Of Providence (WCF Ch5) | Acts 16:16-40
- Providence simply means that God is God.
- The Creator is never taken by surprise.
“God’s works of providence are his most holy, wise and powerful preserving
and governing all his creatures and all their actions.” (Shorter Catechism #11)
1. A Providential Meeting (v16-18)
- A Spiritual Showdown is coming.
- The ‘python spirit’ of the Delphic oracle (Greece).
- The slave girl was a pythia, channelling the serpent’s power.
- Satan tries to disarm the truth by attacking the messengers.
- Be warned: these things really do work – don’t go there!
- You can’t blame God for the wicked things you do. (WCF 5.4).
2. A Providential Arrest (v19-24)
- God uses ‘ordinary means’ in this case.
- Paul and Silas are going to jail!
- In the stocks.
- Miserable? No – praying, singing praises to God!
3. A Providential Earthquake (v25-30)
- Doors open, chains off … but no one ran away!
- ‘Don’t harm yourself! We’re all here!’ (v28)
- ‘What must I do to be saved?’ (v29)
- ‘Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved – you and your
4. A Providential Salvation (v31-40)
- ‘Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in
his house.’ (v32)
- He washed their wounds.
- They were baptised immediately.
- Salvation’s joy: A midnight meal.
- Pressing home the authority of God – Paul’s ‘sit in’.
‘Sin would be a very remarkable achievement, if by it we could remove
ourselves from God’s sovereign and absolute power! … But it is not so.’
- God is never taken by surprise by His creation.
- The greatest example is the cross.
Five Practical Applications of God’s Providence: