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Acts 16:28-34Beaten but Still a Blessing

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Acts 16:25–34 HCSB
25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the jail were shaken, and immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s chains came loose. 27 When the jailer woke up and saw the doors of the prison open, he drew his sword and was going to kill himself, since he thought the prisoners had escaped. 28 But Paul called out in a loud voice, “Don’t harm yourself, because all of us are here!” 29 Then the jailer called for lights, rushed in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 Then he escorted them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the message of the Lord to him along with everyone in his house. 33 He took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds. Right away he and all his family were baptized. 34 He brought them into his house, set a meal before them, and rejoiced because he had believed God with his entire household.
acts 16:25-34

Sub: Beaten but Still a Blessing


The masters of the girl had Paul and Silas beaten and arrested. The Roman magistrates who arrested Paul and Silas turned them over to the jailer of the prison in Philippi and told him to keep them secure. Paul and Silas were also placed in stocks to further secure them. These men were mistreated. But they did not allow how they were mistreated to stop them from blessing others. Despite the efforts of the jailer to keep Paul and Silas secure, at midnight, God sent an earthquake that shook the foundation of the prison. The doors of the prison were opened, the stocks of the prisoners fell off, and Paul and Silas were set free. This earthquake was on a divine mission. God sent the earthquake to set Paul and Silas free because he had more work for them to do. Because a jailer was accountable to the Roman government for the escape of a prisoner, the jailer decided to take his own life rather than to be killed by the Roman executioners, after discovering the prison doors unlocked as a result of the earthquake. The jailer asked the most critical question of Paul and Silas that could ever be raised. The jailer asked Paul and Silas, "What shall I do to be saved?" This was a question concerning his eternal salvation.

On the other side of midnight

The hours between midnight and 7:00 a.m. are eventful for Paul and Silas: a major earthquake (and presumably a number of aftershocks), preventing a suicide, leading the jailer to Christ, having their wounds treated, sharing the gospel with the jailer’s family, baptizing them, and enjoying a meal with this family of new believers. The weary and wounded missionaries now have another big day in front of them.

These final verses reveal the change that took place in the heart of this man. He had heard the gospel and responded to it by faith. Consider his conversion. We see:

I. His Salvation (34)—And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. Paul had promised that if he would believe he would receive. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. This man, who likely had no idea that he would even be confronted with the opportunity of salvation, had heard and he had accepted Christ, resulting in his salvation.

The jailer demonstrated three attitudes needed for salvation—recognition of his need, awareness of a Savior, and response to the gospel.

II. His Sincerity (33-34a)—And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. 34 And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house. This is the same jailor who hours before had probably been the one who had thrust them into the inner prison. That word thrust has the idea of "throwing something away without any concern where it falls." Now he has taken on a whole new attitude. He has washed and cared for their wounds and even invited them into his home providing a meal for them. His faith had been shown by his sincerity.

One of the evidences of true repentance is a loving desire to make restitution and reparation wherever we have hurt others. We should not only wash one another’s feet (), but we should also cleanse the wounds we have given to others.

III. His Satisfaction (34)—We find that the jailor rejoiced after his conversion. He is not worried about being accountable to the Romans for his actions. It doesn't appear that he is concerned whether he will keep his job or not. He is just rejoicing in the salvation of the Lord.

● I have never met anyone who regretted their salvation. I have never heard anyone say that they wished they had never been saved. Salvation brings a peace and fullness of joy that is not experienced any other way.

● If you are seeking peace and joy in your life, it can be found in Jesus. This world offers nothing but despair and misery. There may be happiness in sin for a season, but in the end sin always brings about death. Christ alone can provide the joy and peace that mankind seeks.

IV. His Significance (34)—He believed on the Lord with all his house. That isn't to say that his salvation was sufficient for them. Salvation is a personal relationship with Christ. Just because he received the Lord didn't automatically provide salvation for his family. But, his faith in the Lord had a significant impact on them. Because of his faith in Christ, they too saw their need and accepted Him as their Lord and Savior.

● Our faith is noticed by others. We can and do have an impact on those around us. Many have been influenced to receive Christ because a loved one had already made that decision.

George T. Brooks, George Brooks Preaching Commentary – Expositions from the Book of Acts: Volume 2, (Austin, TX: WORDsearch, 2014), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: "Mistreated but Still Blessing Others".
Clinton E. Arnold, ed., Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary on the New Testament – John, Acts, (USA: Zondervan, 2002), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, 377.
Chris Benfield, Pulpit Pages – New Testament Sermons, (Mount Airy, N.C.: Chris Benfield, 2014), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, Under: "What Must I Do to be Saved?".
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