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
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.
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]