IT IS STILL TRUE
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." -- Acts 16:31
The Philippian jailor was a crusty old Roman soldier, spending his last years of military service as a warden in a small prison at Philippi. What he knew of Christ and the gospel of his grace prior to the eventful night described in Acts 16, we do not know. But it would be stretching imagination to think that he knew much!
††††† He was a pagan by birth, by custom, and by training. He was a Roman soldier. Not only are these things so but all who know the Scriptures know that no unregenerate man knows anything spiritual. To talk of men knowing the gospel before they are saved is to speak foolishness, contrary to the Word of God (1 Cor. 2:14). Yet, when this man cried, "What must I do to be saved?" Paul and Silas answered, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." And what they declared to him is still true today. I declare to you, right now, and to all who hear my voice, what Paul and Silas declared to that crusty old jailer at Philippi. -- "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved." Oh, may God give you grace to believe on his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
††††† Did the jailor know the doctrine of total depravity? I doubt it. But HE WAS CONVINCED OF HIS OWN SIN, DEPRAVITY, AND HELPLESSNESS. Did he understand all the particulars of limited atonement and effectual redemption? It is not likely. But HE DID TRUST CHRIST'S PRECIOUS BLOOD AS HIS ONLY, ALL-SUFFICIENT, EFFECTUAL ATONEMENT FOR SIN. Did this old sinner comprehend the blessed doctrine of imputed righteousness? I would be surprised if he did. But HE DID TRUST CHRIST ALONE AS HIS ONLY RIGHTEOUSNESS BEFORE GOD. Did the Philippian jailor understand all the great and glorious doctrines of grace revealed in the gospel? No. But HE DID FULLY BELIEVE THAT SALVATION IS BY GRACE ALONE, THROUGH FAITH ALONE, IN CHRIST ALONE.
††††† I am not, in the slightest degree, suggesting or implying that doctrine is not important, that it does not matter what a person believes, or that men and women are saved believing on the false Christ of Arminian, free-will, works religion. Any who know me know better than that. But I am saying this: -- SINNERS DO NOT COME TO CHRIST THROUGH DOCTRINE. WE COME TO KNOW AND LOVE TRUE DOCTRINE THROUGH CHRIST.
††††† Sinners do not have to become theologians before they can be saved. We simply preach Christ in all his saving fulness to sinners in all their desperate need, assuring all who hear us that the apostolic message is still true. -- "BELIEVE ON THE LORD JESUS CHRIST, AND THOU SHALT BE SAVED." Simple as this command is, it is the hardest thing on this earth for a sinner to do. Indeed, no man can or will obey the gospel until God gives him faith by his almighty grace. May he be pleased to grant you life and faith in Christ by his omnipotent grace, for Christís sake.