In this post we continue to take a close look at one of the early churches founded by the Apostle Paul. What did these Christian communities look like? What kind of people were they?
The third Philippian convert that is mentioned in Acts is the Roman prison guard. He was tasked with housing and guarding the prisoners, who on that day, included Paul and Silas after their beating. After an earthquake shook all the cell doors open, Paul kept the jailer from committing suicide. The jailer asked the famous question, “What must I do to be saved?” Paul answered him, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved, you and your household.”
This First Century civil servant and his family became the next members of the Philippian Church. So far, we have Lydia and her household, the demon-free slave girl, and the prison guard and his family. This is a good start to a church plant.
The next question becomes, who is going to lead this church? Paul and Silas were released from jail and commanded to leave Philippi because they were trouble makers. An interesting transition takes place in the text of Acts at this point. Luke had been writing in the first person and narrating the account with, “we” passages. As Paul and Silas leave town, Luke transitions back to the third person, making it clear that he stayed behind in Philippi.
Doctor Luke was one of the most educated New Testament writers. His two books, the Gospel of Luke and The Acts of the Apostles, make up almost 25% of the New Testament. His writings make clear that he was more than just Paul’s doctor and assistant. Luke was a spiritually mature leader who would have been the perfect pick as the Philippian Church’s first pastor. The Philippian Church became very influential. They were able to financially support the Apostle Paul and they had a great reputation for living out the Gospel. For more information on this Christian community, read Paul’s letter to the Philippians.
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