True Blue Jon
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1He came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was a Jewess and a believer, but whose father was a Greek. 2The brothers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

6Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, "Come over to Macedonia and help us." 10After 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.

11From Troas we put out to sea and sailed straight for Samothrace, and the next day on to Neapolis. 12From there we traveled to Philippi, a Roman colony and the leading city of that district of Macedonia. And we stayed there several days.

13On 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. 14One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. 15When she and the members of her household were 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.

16Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17This girl 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." 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled 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.

19When the owners of the slave girl realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice."

22The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten. 23After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24Upon receiving such orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.

25About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody's chains came loose. 27The 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. 28But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"

29The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household." 32Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized. 34The jailer brought them into his house and set a meal before them; he was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family.

35When it was daylight, the magistrates sent their officers to the jailer with the order: "Release those men." 36The jailer told Paul, "The magistrates have ordered that you and Silas be released. Now you can leave. Go in peace."

37But 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."

38The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. 39They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. 40After Paul and Silas came out of the prison, they went to Lydia's house, where they met with the brothers and encouraged them. Then they left.
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Daniel Eig
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Quote:
1He came to Derbe and then to Lystra


Thus our travelogue continues. I suppose it has some use... but are you telling a story here Luke, or just cataloging frequent flier miles?
Quote:

they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to.


This is obviously a euphemism (whitewashing?) of something interesting - but I'm not sure what. Transportation issues? Bad weather? Odd signs and omens? The Holy Spirit manifesting as Roger Clemens and throwing broken baseball bats at them when they try to cross the border?

Thanks again Luke, for making something interesting in Acts as forgettable as possible.
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11From Troas we put out to sea...we traveled to Philippi... we stayed there several days...we went outside the city...we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there.


Why are "we" in the first person plural all of a sudden Luke? Royal we here? Or is this when you enter the story?

Wonderful - another useful story, undocumented - how Luke came to accompany SAUL.

Quote:
...we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit by which she predicted the future...This girl 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." 18She kept this up for many days. Finally Paul became so troubled 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.


So... SAUL is annoyed because this girl was telling the truth? What kind of Evil Spirit gives everyone helpful advice?

"believe in God for salvation - this man can show you how!". Ooh. Evil.

Or is this a story about someone being followed by a mentally ill girl, and after being annoyed by her fixation, traumatizes her in such a way that she shuts up for good?

Either way not getting its value.

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20They brought them before the magistrates and said, "These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice."


The Romans had strict rules about officially sanctioned and unsanctioned religions. While some level of Jewish proselytizing was tolerated - what SAUL and Luke did might have gone over the line in encouraging mass abandonment of the traditional faith and the imperial cult.

Only Jews were exempted from the regular sacrifices to the Emperor (and even they made sacrifices in the Temple on the Emperor's behalf daily).

To encourage non-Jews to do the same - to abandon traditional rites, but not become Jewish - the only group exempted - would be illegal.

Quote:
27The 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. 28But Paul shouted, "Don't harm yourself! We are all here!"


Interesting - that Jailer sure was twitchy about losing prisoners.
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0He then brought them out and asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"

31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household."


Interesting contrast to Jesus's answer in Matthew:
... If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.
...Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.
...If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.


Follow me only comes after everything else. Now it is just follow me, according to SAUL.
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Tim Seitz
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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dtolman wrote:
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31They replied, "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household."


Interesting contrast to Jesus's answer in Matthew:
... If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.
...Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself.
...If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.


Follow me only comes after everything else. Now it is just follow me, according to SAUL.

What do you think Jesus means when he says "Follow me?"
What do you think Paul means when he says "Believe in the Lord Jesus?"
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Daniel Eig
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out4blood wrote:

What do you think Jesus means when he says "Follow me?"
What do you think Paul means when he says "Believe in the Lord Jesus?"


From the text I'm reading - it seems to be two different things.

I think Jesus in Matthew says follow the Law - the big picture, not just dotting the i's and crossing the t's (worrying about splinters while logs go unnoticed, as it were). In the text of Matthew I quoted, heaven appears to be attained before following Jesus, all through the deeds of the petitioner.

Paul in Acts doesn't mention any of the rest. Just belief. So I think Paul is saying think the right thoughts and you magically get into heaven. Maybe he means different - but its not in this text so far. I have yet to see him mention any actions at all.

I don't see the two (belief and action) being equivalent. Someone can believe something, yet not act fully on it. Someone may act, yet not believe the reasoning behind it.
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Tim Seitz
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Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him. 2 Sam 14:14
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Paul spends a lot of time preaching faith, because he spends a lot of time fighting against legalism, the thinking that you can obtain salvation through following the Law. Paul's letters and his teaching are often directed at specific people, addressing specific topics.

But Paul does not teach "belief" as in "knows he exists." To Paul, one who really believes that Jesus is Lord, can't help but act like Jesus is Lord. There's an implied response. This is why you need to read the whole Bible - there's more to the story than just Acts.

Consider this passage in James on "belief"
James 2:19 wrote:
You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
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