Let’s talk about magic and slavery.
SEPTEMBER 21, 2022
Let’s talk about magic and slavery, on this edition of Key Life.
If you’re sick of guilt and manipulation, and if you’re looking for an honest and thoughtful presentation of Biblical truth, you’ve come to the right place. This is Key Life with the founder of Key Life Network, Steve Brown. Keep listening for teaching, that will make you free.
Thank you Matthew. If you’ve been with us the last few days, we spent a long time and we’re studying the book of Acts. In the 16th chapter of Acts, versus 11 through 15. And we looked at Lydia, who’s an old friend of mine and we saw some really good things about her. Now, I’m going to do this a little bit different. I’ve been reading the rest of this chapter, it goes in, my mind is funny and sometimes it comes unraveled, especially when there’s a lot of information that I want to teach. Jeremy, who is the producer of this program and I do this program together, but we also do some other things that are posted on Key Life. And one of them is that we are going through the New Testament and I’m reading it, that’s all I’m doing. I’m reading it and we’ve done three or four books. And, as I finish a book and we have time to do it, we post it on Key Life. And you can go to Keylife.org and just listen to Scripture, without any of the nonsense that I put with it. You can just listen to pure Scripture. And, as we sat down and were recording the last time, one of the things that I said to Jeremy, you know what’s hard about this, what’s hard is just reading it without stopping and preaching a sermon on the verses that I’m saying in the text. That’s in my DNA, for a hundred years I’ve been doing that. And all of a sudden, I don’t get to say a thing. I just read the Scripture and let it go at that. So, what we’re going to do in effect, we’re going to do this today and we’re going to do it in the next week and the week after that, is we’re going to look at the last part of the 16th chapter of Acts. And as we go along, I’m not just going to let it stand. When I get to a place where I should say something, I’m going to say something. You’ve heard it from our leaders, if you see something, say something. Well, that’s what I’m going to do over the next few days, as we go through the last part of the 16th chapter of Acts, great stories. And, when I see something and want to point out this site as the tour director, I’m going to stop and give you a little bit of stuff about that particular site. Okay. All right, let’s start. This is what Dr. Luke writes.
As we were going to the place of prayer, we were met by a slave girl who had a spirit of divination and brought her owners much gain by soothsaying.
So, you’ve got magic and it’s clearly messing with the work of God, among the people to whom Paul was preaching the gospel. She was a soothsayer. She was a magician. She was hustling bucks for her owner and she was a slave. Now, that is not a good place to present the gospel. If I had been Paul, I would’ve gone somewhere else. I mean, I would’ve gone back to the synagogue, or I would have a small prayer group in my house, or I’d get with some people who at least had some kind of interest, but Paul stood there and you know what happened, out of the mouth of this magician, out of the mouth of this slave girl, who was hustling bucks for her owner, listen to what happened.
She followed Paul and us, crying, “These men are servants of God, the Most High God, who proclaimed to you the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days.
How about that sports fans? I mean, out of the mouth, not of babes, but of pagans. Out of the mouth, not of preachers, but magicians. Out of the mouth of not religious people, but a total unbeliever. Out of her mouth is the proclamation of the absolute truth of the God most High, who has the only way of salvation. You talk about an unexpected happening, that certainly is going on here. Did you know that the world proclaims the glory of God and can’t help it. Did you know that great art proclaims the glory of God and can’t help it, when it is done by unbelievers. Did you know that great music proclaims the worship of the God, of the Universe, even if the music is written and performed by people who don’t give a fig about God. You know why? Because God is sovereign. He’s created that. And the good and the beautiful proclaim His glory. The world is filled with his goodness and his light and you can’t get away from it. There was a man, Rookmaaker, who was a teacher of Dr. Francis Schaeffer. Rookmaaker taught Dr. Schaeffer a lot about art and the history of art. And in some of his classes, he would put a painting, two paintings in front of his students. On one side, there would be Jesus, on the other side, a truck driver. And he would ask which one was the Christian. And they would say, well, the one of Jesus. And he would say, no, the truck driver cause it’s done with great gift, great beauty, great skill. And those things are all from the God of the Universe. You think about that. Amen.
God is sovereign. And the good and the beautiful proclaim his glory. Man, that’s good stuff. Our text today was Acts 16:16 through 18. And we’re just getting started, so make sure you join us again tomorrow, as we dig even deeper here. So, by now you’ve probably heard me ask this question. Is grace really as good as we think it is? And if so, you’ve heard the cute, but still true answer. No, it’s actually better. Well, recently on Steve Brown Etc, we hung out with our friend Andrew Farley and reflected on just how good the good news really is. Take a listen to part of that conversation, then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer.
When I found out that was where I was supposed to focus, I thought everybody’s going to love me. I’m going to tell them that God loves them, and that he forgives them, that he’ll never let them go, that before they sin he knows. And he forgave them before they did it. Listen, that is a wonderful message. And people will rise up and call me blessed. Did you know that people were going to go after you when you started saying these things?
Andrew Farley: I found out pretty quick, I would say that. Yeah, it’s amazing, you tell people they’re forgiven and they get mad at you, but fortunately they’re forgiven for getting mad at you. But, you know, it’s interesting because I don’t believe there is any other focus. Paul calls this the gospel of grace in Acts chapter 20. We’re told that our hearts are to be strengthened by God’s grace. And Paul says in Titus, that the grace of God teaches us to say no to sin. So, Steve, I just think this is it. There is no other focus. I can’t imagine what in the world would we be focusing on, if not the grace of God. Are we going to tell people three steps to a better marriage, or 10 steps to be a better person? I mean, you know, religions of the world are into self-improvement and behavior management. And, I don’t think for us believers, that we’re qualified to share any other message other than the grace of God.
Boy, that just warms my old soul. I believe that real Christians, when they hear this message, rejoice. I think the ones that are playing games, get angry. You treat them with gentleness, I pray for their deaths.
Andrew Farley: Well, I hear you. And I think today we’ve got people that are highly entertained in church, they are seeing smoke roll out and a Harley Davidson go up the center aisle, but they don’t know they’re forgiven. They’re highly entertained, but they’re still worried about the final judgment. They’re very entertained in a lot of churches, but they don’t know who they are in Christ and how safe they are in God’s love. So, I think we’ve made entertainment a priority, and unfortunately we’ve left the content of the gospel behind. And, you know, that’s why I admire all that you’ve done to keep focused and stay focused. And I believe that there is no better focus than the grace of God because Paul and Peter and James and John, you look at James. He says, if you’re not a doer of the word, here’s your problem. It’s like, you looked in the mirror at yourself and you forgot who you are. So, that’s identity. And then you go to Peter and Peter says, Hey, are you lacking godly qualities? Well, here’s your problem. You have forgotten your purification. So, what’s the solution? You’ve got to remember your purification. And then Paul says, should we go on sinning, Hey, don’t you know what happened to you? So, whether it’s Paul or Peter or James or anybody, in the New Testament, I think there’s a message that is being shouted from the rooftops and that is, you’ve got to start with your forgiveness and your righteousness and who you are in Christ and who he is in you. And that behavior and attitude stuff is going to flow from that. But we have yanked out the carpet, we have ripped out the foundation and if we’re not careful, we end up like any world religion, with that sin management system, thou shall not sin, is not the Christian message. And the Christian message is not please adopt these conservative values or please adopt these family principles. I mean, the Christian message is, Christ in us and us and him. And that’s what we need to be laser focused on.
And listen, if you thought that was refreshing, you should hear the whole conversation and you can. We put that episode of Steve Brown Etc on a CD. And if it’s okay with you, we would love to send it to you, for free. Just call us at 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail [email protected] to ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request, send it to
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