Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Jailbreak at Philippi--How Do You Set a Jailer Free?"

...since that was the *official* sermon title, quite rare.

Due to a schedule change, I was finally able to attend a Lenten vesper service at my church. The sermon text was Acts 16:25-34, the story of the Philippian jailer.
How could this jailer have been in a prison himself?

About Philippi--a Roman conquered colony; therefore, all its citizens were also Roman citizens. The jailer had a very important (at least by Roman standards) position; however, this position almost caused him to lose both his life and his soul.

Paul and Silas were singing hymns and praying to God while in prison! When God heard, He opened the doors by an earthquake; the jailer's pride would have led him to suicide. But Paul stopped him; the Holy Spirit cut the jailer's heart. Then he found out that he couldn't do anything himself to be saved. To his household that night, Paul and Silas shared the message of salvation; the hearers were baptized and were saved.

The jailer et al. rejoiced at receiving freedom in salvation. Indeed, the angels rejoice at even one sinner being brought by Christ to Himself. This salvation produced an unusual action--the jailer washed the apostles' wounds, something no Roman would have stooped to do.

You (I hope) and I have this salvation as well! Rejoice in it, letting God work in you to save others.

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