Acts 16:11-15: Salvation in Lydia’s Household
The furniture in a church tells you something about its theology and what is important. In a Roman Catholic Church you have the altar front and centre, some churches have the band, Baptist churches usually have the pulpit, the baptistery and the Lord’s Table somewhere in the centre. Because it is the word of God that is given prominence in our worship, because it is God ministering to us not us to God which takes priority, the audible word and the visible word take centre stage. Baptism has fallen on hard times especially in our digital age where people think that they can do church over the internet. A baptismal service when we gather together as a local church and we witness someone giving testimony to their saving faith in Christ, showing in symbol how Christ has saved them, this is being lost as many opt for digital church today. Today we have the privilege of participating again as witnesses to Simone’s baptism and reminding ourselves of the gospel that is portrayed before us in her actions.
Today for our meditation on baptism we will be looking at Acts 16:11-15. I have chosen this passage because it emphasises two things I want to draw to your attention today. Firstly, we see God sovereignly saving through the preached word, we want to see how God saves through Lydia’s experience of it. Secondly, we see a household baptism and want to demonstrate how the bible does not endorse infant but rather believer’s baptism. ‘So, setting sail from Troas, we made a direct voyage to Samothrace, and the following day to Neapolis, 12 and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city some days. 13 And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to the riverside, where we supposed there was a place of prayer, and we sat down and spoke to the women who had come together. 14 One who heard us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple goods, who was a worshipper of God. The Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul. 15 And after she was baptised, and her household as well, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.’