Sunday, July 17, 2016

The First Christian in Europe - Acts 16 Part 1

When the gospel of Jesus Christ first came to Europe it was quite an event. This chapter records three conversions that took place at that time. We will look at each of them in turn, in three different blog postings. 

The first person to become a Christian was Lydia. She was a business women and was obviously interested in discovering the truth. We meet her first at a prayer meeting. That's a good place to search for God. If you are interested in discovering the truth, in getting to know God and in becoming a Christian going to place where the God of the Bible is discussed and talked about would be a good starting point. 

In cultural terms it's quite significant that the first recorded conversion in Europe was a woman. In her society women were not treated with equal status as men. This clearly not a biblical standpoint as scripture records that God is no respecter of persons. He does not distinguish between men and women in terms of superiority (despite defining differing roles for them) but he treats them equally. 

The truth is that we have all sinned and we can all be saved by the same process of repentance towards God, confession of sin and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. 

The description of the way  that Lydia got saved makes pleasant reading. She didn't need her life thoroughly shaken up before she trusted Christ. There were no stories of strong arguments persuading her to believe. The text simply says that the Lord opened her heart. It sounds to me like a flower responding to the sun's rays. A flower opens in the heat of the sun, especially a Livingstone Daisy if my memory serves me properly. Lydia responded to the warmth of God's love and received Christ as her Lord and Saviour. 

I am praying that this will happen to you as well. 

Thanks for reading this, 


Acts 16Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

16 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek: which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium. Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek. And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem. And so were the churches established in the faith, and increased in number daily.
Now when they had gone throughout Phrygia and the region of Galatia, and were forbidden of the Holy Ghost to preach the word in Asia, after they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. And they passing by Mysia came down to Troas. And a vision appeared to Paul in the night; There stood a man of Macedonia, and prayed him, saying, Come over into Macedonia, and help us. 10 And after he had seen the vision, immediately we endeavoured to go into Macedonia, assuredly gathering that the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them. 11 Therefore loosing from Troas, we came with a straight course to Samothracia, and the next day to Neapolis; 12 and from thence to Philippi, which is the chief city of that part of Macedonia, and a colony: and we were in that city abiding certain days.
13 And on the sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither14 And a certain woman named Lydia, a seller of purple, of the city of Thyatira, which worshipped God, heard us: whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. 15 And when she was baptized, and her household, she besought us, saying, If ye have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house, and abide there. And she constrained us.

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