Friday, January 4, 2019
What Must I Do To Be Saved?
In Acts 16:16-34 we can read about what led to and the conversion of the Philippian Jailer. Paul and Silas were cast into prison for preaching the truth and for casting out a "spirit of divination" from a fortune telling slave girl. It is interesting to note in verse 18 after Paul had commanded the spirit to come out of her, that her masters only saw that their way of making money had disappeared instead of seeing the work of God. In a rage, they brought Paul and Silas before the magistrates and falsely accused them. As a result they were stripped of their clothes, beaten, and cast into prison where this jailer was charged to keep them safely.
The EarthquakeWhile in prison, Paul and Silas stayed true to God and were singing and praying to Him. When the earthquake hit, the record says that the doors were opened, and their bands were loosed. The jailer being awakened by the earthquake thought that all the prisoners had escaped and was getting ready to kill himself when Paul exclaimed "Do thyself no harm: for we are all here"(Acts 16:28). Quite opposite of the slave-girl's masters reaction, the jailer realized this was an act of God and fell down before Paul and Silas and said Sirs, "what must I do to be saved?"This is incredible when you think about it. Here is a pagan soldier, who just moments before was unaware of his need to be saved, and now was eager to know the truth and how he could be saved. How good it would be if everyone had the heart of this jailer, who was ready and willing to do whatever it took to be saved.
The Jailer and YouDo you realize that you and I are in the very same situation? We live perched on the edge of forever everyday (James 4:14; Hebrews 9:27). Do you continue to conduct your life as though you will never have to stand before God and answer for your deeds? You will (2 Corinthians 5:10). Do you think God will overlook your rebellion to obey Him? He won't (Revelation 1:8). Our life is short and therefore we should strive to do whatever we can to ensure that we are saved. We should ask "What must I do to be saved?"
Paul's AnswerPaul spoke the word of the Lord to the jailer (Acts 16:31-32). It is only God's word that can take away guilt and remove the barrier of sin that separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2; Romans 1:16). The word of the Lord told the jailer that he had to believe (Hebrews 11:6), but that is not all because belief alone will not save us (James 2:19-24). Paul's answer to the jailer led the jailer to DO what was necessary unto salvation. In verses 33-34, we can see that the jailer's faith in God was not a dead faith, but an active, living, obeying, saving faith. As a result he was baptized for the forgiveness of sins. The burden of guilt was removed and he received God's gift of salvation (Ephesians 2:8). This very same gift is available to you today!
The Jailer Did Not WaitUnlike many people today, the jailer did not wait to be saved. Once he knew what he needed to do, "the same hour" he was baptized. Are you waiting? If your life is not right with God, why are you waiting? It is a terrible thing to put off a chance for eternal salvation. Won't you make your life right with God, who loves you so much that He sent His only Son Jesus to die for you (John 3:16)? Have you heard the WORD OF THE LORD? If so, what are you WAITING for?