Cecil Hutson Sermon Archive
August 29, 1999 AM
THE PHILIPPIAN JAILER
INTRO: Philippi was the first port of call for the gospel in Europe. Philippi was a very Roman city. There were so few Jews there that there was no synagogue. It would not seem to be a particularly fertile ground for the seed of the kingdom. But the gospel was preached; souls were saved; the church was firmly planted there. One of the earliest converts to Christ was the Roman jailer of the city.
I. SO, WHO IS THIS MAN?
A. Probably, a pagan, ex Roman soldier
1. hed have believed that Caesar is lord
2. hed have been well schooled in Roman discipline, accountability to superiors
B. He was a frightened man!
1. first, because he thought prisoners escaped (16:17)
2. then, because he feared he had offended the God of Paul and Silas ... no doubt favorites of Deity (16:29)
C. Nights events got his attention!
II. THE QUESTION HE ASKED?
A. Acts 16:30 Certainly, the greatest question
1. I wonder if he understood the scope of it
2. perhaps he knew of the damsels declaration at v.17
3. but he apparently had no knowledge of Jesus
B. Still, his question is the needed one
1. people are lost in sin - 2 Cor 4:3
2. people are dead without Christ - Col 2:13
3. I rejoice in whatever brings people to this question
II. THE IMMEDIATE ANSWER
A. Acts 16:31 Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ ...
1. pagan deities and religions could not save him
2. Caesar is Lord could not save him
3. note that Paul refers to Lord here
B. Acts 4:10-12 Jesus is the only answer
1. yes, wisdom of the world rejects that answer now as it did then
(1 Cor 1:23)
2. the jailers salvation rested in the person and redeeming work of Jesus
3. and so does yours!
IV. ACTS 16:32 A CRITICAL POINT IN TH E NARRATIVE
A. It is obvious the jailer needed information!
1. this verse says to me his question about salvation was of very limited scope
2. it is similar to Acts 8:34,36
B. Rom 10:17 Only with teaching could belief come
1. a casual acquaintance with the name of Jesus is not enough!
2. Col 2:12 the through the faith in the operation of God signals a knowledge and belief deeper than an assent that Jesus was a real person
C. A question, however ...
1. it seems there are different answers to the question about or need for salvation ... why?
2. the answer depends on where the questioner is! to talk about baptism to a person who has no real knowledge of Christ makes little sense!
V. THE JAILER WAS BAPTIZED
A. Acts 16:33 ... and was baptized ...
1. so, Acts 8:36-38
2. baptism is the act which completes the great transaction without it, the transaction is not done!
B. The necessary inference?
1. no infants present ... vv. 31,32 make this clear
2. only believers are to be baptized
CLOSE: I so love v.34. A joy unmatched by previous events is expressed in this happy house!
Cecil A. Hutson
29 August 1999
God's Plan of Salvation
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)