Summary: Have you ever been asked if you are saved? A Roman jailer asked “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30)
Everyone knows this is an important question-- How to be saved is the most important quest of any human life. This quest begins when a man or woman first realizes their true state before a holy God.
The Apostle Paul and Silas had been carrying the Gospel to Europe. In Macedonia they went to Philippi, a great city and a Roman colony, and they went and met by the riverside with some women who were meeting there to pray. On their way, they met a girl who was demon-possessed. Paul said to the demon in the girl, “Come out of her.” And the demon came out. The evil men who controlled the girl became angry, because she had been telling future events and they were making money on her fortune-telling. The men took Paul and Silas to the magistrates, who had them beaten and thrown into jail and put in bonds. In that prison they experienced the great grace of God. They received everything they needed transform a prison of pain into a prison of praise.
Instead of moaning and groaning in jail, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners heard them. All of a sudden, an earthquake shook the whole prison. The doors opened, and the prisoners’ bonds and chains were broken. Under Roman law, if the keeper of the prison ever lost a prisoner, he had to die. So the jailer saw the open doors, he thought he would be killed. He pulled out his sword and was ready to kill himself, when Paul said, “Don’t do yourself any harm. We’re still here.” The jailer fell trembling before them and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household” (Acts 16:31). The question the jailer asked was important, but the answer he received was just as important.
We all need to be saved. We are like a man the Bible tells us about, a man who cried out, “What must I do to be saved?”The Bible teaches that we all have broken God’s Law. We all have sinned against God. We all are lawless. We all need salvation. Man without God makes his own plans, follows his own counsels and lives by his own rules. Nevertheless, because man was created for fellowship with God, there remains a dissatisfaction and longing within man that can only be fulfilled by God Himself. As man is now hopelessly corrupt and God is perfectly holy, there exists the need for God and man to be reconciled so that the fellowship may be restored. We read in the Bible, “As many as received Jesus Christ, to them He gave the right to become the children of God, even to those who believe in His Name.” Being saved is nothing more than placing your faith in Jesus Christ for your salvation. It is choosing to trust Him and nothing else to save you and to take you to Heaven – (Eph. 2:8-9.) If you will place your faith in Jesus Christ, you need never fear dying lost.
The Gospel is the good news about Jesus Christ. “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people's sins against them...(2 Corinthians 5:19) God, fully knowing that man would fall, provided a means of reconciliation for man; He knew that there was nothing that a man could do to make mankind acceptable to God. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23) which condemns us to death “to be cast in the lake of fire forever” (Romans 6:23). But God sent Jesus Christ, who provided restoration for man with God by giving His own life, shedding His own blood. There was no other way to eradicate the effect of sin except by blood of Jesus. Bible says ““...Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins” (Hebrew 9:22). This shedding of blood on the cross indicated that the penalty for sin had been paid; an innocent life had been sacrificed for the lives of all who have sinned.
Yet, here’s the amazing truth: “We can never redeem ourselves; we cannot pay God the price for our lives, because the payment for a human life is too great” (Psalm 49:7-8a). Sin against an infinite God must be paid infinitely. That is why payment for our sin must be infinite. There are only two options for infinite payment. Either a finite creature (man) must pay for his sin for an infinite amount of time, or an infinite being (Jesus) must pay for it once for all men for all time. There are no other options. Yes, Jesus paid for our sins in the sense that he took our sins upon himself and died with them. He took our place and made a legal payment according to the Law.