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August 6, 2017

Sermon: Lydia: Radical Inclusiveness

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Scripture Lesson

Acts 16:11-15; 1 Timothy 2:11-12

The Conversion of Lydia

We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, ‘If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.’ And she prevailed upon us.

Let a woman learn in silence with full submission. I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over a man; she is to keep silent.

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Sermon Outline

Rev. Jonathan Swanson
Lydia: Radical Inclusiveness
Acts 16:11-15; 1 Timothy 2:11-12

I. Introduction: Calvin and Hobbes
II. The scene in Acts
     A. The travels (16:11-12)
     B. The “place of prayer” (16:13)
III. Lydia
     A. “A worshiper of God” (16:13)
     B. Very wealthy and prominent (16:14)
     C. “The Lord opened her heart” (16:14)
     D. Baptized (16:15)
     E. Hospitality (16:15)
IV. What can we learn?
     A. The major societal barriers of Paul’s day
         1. Jew vs. Gentile
         2. Male vs. female
         3. Rich vs. poor
     B. God breaks down all these barriers
     C. Lydia was a leader in the early church
V. But wait
     A. What about passages like 1 Tim. 2:11-12?
     B. Many different interpretations
     C. 1 Timothy is a later church reaction
VI. What can we learn?
     A. Early Paul is radically inclusive
     B. Which side do we want to be on?
VII. Conclusion: Antoinette Brown Blackwell (1825-1921)


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