Saturday, 13 May 2023
Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. Acts 16:32
In the previous verse, the instructions concerning salvation were presented to the ears of the jailor, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” It was noted that this doesn’t mean that his household would be saved if he believed. Rather, it means that the opportunity is available to any in his household if they too believe. It is not something limited to the master of the house.
In confirmation of that thought, the next words are provided, saying, “Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.” If, as is wrongly assumed by some, his salvation also meant the household’s salvation, there would be no need for the apostles to also speak to those in his house.
However, that is what took place. The message of Jesus was communicated to all of them. Those who would believe were then saved. As an advanced happy note, verse 34 will confirm that all his household believed. As for the words, “they spoke the word of the Lord to him,” the guard already knew that these men proclaimed the way of salvation. The fact that he came to them asking how he could be saved meant that he understood they knew the answer.
As noted at that time, it is probable that he had already heard some of their words concerning the Lord, maybe while they were talking to each other or maybe while talking to the other prisoners. Something gave him the knowledge that they proclaimed salvation. He may have disregarded it thinking, “Ha, they are the ones in prison.” However, because of their willingness to stay in the cell, even when it was opened by the earthquake, he realized that they were men of integrity.
Their actions had led to his reconsideration of the matter. Their conduct and words had now brought them out of prison and to his home. And their witness of the Lord Jesus had brought the message of salvation to him and his household.
Life application: One of the truly damaging rites of churches is that of infant baptism. It gives a false sense of security to the family concerning salvation. If you doubt this, talk to a dyed-in-the-wool Roman Catholic about their prospects of heaven. Inevitably, they will bring in the fact that they were baptized into the church, as if that somehow makes them pleasing to God.
The thinking permeates those of the church, and it is a point of hope and even seemingly hopeful surety that they possess eternal life. Unfortunately, it is a misdirected hope. Infant baptism is as effective in securing salvation as is giving a baby a bath in Epsom salts. It is a showy but meritless ritual that has no basis in biblical Christianity.
Infant baptism puts the cart before the horse and provides a false sense of security that is damaging to a true and heartfelt relationship with Jesus Christ. In the coming verses, the matter of salvation and what is to come after it will be seen.
Lord God, thank You for Your precious word that gives us the necessary information for us to know that we need to be saved, how that can come about, and what to do once we are saved. It is our vital instruction manual for our spiritual lives. And, above all, thank You for Jesus Christ who is the focal point of it all. Yes, thank You for Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.