The most important question one could ask was uttered centuries ago by a man who was moments from taking his own life. The great account found in the book of Acts records this eternal question, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) Despite the humanistic teachings of our day and the multitudes of religious ideas, this question is still the cry of the most basic spiritual need of mankind. This jailer asked in his question, “how to, or what must he do to be saved”. The word ‘saved’ means “rescued, safe, or delivered”. From what would one need to be saved? Why would an individual ask such a desperate pleading question unless his life and very soul were in peril?
First, we must establish that there is a divine authority for all matters. The Word of God (the Bible) is that divine authoritative manuscript by which God clearly spells out the reality of Who He is, His purpose in sending His Son, and why mankind needs to be saved (salvation). Genesis 1:1 tells us, “In the beginning…”. The Genesis account of God creating man (in His own image) is certainly contrary to the modern teaching of our origin starting in slime, fur, or four feet. But this is what our authoritative book tells us. This fact must be settled in one’s heart before they can realize a need for salvation. Accounting for the fact that God created you ,is that by the very nature of having a Creator, it demands accountability. The child is accountable to the parent, the employee to the employer, slave to the master, the politician to the people. We are accountable to someone, and ultimately, all are accountable to our Creator, the Lord God. His Word goes on to tell us of our fallen nature and of our transgression of His Holy Law. Romans 5:12 tells us that this is the reason we die and the reason for our need of salvation, or “to be saved”. Romans 5:18 tells us “Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” Because of Adam’s transgression, and the fact we inherited the sin nature and willfully sin against God, we are under God’s condemnation. (See John 3:36) A person that is condemned and is facing certain due punishment (death, judgment, hell) is going to cry like the jailer in Acts.
The “righteousness of one” mentioned in Romans 5:18 speaks of the Lord Jesus Christ, the only one who can rescue or save a person from their eternal plight. “The free gift” is the offer of a pardon, a reprieve – complete forgiveness of the debt and penalty owed to a righteous God. One must realize the wickedness and utter depravity of their sin before their Creator. The best we do is described as “filthy rags in God’s sight” (Isaiah 64:6)
The Scriptures paint a dismal portrayal of man’s condition, but thanks be to God for John 3:16. God’s perfect, sinless Son was mocked, beaten, and crucified. The one …… who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. The answer given to the jailer who was so near death and a hopeless eternity without God was this simple but profound answer – “… believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved …”.
Please notice that no mention of church attendance, baptism, confession, good works, etc., were included in Paul’s response.
Will you “believe” that you are a lost, undone, hell-deserving sinner? Will you “believe” that the Lord God loves you and wants to forgive you? Will you “believe” on the Lord Jesus Christ who was crucified, buried, and resurrected as your only hope of salvation, cleansing, and forgiveness.Like the publican in Luke 18 would you cry from your soul-God be merciful to me a sinner. If God is speaking to your heart and you would like to discuss this matter, or let us know that you have been born again, please contact us. We would love to help you in your Christian walk.