Summary: To establish that true salvation comes through a genuine faith and willing obedience to God. This lesson reviews a man’s inquiry and conversion, at midnight, after the “Jail House Rocks.” It also depicts the "pattern of conversion," revealed by the Holy Spirit, unto the Apostles.
1. The Question is Personal
2. The Question is Participative
3. The Question is Profitable
1. In our lesson today we will be discussing, a man who asked the most compelling inquiry of his lifetime. A question having eternal implications! A question all men will ask, if they are unaware of God’s terms of salvation. Not everyone have or will receive the same answer, as this man and his entire family. We are not talking about some man's theology! Or someone’s philosophy! We are talking about eternal things; divinely ordained, before the foundation of the world. Many are looking for an answer, in all the wrong places. It’s not found in the Old Testament; it foretells of the one who shall come, the Messiah. It cannot even be found in the Four Gospels, they reveal unto us the Lamb of God; who came, to take away the sins of the world. The answer we seek, must be found in the Book of Conversions; The Acts of the Apostles, as revealed by the Holy Spirit. I know this introduction requires further explanation. But as we proceed, let's consider....
2. First of all, this question is personal. The jailer asked only for himself: "What must I" - making this question personal. He did not ask it for his mother, daddy, wife or children. He desired to be saved himself. Perhaps fear generated this question. Fear for his life. But, somehow he knew these men could give him the answer he needed. We need to understand this for ourselves; for each of us must stand before the judgment seat of Christ: by ourselves, for ourselves! Most important however, we cannot help others find the way, if we don’t know it first ourselves. It is important to find out what we must do, first do it, and then instruct others how to obey God.
3. Secondly, this question is participative in nature. "What must I DO?" It implies participation on the part of the jailer. It is active in response and not passive. One must do something - to be saved. Unlike the Universalist which says, "Ye need not do anything – it has all been done for you." Or like the Calvinist which says, "You can't do anything if you are not one of His elect." But, Paul told the man to have faith in Jesus, and he could be saved he and his entire house. God desires all to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth. But each must do something to be saved and what is required is taught in this act of true conversion - by faith in Christ Jesus. We will see from this example, what God requires of us all, to be saved.
4. Lastly, this question is profitable. Salvation was the desired end of his question. Jesus asked: “For what is a man's profit, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” See Matthew 16:26. He was not trying to deceive, or attempting to distract them from escaping that night. He truly wanted to be saved. Like so many today! If one would ask this same question, would the answer be the same? I really think not. However, God's terms of pardon and salvation have not changed since this man's conversion experience! He is the "same yesterday, today and forever." In the same hour of the night - this man's life was saved both from suicide and sin, by these men of God. He and his entire household heard, believed and obeyed the Gospel! I would today, that everyone here today would do the same! Let’s consider our first point, the question is personal.
I THE QUESTION IS PERSONAL
A. Paul and Silas call into Macedonia. Paul and Silas made their way to the city of Philippi. This was a Roman city and colony. The gospel is now being preached in Europe, about A. D. 50.
1. The vision of Paul. The Macedonian Call, Acts 16:9-17.
a. Paul’s vison in Corinth, Acts 18:9-10.
b. They perceived that God had called them to preach in Macedonia.
3. Lydia and her house became the first converts, in the city of Philippi.
a. Paul joined a bible class down at the river. He preached and: "The Lord opened her heart...as she attended unto the things which were spoken of Paul. And when she was baptized, and her household," Acts 16:13-15.
b. How was her heart opened? Through the preaching and teaching of Paul! He wrote: "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God," Romans 10:17.
c. It was the tender words of Jesus’ love and grace, which touched her heart.