Silas/Silvanus was a leading member of the Early Church, who later accompanied Paul on parts of his 1st & 2nd Missionary Journeys. He was a gifted leader and a fearless adventurer.
His is consistently called “Silas” in Acts, but the Latin “Silvanus” is always used by Paul and in 1Peter; “Silvanus” may have been the Romanized version of “Silas”… or “Silas” may be a Greek nickname for “Silvanus”.
I. A Faithful Representative… Acts 15:22,32
Godly reps were commissioned to carry letters announcing the Jerusalem Council’s decision to the various churches. Their words gave the courage to others to keep pushing. When others were slipping and struggling, Silas and others offered practical help.
It’s simple. You can encourage and build other up, or you can discourage and tear others down. You choose. Why not choose to be an encourager?
* We can always use more encouraging people!
II. A Fellow Missionary… Acts 15:36-41
Silas was selected by Paul to go with him on his 2nd Missionary Journey after Paul & Barnabas split over an argument involving John Mark’s participation.
III. A Fastened Singer… Acts 16:16-37
It was during the 2nd Missionary Journey that Silas & Paul were imprisoned briefly in Philippi, where an earthquake broke their chains and opened the prison door. Silas is sometimes symbolized today by carrying broken chains.
– A Slave Girl (v.16-21)
The Demon & the Deliverance
– A Prison Guard (v.24-34)
His Command (v.24), His Confusion (v.25,26), His Consternation (v.27-31), His Conversion (v.32,33), His Celebration (v.34)
– A Scared Magistrate (v.35-40)
IV. A Faithful Brother… Acts 17,18
– Paul & Silas in Thessalonica (17:1-9)
– Paul & Silas in Berea (17:10-15)
– Paul & Silas (& Timothy) in Corinth (18:5-11)
Silas is traditionally assumed to be the Silvanus mentioned in 4 letters. 2Corinthians mentions Silas as having preached with Paul & Timothy to the church in Corinth; 2Cor. 1:9.
Paul, Silas & Timothy are listed as co-authors of the 2 letters to the Thessalonians; 1Thess. 1:1; 2Thess. 1:1.
Peter’s first letter regards Silas as a faithful brother; 1Pet. 5:12.
Of all the words that could be used to describe a Christian, one of the best would have to be “faithful”. Faithfulness means you’re dependable… reliable… consistent… trustworthy… steady… solid.
* Don’t worry so much about the “big splash”; focus on faithfulness.
You can read about Silas in Acts 15-18; 2Corinthians 1:19; 1Thessalonians 1:1; 2Thessalonians 1:1; 1Peter 5:12.