In Acts 16, the jailer who had been guarding Paul and Silas asked: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house” (verses 30-32).
It’s a powerful and beautiful scene. The prisoners share the message of ultimate freedom, and the free jailer becomes a servant of the living God, thereby discovering and entering into this ultimate freedom he had not been open to before.
What I’d like to point out is how, after explaining what he needed to do to experience God’s redemption—which was to “Believe in the Lord Jesus”—they go on to speak the word of the Lord to him.
That’s significant because our belief in Jesus isn’t a magical formula or incantation which automatically gets us into God’s good books. Paul and Silas provided instruction. Commitment to Jesus includes commitment to the Way of Jesus.
Belief isn’t just affirming that something is theoretically true; it is genuine trust and ongoing loyalty. So it makes sense that this jailer (and his family) would need instruction about what it means to believe on an ongoing basis.
Instruction in God’s word continues to be important for us today. We believe, and we need continual instruction in that belief by people who know something about it. How is that going? Open your mind to the glorious horizons of belief, to the stabilizing assurance of walking beside the Lord himself, and a life that is both abundant and meaningful.
Commitment to Jesus includes commitment to the Way of Jesus.
–My latest podcast is a Bible study based on this same text from Acts 16. Why not get your Bible (or listen while you drive or go for a walk)? Click here to listen, or look for ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ wherever you subscribe to podcasts: iTunes (Apple), Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher or TuneIn. It’s called “Paul, Silas, and the power of singing in prison.”
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.