The life and power of the Gospel
Chaplain Bertram Bobb
We thank God for the Bible – His Holy Word. If we did not have the promises of God in the Bible we would be filled with fear. What a glorious privilege to be assured that God knows every step of the way of our life and has made provisions through His wonderful plan of Salvation. If somebody says “saved,” what does that mean to you? A doctor saves a patient’s life by the skill that he uses in surgery. A life guard saves a child from drowning. But in the religious realm many people do not understand what “saved” means. The Apostle Paul said to the Philippian jailer in Acts 16:31, “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” Paul was using “saved” in its spiritual sense.
We all need to be saved. The Bible teaches that we have all broken God’s law. We have all sinned against God, (Romans 3:23), we all need salvation. We have problems in our homes. They are breaking up. We have business problems, health problems, family problems. Sometimes we want to scream. We want to just quit. We try to escape the reality of everyday living by using alcohol or drugs or even by trying suicide.
Like that jailer in Philippi, mankind is crying, “What must I do to be saved?” (Acts 16:30) The Apostle Paul and Silas had been preaching the Gospel. In Macedonia they went to Philippi, a great city and a Roman colony and they went to the place of prayer at the riverside. On their way they met a girl who was demon possessed. Paul said to the demon in the girl: “… come out of her.” And the demon came out.
The evil men who controlled the girl became angry because she had been telling future events and they were making money on her fortune telling. The men took Paul and Silas to the magistrates who had them beaten and thrown into jail and put in bonds. Instead of moaning and groaning because their backs were cut and bleeding and because they were in that dungeon, what did they do?
Please read this record in Acts 16:25-31. In Acts chapter 16 and verse 25 we read, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God; and the prisoners heard them.”
All of a sudden an earthquake shook the whole prison. The doors opened, and the prisoners’ bonds and chains were broken. Under Roman law, if the keepers of the prison ever lost a prisoner, he had to die, so the jailer was on the job all the time.
When the keeper of the prison saw the open doors, he thought he would be killed. He pulled out his sword and was ready to kill himself, when in verse 29, “… Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, do thyself no harm for we are all here.”
The jailer fell trembling and fell down before Paul and Silas and said in Acts 16:31: “ Sirs what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.”
God is Eternal. God created the whole universe. He created us in His own image. (Genesis 1:26) And He holds us accountable for the life that we live. He holds us accountable for what we do with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.
The Apostle John tells us in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
There will be a day of judgment. If we do not know Jesus Christ – we should be trembling. The good news is that, in spite of our sins God loves us. He is willing to save us. He is willing to forgive us. He wants to take us to Heaven.
After Peter preached his great sermon at Pentecost we read in Acts 2:37 the people were “pricked in their hearts,” and they said to Peter, “what shall we do?” That’s the same question that the Ethiopian nobleman asked Philip, and Philip answered him, “If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest.”
The nobleman believed and went on his way rejoicing. This man didn’t have to do a thing except believe, but what a big word “believe” is. The word “believe” has the idea or trust and faith. You believe to the point that you commit your life to Jesus Christ as Savior and let Him be the Lord of your life. You have no other Lord, no other gods; you are ready to change your whole lifestyle to make Him Lord, to take complete charge of your life.
That’s what it means. Are you committed that way? The blind man came as he was, and believed. The leper came as he was, and believed. Mary Magdalene with seven demons came, and believed. The thief on the cross said, “Lord, remember me.” And in that moment Jesus said, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:32-43)
The thief had committed evil. He had no time to go and tell anybody he was sorry. He had no time to straighten anything out. He didn’t pay any tithe. He wasn’t baptized. He had no time to do anything. But he was saved that day. That’s how marvelous salvation is. (John 1:12; Romans 4:5)
We thank God the Father for His wonderful plan of Salvation through His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus left the glories of Heaven to come to this earth. He was born of a virgin.
He is fully man and fully God. He became man to pay the penalty for sin, which is death, in our place. God the Father was satisfied with His substitutionary death, that God the Holy Spirit raised Him up on the third day. (Romans 8:11) Today Jesus Christ is alive, He lives, He sits at the right hand of God the Father (Hebrews 1:1-3) and this is how we come into the presence of God the Father – through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Do you believe with all your heart? Have you committed your life completely to Jesus Christ? Have you said, “I want Jesus Christ to be my Savior and my Lord.” Will you make this most important decision of your life?
May the Lord bless you in a very special way. Pray for America. Pray for encouragement, strength and wisdom for our leaders.