Acts

Acts 16:16-34 Deliverance And Hope.

When some people are converted it often entails a loss of work and income, and some who faithfully preach the word can even be imprisoned or suffer death (vv. 16-19). The objection which some residents had with Paul and Silas was simply that they were preaching a different religion, and this was enough for the magistrates to have them beaten with rods and thrown deep into a prison in stocks (vv. 20-24). However, at midnight, while they were singing and praying, and the other prisoners were listening, there was an earthquake and the doors to the prison were opened and the prisoner’s chains fell off (vv. 25-26). Seeing and hearing this, the keeper of the prison was about to kill himself, rather than being executed, but Paul called to him to spare himself since the prisoners were still there (vv. 27-28).

Since they had in effect saved the keeper’s life, he wanted to know what he needed to do to be saved and know eternal life (vv. 29-30). “So they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household”’ (v. 31). Again, as with Lydia, this man was addressed as the covenant head of his family, that this promise was not to him alone but to his family as well. “Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house” (v. 32). This message to all was nothing more nor less than the word. Immediately this man showed true evidence of his conversion in how he took care of those who were his prisoners (v. 33a). “And immediately he and all his family were baptized” (v. 33b). The entire household received the new covenant sign of baptism, and rejoiced over a meal together (v. 34).

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