local rule or two to be exact, and for many many years, scholars said what you see there that's just another example of where the Bible just got it wrong. It's just historically inaccurate friends, now we know today that for all those centuries that the scholars had been impugning the Bible. The truth is, the Bible had it right and all the so-called scholars had a role in let me explain to you why we know that verse 12 of this chapter tells us that Philippi was a Roman colony and I want to go and give you little bit of the history of the city of Philippi, so you understand why Luke was exactly right in saying that were true magistrates over this colony.
The city of Philippi began in 350 BC was established by Philip of Macedon, the father of Alexander the great, but Philippi's claim to fame rather didn't come for a couple centuries, and it came as the result of two military battles that were fought there in 42 BC, Augustus, who became the future Emperor of Rome and Mark Anthony.
That was the boyfriend of Cleopatra remember him get their forces defeated the forces of caches and brought us here at Philippi.
Brutus was the guy will stab Julius Caesar you know to brew today. Remember my thick Latin body member that you to Brutus and the and this was brother Brutus who was responsible for killing Julius Caesar. There was a big fight that was right there and Augustus defeated them along with Mark Anthony, 10 years later in 31 BC, Augustus defeated the forces of just Mark Anthony here at Philippi again establishing himself as the undisputed Emperor of Rome, and ending 12 years of civil war. Now Augustus as the new Emperor love this city of Philippi. I mean he'd gone to for two years. You understand what I'm saying and he wanted to honor this city, so he declared it a Roman colony Roman colony was like a little piece of Rome sitting on foreign soil and a Roman colony number one had a representative but sat in the Roman Senate in Rome.
It had a contingent of the Roman army that was stationed there to defend it. It had roads.
Roman roads built connecting it with the rest of the Empire. Remember we talked about the indignation way a couple weeks ago, the connected Philippi with Rome herself while the rest of the cities of the Roman Empire had dirt roads but if you were colony.
You got a Roman road built to connect you with the rest of the Empire. Also Roman colony had the right of Libertas, meaning that it had autonomous local government that use Roman law and Roman administrative practice.
It had the right of immuno tossed meaning that this people lived in this colony were immune from taxes and tribute that everybody else in the Roman Empire had to pay it at the right of use Atallah, meaning that all the legal decisions that were made in a Roman colony had the same weight throughout the empire as if they'd been made in Rome herself and finally it had the right of stability tossed, meaning that all the citizens of Philippi immediately became Roman citizens when it was pronounced the Roman colony, which in these days was huge. It was a big deal, is working to see in the next couple weeks and you say well I just got figured everybody in the Roman Empire was a Roman citizen will not true chemo sobbing. Not true, and the rights and privileges that went along with being a Roman citizen were enormous. There were very few Roman citizens compared to everybody in the Roman Empire. So, William Ramsey, in his book the cities of St. Paul says and I quote a Roman colony was a detached fragment of Rome itself separated from Rome by distance but populated by Roman citizens who were extended equal standing and identical privileges in the eyes of Roman law as the inhabitants of Rome itself not as one other fact about Roman colonies.
It's very important, they were governed by preachers or is it translated here in verse 20 magistrates who were appointed annually by the Emperor himself, and guess how many preachers or magistrates. Every Roman colony had they didn't have one. The way every other Greek city had they had to guess how many to that's exactly right. Every Roman colony was ruled by two magistrates appointed by the Emperor himself.
Isn't it interesting that the Bible here in telling us that Philippi had two magistrates got it right. And all these people live in criticizing the Bible for all these years. Got it wrong.
Luke was right there were two craters here because this was a Roman colony not be here today and you never trusted Jesus Christ as your real and personal Savior listen to me for second because this is really important. We just been talking about to you many times people are willing to make that decision to trust Christ because they have doubts about whether the Bible is really true whether it's really credible. Whether it's really trustworthy and what I'm here to tell you is, they found that the mother exactly where the Bible says it was going to be that Philippi had to rulers.
Just the way the Bible says they had we dig out of the ground the more the Bible proves to be right friends.
Not only is the Bible right when it comes to being laws and craters. It's also right when it comes to what it says about Jesus Christ and about how to get eternal life. You don't have a thing to worry about. The Bible has withstood the test of everything that's ever been dug out of the ground. It is proved trustworthy and reliable. Even in the face of scholars who were sure was wrong. They ended up being wrong.
You got nothing to worry about. If your concern is that the Bible is not trustworthy. I'm here to tell you, you can lay that concern the rest and trust what Jesus tells you in the Bible about eternal life.
It's true, and smart people pay attention to it.
I hope you will.
Well it's going verse 20 said, and they said to the magistrates they brought Paul and Silas in and they said to the magistrates. These men are Jews not stop there. Second, why in the world with a start like that honey wine the world with these magistrates even care whether Paul and Silas were Jews. What difference does that make to them all here. We got another connection of the Bible, with historically accurate data. Let me tell you why they started that way with their comment in 50 A.D. this is where we are 50 the end of 50 A.D. that's when Paul and Silas are in in Philippi earlier that very same year. We know from Roman records that the Emperor of Rome. His name was Claudius expelled all the Jews out of the city of Rome through them out of the city of Rome. Now if you are Roman official and you know the Emperor don't like Jewish people, and is thrown a ball out of the city and if your magistrate in Philippi and you have to depend on the Emperor to reappoint you every single year wouldn't make sense for you to start off if you're going to make an accusation by saying, these men are Jews and you know you have those people attention run in that city on behalf of Emperor Claudius. And that's exactly why they started that way these men are Jews, and let's go back to the verse they are throwing our city into an uproar by advocating customs that are unlawful for us Romans to accept or to practice what were these customs that were unlawful for Romans to accept and practice well in these days the official religion of the Roman Empire was Emperor worship a local city could keep whatever local God. They had so long as beyond those local gods. They recognize the supremacy of the Emperor as the God of the Roman Empire and the God of the world and the accusation against Paul and Silas, is that they were coming to down preaching a different God as being the supreme God of the world not Emperor Claudius but the true and living God of the universe gives them a charge. Well, verse 22 and the crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas and the magistrates ordered them. Paul and Silas to be stripped and to be beaten, and after they had been severely flogged.
They Paul and Silas were thrown into prison and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully now in second Corinthians chapter 11 verse 25.
Paul says three times I have been beaten with rods and certainly this was one of the times he was talking about right here in Philippi.
These rods were specially designed by the Romans, and they were designed with clause in them so that when you got hit with them. They literally rip and tour the flesh right off your boat. In fact this punishment was so cruel and so horrible that a Roman citizen. Roman law said no Roman citizen was allowed to be beaten with these rods, no matter what crime you had committed what you say wait a minute I thought the apostle Paul was a Roman citizen. He was, and the problem is these magistrates didn't stop long enough to ask and find out which means they are indeed mock so you understand what I'm saying and are working to see a little bit later as we move through this passage. This is going to play huge in how this whole thing ends up working out but anyway they beat Paul and Silas, and so bleeding they got thrown into jail and that's were to stop and relieve Paul in jail for a week to we come back next week and we picked up because we want to stop now and ask the most important question you don't know what that question is so here we go nice allowed 123 right to Launcelot Tim and I feel bad for Paul, that's awful.
They beat him like that and I appreciate all that history, I feel like I'm back in high school long. God bless you. God bless you for that. But difference does this make in my life. Well, it seemed we can make that connection for you. Did you notice how interesting it is the charges that these owners of the girl brought against the apostle Paul and Silas, what was their charge that they brought ostensibly what was the charge what they said. Verse 21.
These men are advocating customs that are unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice and we know of course the custom was that these men were teaching Emperor worship. But here's my question was that really the issue. See, they bring an issue and they say we got a theological issue with these guys, we've got a religious issue with these guys was that really the issue. No, no, of course not. We know what the real issue was is in verse 19 when the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone. The real issue here had nothing to do with theology. It had nothing to do would religion the issue here was that the apostle Paul had heard these guys in the pocketbook. That was the issue there issue was financial, not theological but they went and they found a theological covering to put over the real issue is their body see that and folks, let's just be honest if the apostle Paul would come to town and had never affected these guys pocketbooks.
Do you think that I have the slightest care. The slightest bit with the apostle Paul's preaching. They could care less what he was preaching. They didn't have any theological issues really with him.
And conversely, if the apostle Paul to come to town preach and some that would help them make more money. They have been out on the street handed out tracts within these peoples issue was financial, not theological. Now it's important that we all understand that these guys decided first with their lifestyle was they want to make money and then they went down a theology that fitted in a just so happen to be Emperor worship at that moment in time they didn't decide on the theology first and then establish their lifestyle based on it. They did it the other way around. We all understand that. That's the key to understanding this passage or to put it another way, these guys decided first how they wanted to live the habits they wanted to practice the money they wanted to make and then they went and found a theology that justified. I've been a pastor 22 years and you know what I found.
I found that there are scads of people who call themselves followers of Jesus Christ to go to church and attend Bible studies and yet in various areas of their life they live exactly the way these guys lived in Philippi, so I'm not sure I really understand what you talking about willing to see if I can help.
We all know the Bible teaches sexual purity outside of marriage that before were married while were married that were to be sexually pure and you are not running all kinds of followers of Christ who decided they want to have sex with her boyfriend want to have sex with the girlfriend they want to live together before they get married and I that people say to me, but you don't understand. We love each other and you know the Bible says. First Corinthians 13 these three things indoor faith, hope and love and the greatest of these is love.
God says in the Bible. The greatest thing there is as well. It's more important than anything even the rules in the Bible about sexual relation we know the Bible teaches. Second of all, thought that the Bible teaches heterosexual behavior. Barbara and the followers of Christ who decided they want to pursue homosexual behavior who said to me well you know Jonathan and David in the Bible.
I mean they were lovers. You know that in the apostle Paul.
The reason he didn't get married is because he was gay. You know that and lawn judge not lest ye be judged.
We all know the Bible calls us to conduct our affairs in life with integrity and honesty in decency and yet I've met men and women in business who done things that are cruel and wrong and unethical and dishonest and they said well you know business is business.
As you know, and the Bible says that a person has the responsibility to provide for their family. And that's all I was doing but I hadn't done it to them first date of done it to me. We all know the Bible teaches that we as followers of Christ are to marry other people more devoted followers of Christ and those of the only folks were to marry and I can't tell you how many people I've had in my office guys and girls who are engaged to somebody that's not a follower of Christ. And when I asked him about it. They go well you know Jesus said, go out the world and reach every body and how my going to reach him or her bottle marry him. I want to marry him and reach him and I will missionary marriage wouldn't have friends let me tell you something when I see people live like this when they're not living any different than I lived in college that I live in any different than these guys will this girl were living in Philippi. These are people who are making decisions first about the kind of life they want to live the choices they want to make the behavior they want to pursue and then are going to God's word and twisting the word of God to fit in and justify the lifestyle choices that they've already decided they're going to make while I'm here to tell you that's backwards.
That is not the way God designed us as followers of Christ to live this and what he says to Joshua.
Joshua chapter 1 God says be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you. For me, do not turn away from it to the left or to the right.
Don't take the word of God and twisted around so it fits the way you want to live. Instead, be careful that you do everything written in it, and what God is telling us as followers of Jesus Christ here is that we are to live our lives every little facet in detail of our lives, in conformity with the written word of God.
We are not to decide first how we want to live the way we want to do it and then go to the word of God and make it conform to what we've decided we instead go to the word of God and find out what it teaches about life and then we conform our behavior, our lifestyle and our choices to get let's summarize what we seen today, we see that one of the distinguishing marks of a true disciple of Jesus is that we keep the right authority in life we don't have the authority of life that these guys in Philippi had and we don't have the authority in life that I had as a college student, which is ourselves the authority that we have is the written word of God and we remember that we are Hebrew national hotdogs that we are subject to this authority.
It's a higher authority than us. That's why Psalm 119 says your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. God didn't say when you and I want to do is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path with the word of God. That's why Proverbs 35 says do not lean on our own understanding as to how you doing on this. I mean, my question to you and me is, are we really maintaining the right authority in our life is a lot.
How would I know I mean to give me some kind of test. Well, I'll give you a quick litmus test. Here's how you can know what the real authority in your life is when faced with any choice in life when faced with any situation in life is only one of two questions you and I will ask first and trying to decide what to do. We will either ask the question what do I feel like doing that'll be the first thing we ask and then will answer it and go know it that'll be one way of approaching it or the other question that will ask is, what does God tell me to do in the Bible and then will find that out and will go do that and you can tell here's a little litmus test you can tell what the real authority in your life is by simply asking and answering the question, which one of these two questions do I ask myself first and you know what your authority.
Life is folks, I'm here to call you and me to a different, lifestyle. I'm here to call you and me as followers of Christ with different way of living. I'm here to call us to a different worldview than the people around you every single day. I'm here to call us to a lifestyle and a worldview that is based on the authority of the written word of God and win it differs what our behavior is we change our behavior. We change our behavior. That's how God wants you and me to live. That's how real disciples will and if that's not how you live in that I got a real simple piece of advice for you.
Change the spring were Jesus, thanks for talking to us today about real life. You know these choices that were talking about for choices that we have to make every day multiple times Lord my prayer is that you would speak deeply to us and remind us today that you've given us a plan you've given us a pattern as to how to approach these kind of choices in life. The pattern is that we keep the right authority.
The authority of the word of God and we conform our behavior to it the Lord. If any of us here need course correction if any of us here need to make some changes. My prayer is that you would give us the courage to ask for your help and together with you as our partner to make the changes we need to make so that the word of God really is the authority in every part of our lives or change the way we live. Change the very way we approach life because we were here today and we interacted with the word of God and we pray these things in Jesus name God's people said Amen and listening to say I went with Dr. Lon Solomon said, when is an outreach Lon Solomon ministering to listen to today's message, or for more information visit our website.
Lon Solomon ministries.org. Thank you for your support. If you would like to contact us, please visit our website or call us at 866788777 we had people join us next time in line to answer one of life question