ACTS OF FAITH AND PROCLAMATION
“God has authority over the authorities.”
Gathered by the Spirit, the church is a redeemed community in the world pointing people to God.
1. In the N.T., men and women stand side by side leading the redeemed community.
a. The Holy Spirit gathers Lydia, a wealthy business woman, into the redeemed community.
i. She hosts/leads a house church in her home.
b. The N.T. identifies 15 women church leaders. They are:
Philip’s daughters (Acts. 21.9), Priscilla (Acts 18.26, Romans 16.3-5), Phoebe (Romans 16.1-2) Junia (Romans 16.7), Chloe (1 Cor. 1.11), Euodia & Syntyche (Phil. 4.2-3), Nympha (Col. 4.15), Apphia (Phlm. 2), “the chosen lady” (2 John 1), “the chosen sister” (2 John 13) and Lydia (Acts 16.40).
2. The redeemed community in Thessalonica is in crisis.
a. Jason and a few believers are dragged before the city authorities.
b. It appears that Jason and a few believers are powerless, that the authorities have power.
3. Unafraid, the Holy Spirit gives Jason and a few believers words to speak.
a. Unexpectedly, they are set free!
b. God has power over the authorities, the authorities are powerless.
Believers need to hear this now, so that when conflict comes they will know and believe that God has power over the authorities.
Small Group Questions:
1. If asked, how do you define the church?
2. What does the Holy Spirit do to insure that the good news reaches Lydia?
3. Did this surprise you?
4. Were you surprised that the New Testament identifies 15 women, church leaders?
5. Why, do you think, are so many believers unaware of this?
6. From a human perspective, do believers seem powerless and the authorities powerful?
7. Did it surprise you when Jason and a few believers are set free?
8. Did you expect a different outcome?
9. What does it mean for you that God has power over the authorities?