Inspiration from Biblical ‘lockdown’ people
Oct/Nov 2020 Teaching Series
Class 1 : Paul in Lockdown – Acts 28:16-31
Series looking at Biblical characters in ‘lockdown’ circumstances
Circumstances beyond our control – how react? In faith?
House arrest – “When we got to Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself, with a soldier to guard him.” (Acts 28:16 NIV11)
Two years – “For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him.” (Acts 28:30 NIV11)
First meeting: Acts 28:17-20
Second meeting: Acts 28:23-29
What hospitality can you offer?
- Love your housemates
At one time or another Paul had many companions living with him:
Timothy – Phm 1; Col 1:1; Php 1:1
Epaphras – Col 4.12-13; Phm 1:23
Onesimus and Tychicus – Col 4.7-9; Eph 6.21-22
Marcus (John Mark) – Col 4:10
Aristarchus – Paul’s “fellow-prisoner” – Col 4:10
Demas – Col 4:14
Luke – Col 4.14
Jesus (Justus) Col 4.11
Epaphroditus – Phil 2:25-30; 4:18
The way he expresses himself about these people, and they way they were a team together indicates that their enforced lockdown together strengthened their bonds rather than weakened them.
What can you do to develop depth with those in your household?
- Spreading the word
Passion to communicate the gospel: Col 1.23-29; Eph 3:1-9
Converted Onesimus: “I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.” (Philemon 1:10 NIV11)
Impact on the guards: “Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ.” (Philippians 1:12–13 NIV11); “All God’s people here send you greetings, especially those who belong to Caesar’s household.” (Philippians 4:22 NIV11)
Unique opportunities given to us via lockdown
- Communication Expanded
Philemon: Phm 1
Colossians: Col 1:1-2
Ephesians: Eph 1:1
Philippians: Phil 1:1
Use of social media and the internet – more people watching YouTube videos and listening to podcasts
Could you write a blog, record a podcast….?
Ephesians 1:15–21; 3:14–19
More people praying now than before lockdown
How might you be able to grow in your prayer life as a result?
- His perspective
Rejoicing in sufferings: Colossians 1:24; Philippians 2:17–18
Magnified Christ: Philippians 1:20
Practicing what he preached: Romans 5:3–5
Might be best opportunity for spiritual growth you’ve had in years!
“Now I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that what has happened to me has actually served to advance the gospel. As a result, it has become clear throughout the whole palace guard and to everyone else that I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have become confident in the Lord and dare all the more to proclaim the gospel without fear.” (Philippians 1:12–14 NIV11)
Next week: next class in series – Patels, Abuchis, Olivers, Packhams
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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)
God bless, Malcolm
PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John