Freedom Follows Following: Jesus Has a Type
Proverbs 3:4-7 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.
Open Doors / Closed Doors
Acts 16:6-10 6 Paul 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. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After 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.
An open door indicates that God has been working on both sides of that door.
Jesus’ Type of People
Acts 16:13-15 13 On 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.14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When 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.
Two significant things pop up with Lydia’s conversion.
- The Roman and Jewish world valued men over women and yet the first European convert was a woman, but not just a woman but a woman of means. In one fell swoop the freedom message of Jesus shatters the sex barrier and the self-sufficient barrier of the day.
- “The Lord opened her heart to Paul’s message.” It wasn’t Paul’s manner or style that opened Lydia’s heart it was the Lord! “We are responsible for the process (carrying and telling the freedom story) God is responsible for the product (reception of freedom).”
Jesus Type #2
Acts 16:16-18 16 Once when we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a female slave who had a spirit by which she predicted the future. She earned a great deal of money for her owners by fortune-telling. 17 She 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.” 18 She kept this up for many days. Finally, Paul became so annoyed 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.
Jesus’ Type Expanded:
Self-sufficient women business owners and young demon possessed slave girls.
Opposition to Freedom
Acts 16:19-24 19 When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace to face the authorities. 20 They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are Jews, and are throwing our city into an uproar 21 by advocating customs unlawful for us Romans to accept or practice.” 22 The crowd joined in the attack against Paul and Silas, and the magistrates ordered them to be stripped and beaten with rods. 23 After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison, and the jailer was commanded to guard them carefully. 24 When he received these orders, he put them in the inner cell and fastened their feet in the stocks.
Historically, Christians are not killed not because their way of life is offensive, they are killed because their way of life is freeing! Christianity is a dangerous faith but not dangerous because it promotes violence but because it promotes freedom!
Jesus’ Type #3
Acts 16:25-34 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 The 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. 28 But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” 29 The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. 33 At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized. 34 The 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 household.
Jesus’ Type Expanded:
Self-sufficient women business owners
Young demon possessed slave girls
3 things this chapter teaches us about freedom
- It’s the Holy Spirit who directs our steps and opens hearts to freedom.
- Everyone is Jesus’ type and together we are powerful for His name!
- The volume of freedom is not drowned out by hardship it’s amplified!
Philippians 1:3-6 3 I thank my God every time I remember you. 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.