Acts 16:35-40 Paul Refuses to Depart Philippi Secretly

In Philippi, God showed His delight with Paul and Silas by triggering an earthquake which shook the foundations of the prison where the missionaries were captive, bound in chains and fastened to stocks.

The earthquake was so significant, it caused for the doors of the prison to open, and for the chains and stocks to be loosened. When he witnessed the miracle and realized the prisoners were still in the prison, the jail keeper was born again of faith, then baptized, as were all the members of his household.

“35 And when it was day, the magistrates sent the officers, saying, “Let those men go.” (Acts 16:35)

By this time, the city leaders had found out that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, and Roman law forbade its citizens be beaten or tortured. As such, and since they had broken Porcian and Valerian laws, the Philippian magistrates called for Paul and Silas to be released and ordered to leave the city.

“36 So the keeper of the prison reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore depart, and go in peace.” (Acts 16:36)

The jail keeper reported the magistrates’ ruling to both Paul and Silas, that they were free men, and they should leave Philippi quietly.

“37 But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.” (Acts 16:37)

Paul complained of the public evil doing accusation, conviction and sentencing he and Silas endured, and as such he requested the same city officials come forward and publicly announce that both men are not guilty of the crime they were charged with in spite of the fact they were indeed Roman citizens.

“38 And the officers told these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans.” (Acts 16:38)

Because being a Roman citizen was known to be “greater than being a king,” the Philippian leaders were afraid of the consequences of their actions, since they had beaten and tortured Paul and Silas thereby violating Roman law.

“39 Then they came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city. 40 So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.” (Acts 16:39-40)

To avoid severe punishment, the magistrates abided by Paul’s demand and came to the city’s prison, where they made a public appeal to the missionaries to leave Philippi, free men.

Before resuming their journey, Paul and Silas visited Lydia, the city’s first convert, where the Philippian church was planted. There, the missionaries encouraged their brethren, then they carried on their mission to advance the gospel and preach the good news about the life, death and resurrection of the Christ. Let’s pray!

Father God;
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Luke,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.

Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.

God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.

May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.

We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.

Praise God,
Amen!

This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre
Email: danielstpierre@thrivethroughchrist.com

Posted in Bible Studies.

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