Summary: In this passage, man’s greatest question is met by God’s greatest answer.


Acts 16:19-34


A. "What must I do to be saved?" This is man’s greatest question.

B. "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved." This is God’s greatest answer.

1. In these verses a despairing man saw his need for "repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ."

2. Paul and Silas had been flogged with whips and thrown into jail for preaching the gospel of Christ. That night, an earthquake broke their bonds and destroyed the jail.

3. The jailer, in despair, because he thought his prisoners had escaped, "drew out his sword and would have killed himself."

4. Paul called out to him and stopped him, and assured him that the prisoners were still there.

5. Paul and Silas "spoke unto him the Word of the Lord." (Vs. 32)

6. The jailer soon learned that the Lord Jesus is "the author of eternal salvation." He "turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God." He was saved!

7. The jailer’s life was changed immediately – "the same hour". He "washed their stripes" - the wounds Paul and Silas had received in their flogging. He "was baptized...sat meat before them...and rejoiced." HE WAS CHANGED!!

8. Just as this Philippian jailer, you too, need to be saved. Look at the change in this man overnight. From despair and on the brink of suicide, he found joy and fulfillment and eternal salvation in Jesus Christ. From being one of the persecutors, he turned to being one of the comforters.

This Philippian jailer cried out "What must I do to be saved?" Let’s allow the Bible to simply and clearly answer.


A. Before anyone can be saved he must see and admit his need to be saved.

B. Have you ever been saved? Do you have eternal life? Have you ever been born again?

C. Will you honestly admit to yourself that you need to be saved. You will never be saved until you admit your need. Why do you need to be saved? Because of the fact of sin and that you are a sinner before a totally just and holy God.


A. What does the Bible say about every human being on earth including you?

1. "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God." (Rom. 3:23)

2. "All have sinned" includes you, me and everyone.

3. What is sin? God answers, "All unrighteousness is sin." That is, all wrong, or evil (which we all have done) is sin.

4. "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." (I Jn. 1:8)

5. Because you and I have sinned, without Christ, we stand guilty before God.

6. But God offers salvation and forgiveness if the sinner will admit his sin.

B. Will you admit that you are a sinner?


"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Rom 6:23)

"The wages of sin is death." Wages are the payment you get for work; death is the pay you get for sin. Death means separation from God, being cut off.

The penalty of death passed upon all men for that all have sinned (Rom. 5:12). This death manifests itself in 3 ways:

A. Present Death.

1. If you are not saved, God says you are spiritually dead.

2. This is the present death of a lost person.

(Eph. 2:1) "...dead in trespassed and sins"

(Eph. 2:5) "...dead in sins"

B. Physical Death

(Heb. 9:27) - "It is appointed unto men once to die."

1. Why do people physically die? Because all have sinned.

2. Everyone must face physical death and then the judgment.

3. Death is no respecter of persons. This can happen to you at any time.

4. Physical death is the curse and proof of sin.

C. Permanent Death

1. The unsaved person at God’s Judgment will experience what the Bible calls "the second death."

2. That is if you die lost in you sins you will be with those who "have their part in the lake of fire which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the SECOND DEATH." This death is permanent and everlasting.

3. But you do not have to experience spiritual death; you do not have to be separated from God forever. God wants you to be saved from eternal death. Jesus said, "He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation, But is PASSED FROM DEATH UNTO LIFE!"

4. Eternal life is a gift; it cannot be earned. It cannot be obtained by "works, lest any man should boast." "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God." (Eph. 2:8)

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