The Lydia Question

So in church yesterday I told you there was a question regarding Lydia but we ran out of time to get to it.  So here it is: “Was Lydia a worshipper of God before they met at the river?  And then they baptized her?”

The text says in Acts 16:14 that Lydia was a worshiper of God but after Paul spoke that she opened her heart to respond to his message.  Honestly this kind of reminds me of what we talked about two weeks ago with Cornelius.  He also was a worshiper of God and then Peter came and he responded to his message and was baptized as well.  And I think both cases are similar.  They both worshiped the God of the Old Testament and were waiting for their Messiah to come.  Because they didn’t live in Israel at the time of Jesus and they didn’t have much knowledge of what went on, they were still waiting for their Messiah to come.

What Paul had the chance to do with Lydia here in Acts 16 and what Peter had the chance to do with Cornelius in Acts 10 was to tell them the Good News that Jesus had already come and fulfilled the prophecies in the Old Testament.  So they already knew he was one day coming and the good news that they received from Paul and Peter is that he already came and salvation could be theirs right now!

And then the second part of that question.  After receiving the message and believing they desired to be baptized.  This is a natural response to hearing and believing in the Gospel message.  We should desire to be baptized if we have not yet been, especially if we are believers in Jesus.  But can a person be saved without baptism?  Yes, the Bible is very clear that as long as someone receives the Holy Spirit in their life and believes in the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit, then that person will be saved.   The Bible teaches us that the Holy Spirit comes to us in Word (Bible) and Sacraments (Baptism and Communion).  We baptize because the Bible teaches us of its importance and commands us to.  Special things happen in baptism, namely, the forgiveness of sins and a new life in Christ.  This is exactly what Lydia wanted therefore, she was baptized.

I hope this helps clear up the confusion and the questions…if not, keep ’em coming!

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2 thoughts on “The Lydia Question

  1. I caught Matt’s sermon on the same topic and thought it sounded as if Lydia became the first Christian in Phillipi and probably one of the recipients of the letters from Paul to the Phillipians. In Acts, they speak about this trip to Phillipi where they meet Lydia. We know that Christianity abounds in Europe initially through the church in Phillipi. How much do we owe our own Christian heritage to Lydia? Also, how does the story of Lydia reflect the potential for each of God’s children to accept Christ?

    1. Good post Dennis, ya, that’s interesting and certainly true. There was no place for them to worship at Philippi and so her offer of using her house probably was very instrumental in the success and growth of the church in that area…maybe there’s more to this Lydia thing than initially meets the eye when you read through her story.

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