The text for this lesson is Acts 16:16–40.
- Just as God opened the prison, granting Paul and Silas freedom and new life, so Christ by His crucifixion and resurrection frees us from the prison of our sins and grants us life eternal.
- Law: The world hates Christ and His followers and rejects me because of Him. In my sin, I dislike and would avoid this persecution.
- Gospel: The Spirit pours the peace of Christ into me, forgiving, strengthening, and sustaining me in Christ.
- Paul and Silas meet a slave girl with a spirit of divination, or a “Pythian” spirit (Acts 16:16). What kind of imagery comes to mind? How might the girl’s social status reflect her spiritual status? How do her actions reflect our own sinful condition before Baptism, and how does her attitude after the exorcism serve as an example for our own lives as baptized children of God?
- The Gospel is “the power of God for salvation to all who believe” (Romans 1:16), and because of that, it has powerful enemies. These enemies are sometimes described as the world, the devil, and our own sinful flesh. Once Paul casts out a demon from the girl, how does the world react? Does he receive praise from the world for his kind act?
- Read Acts 16:25. What kept the disciples’ spirits up while they were in prison? Reflect upon sacred hymns. How does singing influence your faith?
- Paul and Silas save the guard’s life. What motivates their desire to save him? This good work inspires the guard to ask for an even greater gift: the way to save his life for eternity. Our good works in no way factor into our own salvation. Nothing but faith saves. However, how can our good works encourage others to seek salvation?
- The guard asks, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul responds, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Acts 16:30–31). Each must believe for himself, but how can we use our vocations as parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or children to help others in our households to believe?