32 “And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. 34 Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.” (Acts 16:32–34)
In sharing the Gospel to the Philippian jailer and his family, Paul and Silas had the wonderful privilege to lead them to a saving knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. God converted the jailer and his household by sovereign grace alone, through faith alone, and in the person and work of Jesus Christ alone. The jailer, his family and his servants were immediately baptized.
The display of true conversion is not only by one’s speech but also by one’s actions. Galatians 5:13-14 says, “13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
Paul and Silas had previously been the object of the jailer’s scorn and scourging. They became the objects of the jailer’s love for Christ. The jailer embodied the teachings of James 2:14-26 and I John 4:7-11. He demonstrated the reality of his faith in Christ by his good works toward Paul and Silas. What good works did the jailer perform?
First, he washed Paul and Silas’ wounds. Perhaps, these were the very wounds he himself administered.
Second, he brought them into his house. Where once they had been housed at his place of employment, the jailer brings them into his family dwelling.
Third, the jailer places food before the former prisoners. Means of punishment, like the stocks in the inner prison, gave way to a nutritious meal in the jailer’s home.
Finally, the jailer and his family rejoiced and praised God. Prayer and praise behind prison walls by two prisoners, has been replaced by public rejoicing by a jailer, his family, and by their two new friends. What a night.
Has your life taken upon itself such a change because of your conversion to Christ? May it be so.
Soli deo Gloria!