Summary: To look at the effective method of Paul and Silas in reaching out to the jailer

The Conversion of the Jailer

Acts 16:25-40

Primary Purpose: To emphasize the effective witness of Paul and Silas in

their words and deeds.

Last week, when we left Paul and Silas they had just been beaten with

rods and thrown into a inner cell. Their feet had been securely fastened with

stocks. Far from becoming bitter and expressing hate and evil at their

tormentors, they began to sing. We want to look at tonight the effective their

song and prayers and witness had on those around them.

1. The Results of their praise- I’m sure the jailer expected curses when he

was locking their feet to the stocks. This is what he was use to. But, Paul

and Silas were clearly different. Even though they had been badly beaten and

may in the future face worse, they begin to sing.

In the Christian reader, Ramon Williams writes that on April 28, 1996,

a gunman walked into a crowded cafe in Port Arthur, Australia, and started

shooting. Tony Kistan, a Salvation Army soldier from Sydney, and his wife

Sarah were in the restaurant when the bullets began to fly. Courageously

Tony stepped in front of his wife to shield her from the gunfire, and he was

one of the first to fall. Thirty-four victims eventually died in the incident,

including Tony Kistan. As he lay dying in his wife’s arms, he spoke his last

words, “I’m going to be with the Lord.”

Those final words of faith were quoted by the Australian media and

carried to the world. “At a press conference,” writes Williams, “Tony’s son

Nesan, 24, explained why his father held this assurance and described his

father’s dedication to the gospel. Hardened journalists and photographers

were seen wiping away tears from their eyes. In life, Tony had been a man

who witnessed for his Lord to strangers and friends alike, and now in death,

he had witnessed to others through his simple last statement.”

Being a witness for Christ in this evil world brings eternal purpose to

even the most tragic and painful events.

The jailer and other hear Paul and Silas’ testimony through the way they

respond to this trial. Through their witness he becomes aware of his need.

They were clearly able to rejoice in the Lord even in difficulty. Later, in

Phillippians 4:4 he tells others to rejoice in the Lord (also in 3:1)

2. The Redemption of the Jailer- The jailer asked about salvation. Paul

doesn’t give him rules and regulations, but the simple gospel message. He

tells him to believer or pisteuo- to believe, to place confidence in, to trust,

reliance upon. The idea of believing in the New Testament was more than

just mental agreement. It was a change of lifestyle. v.30-33

3. The Response of the Jailer- v.33-34 He proves his conversion by his

deeds. He had before put Paul and Silas int he inner cell, now he take them

to his home. Before, he left their wounds uncared for, now v.33 he washed

their wounds. Before, he left them hungry, for now at midnight he prepares

them a meal himself from his own kitchen. He is a changed and joyful man


4. The Release of Paul and Silas v.36-40. The magistrates could have been

removed from office for having Paul and Silas beaten without trial or

evidence. They had violated the law to please the rioting mob. They had

placed rods and then stocks on Roman citizens without realizing it. This is

why it says they became alarmed v.38 and asked them to leave the city. Paul

and Silas ask for a escort, for the sake of the believers still in Philippi. These

magistrates won’t be quick to judge again. Paul and Silas go to visit the

church and say good-bye. Dr.Luke stays behind in Philippi while Paul travels

on. We will meet Dr.Luke again in Acts 20:5