A Crisis Opens A House to the Gospel
Topic: Sent Passage: Acts 16:25–16:34
A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon
Preaching Text: Acts 16:25-34
Acts 16 records the first church ever existing on European soil. It’s also the first time the author, Luke, writes himself into the account (notice the pronoun at verse 10). As a firsthand witness, Luke decides to record only three accounts of life transformation in the city of Philippi. There were certainly many more as Philippians 4 shows. Luke describes a rich businesswoman, a demon oppressed slave, and a gentile jailer. In each case, we learn that:
Belief in Jesus sets you free.
Although Paul and Silas were the ones locked up, their behavior indicated that they had a kind of freedom the Jailer had never known. At midnight, they were singing hymns and praying and everyone in the jail was paying attention. This explains why the jailer asks in verse 30 how he can be saved. Consider his testimony, before, during and after.
- Before faith: He was a cruel man. He offered no medical aid for their bleeding backs and there was no need to put the missionaries in the inner cell with their legs locked in the stocks.
- Experiencing the gospel: It was the first time a prisoner had ever responded with such grace. We would expect harsh treatment to be met with anger and cursing, not singing and prayers. Furthermore, when the Holy Spirit opened everyone’s cell, Paul cries out to the jailer not to kill himself. Paul kept the jail secure. This was love for his enemy.
- After faith: The jailer takes them home, washes their wounds and feeds them a midnight meal. Then, he and his household get baptized. Verse 34 shows the jailer rejoicing because of belief in Jesus.
Taking it Home: Discuss with your family how you came to first hear the gospel of Jesus.