Acts 16:31 - The Way of Salvation.

Acts 16:31: The Way of Salvation.

Acts 16:31 (KJV)  And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. 

Acts 16:31 (CEV)  They replied, "Have faith in the Lord Jesus 
and you will be saved!  This is also true for everyone who lives in 
your home." 

Acts 16:31 (EAV)  And they answered, Believe in the Lord Jesus 
Christ [give yourself up to Him, take yourself out of your own keeping 
and entrust yourself into His keeping] and you will be saved, [and 
this applies both to] you and your household as well. 

Acts 16:31 (CWB)  They said, "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ 
and you will be saved and so will those in your household who 

Believe in the Lord Jesus: A concise statement of the way of 
salvation. [NIV SB] 

Here is the sum of the whole gospel, the covenant of grace in a 
few words; Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be 
saved, and thy house. (Matthew Henry's Commentary) 

Only once in the N.T. is the question asked categorically, "What 
must I do to be saved?" (v. 30). The response, "believe," involved 
turning to Christ. A necessary action for true belief in Christ is 
repentance, for Jesus said, "no; but, unless you repent, you will all 
likewise perish" (Luke 13:3). Repentance and belief are, therefore, two 
sides of the same coin. [Believer's SB] 

Note three critical points in the context.
1. The necessity of believing. vs. 31
2. The necessity for understanding the Word of the Lord. vs.32
3. The necessity of repentance and baptism. vs. 33 [Preacher's  
Outline & Sermon Bible] 

And your household. These words must be connected with "believe" 
as well as "be saved." Each member of the household must believe in 
order to be saved. [Ryrie SB] 

The words and your household mean those members of his house who 
were of sufficient age to believe would be saved (cf. v. 34) as they 
trusted Christ. Each member had to believe to be saved. [Bible Knowledge 

The fact that they "spoke the word of the Lord to him and all 
the others in his house" implies that the jailer's household 
consisted of members old enough to hear and respond to the gospel. 
[College Press NIV Commentary] 

In New Testament times the "house" or "household" of a person 
extended beyond spouse and children. Slaves, clients, and close friends 
were all part of one's household. We need to understand Paul's 
promise of salvation to "you and your household" not as blanket 
assurance that one's children will someday be saved, but as assurance that 
they, like us, can find salvation through faith in the LORD. [The 
365-Day Devotional Commentary] 

Paul and Silas took the family unit seriously. So the offer of 
salvation was made to the jailer's entire household--family and servants. 
Yet it was not the jailer's faith that saved them; they all needed 
to come to Jesus in faith and believe in him in the same way the 
jailer had. Yet his entire family did believe and all were saved. Pray 
that God will use you to introduce Jesus to your family and that they 
will come to believe in him. [Life Application SB] 

If the jailer needed to believe to be saved, so did each member 
of his family and each slave in the household. The master's example 
made it easier for them, but they, too, needed to believe to be saved 
and then be baptized. [Disciple SB] 

It is in this passage that so-called "household salvation" is 
refuted. Children cannot be saved simply because their parents are saved, 
nor are infants or unbelieving children to be baptized. The promise 
of salvation was to all of the jailer's household (v. 31); the 
preaching was heard by the household (v. 32); all the household was 
baptized (v. 33); but it was because all the household believed (v. 34)! 
By no stretch of the imagination can we conceive of infants 
understanding the Word and believing! [Wiersbe Expository Outlines] 

The promise that Paul made to the jailer is a promise that is 
made to every member of the jailer's household: each and every 
individual who believes will be saved. The Gospel makes one great promise 
to all humankind, and each individual must choose whether or not to 
respond to that invitation. Those who do respond, and do believe, will 
surely be saved.... The whole household of humanity is included in the 
promise God makes us in Jesus. And yet each of us must, as an 
individual, make a personal choice of faith. [Victor Bible Background 

Missing Heaven by 18 Inches
Does this title startle you?
How can anyone get so close and yet in the end hear the Lord 
say, "I never knew you: depart from me''? 
However, this will be the terrible result of many in our 
churches today who are professing Christians, often with responsible 
positions, but who have had only a head acceptance of the Lord Jesus 
Christ. Tragically enough, even teachers, preachers and religious 
workers are not exempt from the possibility of this chilling 
The distance between the head and the heart is 18 inches. 
Unfortunately, a head--intellectual--knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, fully 
knowing and giving mental assent to the plan of salvation, without also 
a heart acceptance that brings the personal relationship that the 
Bible demands, avails nothing to any man. 
Listen to Paul's heart cry concerning Israel as he spoke under 
the guidance of the Holy Spirit, " For I bear them record that they 
have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge." He was speaking 
about misdirected efforts, energies expended in the strength of the 
flesh but not under the direction of the Holy Spirit. The lack of 
power today in many of our churches as well as the lack of power today 
in the lives of many professing Christians can be laid directly to 
It is only as we see ourselves in the mirror of God's Word as 
without excuse and without hope, utterly lost and undone, that the truth 
of the Scriptures convicts us, for the Bible clearly reveals that 
this is how God sees man. 
Then, when the glorious truth of the gospel brings us to 
recognition of our own sinfulness, and in true repentance we cry out to God 
asking forgiveness and help, asking Him to come into our hearts, not 
our heads, we experience the new birth. 
Jesus Christ said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life; no 
man cometh unto the Father, but by me." 
The Bible also tells us that "He that hath the Son hath 
[eternal] life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.'' 
Furthermore, the Bible promises "That if thou shalt confess with 
thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God 
hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the 
heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession 
is made unto salvation." 
Christ wants your heart, not just your head because "The Lord 
seeth not as man seeth, for man looketh on the outward appearance, but 
the Lord looketh on the heart." 
It is vitally important that you make sure it is not just head 
knowledge and mental assent you have given to Jesus Christ. He needs the 
complete surrender of your heart and life so that you may be truly born 
Eighteen inches can mean an eternity with Christ or an eternity 
without Christ. Are you sure of your personal relationship to Him? Why 
not settle the question in your heart once and for all right now? 
Paul W. Empet, American Tract Society, P. O. Box 462008, Garland. 
Texas 75046 

Just as there came a time in your life when you accepted Jesus 
Christ as Savior, there comes a time when you must recognize Jesus 
Christ as Lord!  The realization that Jesus is Lord over all should 
cause each of us to switch - from being man-pleasers, to being 
God-pleasers!  This requires that we no longer learn what others would have us 
do or be, but rather what God commands. It should become top 
priority for those who acknowledge the Lordship of Jesus Christ, to study 
God's Word in order to please Him through obedience.  Who are you 
trying to please?  Jesus Christ is Lord, not just Savior.  You can't 
have one without the other, they are inseparable. Consider Paul's 
statement above. If you are trying to please men, you need to consider 
Christ's claim as Lord of your life.  [In His Time; Walk With Wisdom re 

The faith of the believing parents covers the children, as when 
God sent His judgments upon the first-born of the Egyptians. The 
word of God came to the Israelites in bondage to gather their 
children into their houses and to mark the doorposts of their houses with 
blood from a lamb, slain. This prefigured the slaying of the Son of 
God and the efficacy of His blood, which was shed for the salvation 
of the sinner. It was a sign that the household accepted Christ as 
the promised Redeemer. It was shielded from the destroyer's power. 
The parents evidenced their faith in implicitly obeying the 
directions given them, and the faith of the parents covered themselves and 
their children. They showed their faith in Jesus, the great Sacrifice, 
whose blood was prefigured in the slain lamb. The destroying angel 
passed over every house that had this mark upon it. This is a symbol to 
show that the faith of the parents extends to their children and 
covers them from the destroying angel. 3SM313-315 

Those of thy house that are infants shall be admitted into the 
visible church with thee, and thereby put into a fair way for salvation; 
those that are grown up shall have the means of salvation brought to 
them, (Matthew Henry's Commentary) 

Unless a man's Christianity makes him kind it is not real.  
Unless a man's professed change of heart is guaranteed by his change of 
deeds it is a spurious thing. [Barclay Commentary]