“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” Acts 16:31
Read: Acts 16:25-34
Listen: Acts 16
He was seconds away from ending his life. The Philippian jailer, knowing he would be responsible if his prisoners escaped, had his sword in hand. Seeing what he is going to do, Paul shouts and tells him to stop. No one has escaped.
With order somewhat restored, the jailer falls before Paul and Silas and asks, “What must I do to be saved?” They then give him a short and direct answer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved.”
The jailer was possibly familiar with the Jesus-story. Word of the slave woman had spread quickly through town. He probably could not avoid hearing the prayers and songs of his two new prisoners.
As the chaos in his jail subsided, he needed to do something. Paul and Silas told him differently.
They said it wasn’t about what he needed to do; it was about what had already been done. It was about what Jesus had done on the cross as his substitute Sufferer. They told him he could bring nothing because Jesus has done everything.
We often think we need to do something to merit salvation. It might be stopping something like lying, swearing or cheating. Or perhaps starting something like going to church, giving money or being nice.
But that’s not the way to salvation. We can bring nothing because Jesus has done everything.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Stop doing and start believing. If you’ve been basing your salvation on your efforts, understand there is nothing you can do to make yourself acceptable to God. With his death on the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for your sin and makes his righteousness available to you. It’s the difference between “do” and “done.” If you’d like to speak with someone about what Jesus has done for you, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.