by Gus Nichols (1892-1975)
Jailer’s Question Answered
When the jailer asked “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30), he knew little or nothing about Christ and had no faith in Him. However, the earthquake of the occasion and the miracle in evidence confirmed the fact that Paul and Silas were servants of God. In answer to his question they began at the very first and said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” This was a sort of blanket proposition meaning that he would have to obey Christ and trust in Him for salvation.
They then preached Christ unto him so he could believe, for faith comes by hearing the word. (Acts 16:32; Romans 10:17.) He evidently believed and repented for he took them and tried to undo the harm done, and washed their stripes. He also was baptized the same hour of the night – at midnight. (Acts 16:25, 33.) He was then saved by Christ who had said in the commission, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” He rejoiced after his baptism. He did not “hit the saw dust trail” to have his sins prayed away at an altar. He also was saved by obedient faith and not by faith only. (Heb. 5:9.)
Answered On Pentecost
When many asked our great question on Pentecost saying, “What shall we do?” (Acts 2:37), unlike the jailer, they had just heard about Christ and been called upon to believe in Him as “Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:37.) They had been pricked in their hearts by the truth which they had heard pointing out their guilt in the murder of Christ. (Acts 2:37.) Since they were already believers, but had not put their faith into obedience, they were simply told what to do by faith in order to be saved. The apostle said, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38.) They were to do this “for the remission of sins” for which Christ had shed his blood. (Matt. 26:28.) When the service was over, there were no seekers turned away with the explanation that they should keep on seeking in prayer until they should find. But the record says, “They then that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.” (Acts 2:41.) The last verse says, “And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” (Acts 2:47.) In no case were any said to be saved who had not heard the gospel and obeyed it. Furthermore, the Lord added all of them to the same church, the church of Christ which he had said he would build. (Matt. 16:18; Acts 2:47; Eph. 1:22, 23; 5:23; 2:16; 4:4.) They were simply Christians and wore no human religious name. (Acts 11:26; 1 Pet. 4:16; James 2:7.) They subscribed to no human creed and were members of no denominational church. They were united in the one body as Christ had prayed that they should be. (John 17:20, 21; Eph. 4:3.)
Published in The Old Paths Archive (http://www.oldpaths.com)