Jailhouse Salvation- 7/16/21

In the book of Acts, we read how the Apostle Paul and his companion Silas were stripped, beaten, and thrown in prison for preaching the Good News of Jesus Christ. What ensues is amazing:“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly, there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. The jailer woke up, and when he saw the prison doors open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself because he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted, “Don’t harm yourself. We are all here!” The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and 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.” Acts 16: 25-31You’re probably familiar with this passage, and for good reason. It’s an awesome reminder that we serve a chain-breaking, miracle-working God. We serve a God who makes roads in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. He’s a way-maker! But there’s even more to this story. Stick with me here… Recently, I’ve been reading about the meaning and significance of water baptism. One of the main points I’ve heard preached is that once someone gets saved (born-again), they’re then supposed to be baptized. The two go hand in hand. Salvation occurs by putting our faith in Jesus Christ, and baptism is the way we publicly show the covenant we’ve made with God. Specifically, it’s a public demonstration of the death and burial of your old self, along with your re-birth as a new creation, purified from sin.Now I had never thought about this passage in the context of baptism, but check this out. Let’s pick it up from verse 29 and continue…“The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved- you and your householdThen they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in his house. At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.” The jailer and his household get saved in the middle of the night. Paul doesn’t tell them, “Hey, let’s set a date sometime soon to meet at the river so you can be baptized.” No, the jailer and his household are immediately baptized in the middle of the night! This urgency should be instructive to us regarding the importance of baptism. If you’re saved and dragging your feet about getting baptized, there’s no time like the present!

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