January 04, 20243 – Thursday
Acts 16:30-31 ESV
30 Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Acts 16:30-31 NKJV
30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Acts 16:30-31 NIV
30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”
Consider the verses above, when the jailer asked Paul and Silas “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” and they replied “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.” You might think it was not a big deal to say you believed in Jesus as Lord, but it all depends. For all that, what does it mean when we say, “I believe Jesus died for my sins and rose on the third day and accept Him as my Lord and Savior?” From simply saying this many (most?) expect to receive eternal salvation. From Gill’s comments below, maybe this is not necessarily so.
Why? Because believing was and is no small thing as pointed out in Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible (paraphrased) on verse 31 above for when Paul and Silas said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ,…. It was not with a bare historical faith, as only to believe that He was the Son of God, and the Messiah [even the demons knew this. See Mark 1:34 and Luke 4:41], and that He was come in the flesh, and had suffered, and died, and rose again, and was now in heaven at the right hand of God, and would come again to judge both those alive and dead. Then Gill added, For there may be such a faith and no salvation. He then concluded with, Unless you look to him alone for life and salvation, rely upon him, and trust in him; you commit yourself, and the care of your immortal soul unto Him, and from Him expect peace, pardon, righteousness, and eternal life from Him. Commitment is key. Commitment.
I think the Apostle James would agree with Gill as in his epistle he gave what I would call a six-step plan for personal revival in chapter 4. And they go like this:
1 – 4:7a, Submit yourselves, then, to God. Everything flows from this because to submit oneself means to come into voluntary obedience or servitude to a person
2 – 4:7b, Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. The Greek word for resist means to set against, oppose, or withstand. You cannot do this if you are double minded. Thus, the need to first submit to God.
3 – 4:8a, Come near to God and He will come near to you. Resistance followed by drawing near to God. Turning our wills over to doing His will (v7a) then He will draw near to us, empowering us to follow Him.
4 -4:8b, Wash your hands and purify your hearts. Washing one’s hands is a way of saying “stop doing wrong, stop sinning” while purify your heart tells us what we must do to turn our wills to God’s will (v7a)
5 -4:9, Grieve, mourn, wail … this is a command so that we will stop looking at sin as less than what it is. Instead, we must see our sin as something in deliberate opposition to God’s will. Our sin was not only morally wrong but was out personal rebellion against God. Genuine repentance requires admitting (repenting of) our rebellion against God
6 -4:10, Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up. Get rid of the attitude and pride that thinks we know better than God what is good for us. Humble yourselves! is a command requiring submission to God (v7a again). Result – God will lift us up, giving us the ability to stand before Him with joy in our hearts.
Bottom Line: Our salvation turns on our commitment to Christ while submitting ourselves to God.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You so much for Your great mercy in giving us a new birth through You Son Jesus. He became our Savior and Lord because of Your mercy. We are so very grateful. – In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Riley D. Driver – Pastor
Still writing and working for the Glory of God