SERIES: The Book of Acts
TEXT: Acts 16:16-24
MESSAGE: The Gospel for the Walking Wounded
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” — Psalm 147:3
“Nobody escapes being wounded. We all are wounded people, whether physically, emotionally, mentally, or spiritually…Jesus is God’s wounded healer: through his wounds we are healed.” — Henri Nouwen (The Wounded Healer)
Ephesians 6:12 says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
“If the Bible is true…and it is, then you will not be able to understand, let alone defeat, on your own the darkness in your own heart, in your family, in the city, in the world. It’s beyond you. We’re in over our heads unless God is helping us. It’s not going to just take psychology and sociology.” 
– Timothy Keller
TEXT: Acts 16:16-24
Q: How is the gospel for deeply wounded people?
In today’s text we see three ways in which the gospel meets this little girl, and how it has the power to overcome her deepest wounds. We see that the gospel is…(1. Unafraid of her brokenness 2. Undeniable to the darkness 3. Unmatched in transforming power)
The gospel is…
  1. Unafraid of her brokenness (v. 16-17a)
“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 fortune-telling. She followed Paul and us…And this she kept doing for many days.
— Wess Stafford (Compassion International)
“Accepting the reality of our sinfulness means accepting our authentic self. Judas could not face his shadow; Peter could. The latter befriended the impostor within; the former raged against him.” ― Brennan Manning
  1. Undeniable to the darkness (v. 17)
“She followed Paul and us, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”
“You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.” 
— James 2:19 (NLT)
  1. Unmatched in transforming power (v. 18)
“Paul, having become greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And it came out that very hour. But when her owners saw that their hope of gain was gone, they seized Paul and Silas and dragged them into the marketplace before the rulers.”
“And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” — Colossians 2:15
“If you’re exploited by other people like the slave girl, if you have other people continually exploiting you economically, personally, physically, and you say, “I don’t seem to know how to stop this,” it’s because something on the inside is exploiting you. You need Jesus Christ, the only Master who, if you get him, will fulfill you, and…he will forgive you. Come to him.” — Timothy Keller
“If the gospel doesn’t challenge power, there is something wrong with that gospel.” — Robert Guerrero 
“Jesus was a revolutionary…since he did not offer an ideology, but Himself. — Henri Nouwen
  •  The gospel says Christ’s wounds are greater than my wounds 
…he showed them his hands and his feet.” — Luke 24:40
“In my deepest wound I saw your glory, and it dazzled me.”― St. Augustine
  • The gospel says that God covers my brokenness
  • The gospel says my identity far outweighs my usefulness 
“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” – 1 John 3:8

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