Shelby G. Floyd
On the second evangelistic journey Paul and Silas were shamefully treated in Philippi. They were severely flogged and committed to the jailor who was commanded to keep them safely. This he did by putting them in the inner cell and fastening their feet in the stocks.
Paul and Silas were heroic in their faith. They were praying and singing unto God, when about midnight there was a great earthquake that shook the prison and released the prisoners. The jailor rather than be humiliated by the Roman government was about to take his life, when Paul cried out, “Don’t harm yourself! We are all here!” After falling down trembling, he brought Paul and Silas out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved” (Acts 16:30)?
They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved—you and your household” (Acts 16:31). The jailor was a Gentile and had no or very little knowledge about Jesus. So how could he believe? It was necessary that the word of God be presented to him about Christ and his plan to save man. This they did. “Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house” (Acts 16:32). This teaching involved baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We know this is the case because the jailor washed their stripes on their backs and took them somewhere. Where did he take them? He took them to a place where there was water sufficient to baptize—immerse them into Christ for the forgiveness of sins. The Bible says, “Then immediately he and his family were baptized” (Acts 16:33). They then rejoiced because they were free from sin and in Christ where all spiritual blessings are to be found (Acts 16:34; Ephesians 1:3).
Have you been baptized to be saved? Jesus said that belief plus baptism equals salvation from sin. “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16 NKJV). The religious world for the most part says that belief minus baptism equals salvation. Who has the correct math?
Also, the apostle Peter who on the birthday of the church, when asked by the audience what they must do to escape the consequences of their sins replied, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38). Water is in God’s plan of salvation today just as Noah was saved by the same water that destroyed all flesh in the antediluvian world. That water is a type (Greek—tupon) of the water of baptism, an antitype (Greek—antitupon) that now saves us:
“Who formerly were disobedient, when once the Divine longsuffering waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was being prepared, in which a few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water. There is also an antitype which now saves us—baptism (not the removal of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God), through the resurrection of Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 3:20-21 NKJV).
In Acts of Apostles, no one delayed being baptized, once they believed and repented of their sins. They often were baptized “the same hour of the night!”
Copyright © 2014 Shelby Floyd All Rights Reserved
Shelby G. Floyd
Heartland Church of Christ
1693 West Main Street
Greenwood, Indiana 46142