The second missionary journey team of Paul, Silas and Timothy would now set their sights on Europe, a place called Philippi where there was no church established but where there was a group of praying women ripe for the gospel. Luke mentions a particular woman named Lydia who God called to Himself to be a part of the Kingdom of God.
Lydia’s Need For a Savior
The normal posture for teaching – “sitting” Matt. 5:1; 13:2; Luke 4:20
Paul valued the ministry of women (Rom. 16:1-3; Phil. 4:2-3)
A remarkable woman from Thyatira – v.14
Lydia’s productivity – Prov. 31
Lydia’s background – a worshiper of Israel’s God –cf. Cornelius Acts 10:1-2
Lydia’s Faith – Rom. 10:17 cf. Rom. 3:11; John 6:44
God’s Sovereignty in Salvation – v.14c
The Lord prepares Lydia’s heart – I Cor. 3:6-7
A.W. Tozer comment
Lydia’s life as a Christian
Her faith exemplified in her receiving baptism
Her household was baptized – v.15
Her home became a haven – v.40; Heb. 6:10
Her household may have had children – Mark 10:13-16
Church membership is not optional
Augustine view on the invisible and visible church
Legitimate reasons for not belonging to the visible church:
An individual new believer may desire to be a member but is providentially hindered when involved in a fatal car crash – Luke 23:43
A new believer in his spiritual infancy mistakenly believes that it is not his duty to unite with the visible church.
When there is no visible church in a surrounding area to unite with, such as prisoners.
A person who has been under severe disciple of the church and has been excommunicated from the visible church – I Cor. 5:1; cf. II Cor. 2:1-10
A requirement for Elders – I Tim. 3:2
Applies to all believers – Rom. 12:13; I Pet. 4:9 Lydia Prevailed v.15; Phil. 4:15
Our text clearly reveals that the Lord Himself opened the heart of Lydia to receive the gospel. We need to pray that the Lord would open the hearts to believe the good news of God’s grace.
Our text clarifies what is the norm for Christians that is becoming obedient, receiving the sign of the Covenant of Grace, becoming members of Christ’s Church. The Christian life is about loving hospitality, a contagious love for one another.
Pastor Nick Iamaio
Reformed Presbyterian Church 207 South First Street, Fulton, NY 13069
Web Site fultonrpc.org