THE APOSTLE PAUL LESSON 19
SECOND MISSIONARY JOURNEY – PART 5
LYDIA – THE FIRST HOUSE CHURCH PASTOR
As Paul, Silas, Timothy, and Luke ministered at the riverside, just outside Philippi (See yesterday’s article), one woman in particular stood out to them. The Lord opened her heart (Acts 16:14) to receive all that the missionaries were teaching.
Her name was Lydia, a worshipper of God from Thyatira in Asia Minor, who had relocated across the Aegean Sea to Philippi in Macedonia. It was a very strategic move that benefitted her business as a seller of purple. Purple garments were regal and expensive. Philippi was a key city in the Roman road transportation system bringing people through the city and that made for a good business opportunity.
Lydia, being a woman (v. 14) “which worshipped God” indicates that she may have already been a devout Jew. Now she converted to become a devout follower of Jesus Christ. Lydia and her entire household became Christians and were baptized.
This was no ordinary woman. She insisted that Paul and his party to come and stay in her house for their duration of time in Philippi.
It was later on that Paul and Silas were imprisoned. Upon their miraculous release, they immediately went back to Lydia’s house and conferred with the other believers (v. 40) before departing Philippi. It is clear to me that her house was the meeting place of “the brethren.” (v. 40). She had the initial Philippian “house church.”
Ironically, when Paul re-visited Philippi on his third journey, “the brethren” had taken over the church from Lydia. Such actions are also prevalent today. It is hard for a woman to be accepted in ministry.
Missed some of Russell's messages? Click here to read