The Lord Jesus Christ
Believe On The Lord Jesus Christ
With deep humility, he asked the apostles to show him the way of life.
“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house,”
they answered; and
“they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.”
The jailer then washed the wounds of the apostles and ministered to them, after which he was baptized by them, with all his household.
A sanctifying influence diffused itself among the inmates of the prison, and the minds of all were opened to listen to the truths spoken by the apostles.
They were convinced that the God whom these men served had miraculously released them from bondage.
The citizens of Philippi had been greatly terrified by the earthquake, and when in the morning the officers of the prison told the magistrates of what had occurred during the night, they were alarmed and sent the sergeants to liberate the apostles.
But Paul declared, “They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.”
The apostles were Roman citizens, and it was unlawful to scourge a Roman, save for the most flagrant crime, or to deprive him of his liberty without a fair trial.
Paul and Silas had been publicly imprisoned, and they now refused to be privately released without the proper explanation on the part of the magistrates.
When this word was brought to the authorities, they were alarmed for fear that the apostles would complain to the emperor, and going at once to the prison, they apologized to Paul and Silas for the injustice and cruelty done them and personally conducted them out of the prison, entreating them to depart from the city.
The magistrates feared the apostles’ influence over the people, and they also feared the Power that had interposed in behalf of these innocent men.
Acting upon the instruction given by Christ, the apostles would not urge their presence where it was not desired.
They went out of the prison, and entered into the house of Lydia: and when they had seen the brethren, they comforted them, and departed.”
The apostles did not regard as in vain their labours in Philippi.
They had met much opposition and persecution; but the intervention of Providence in their behalf, and the conversion of the jailer and his household, more than atoned for the disgrace and suffering they had endured.
The news of their unjust imprisonment and miraculous deliverance became known through all that region, and this brought the work of the apostles to the notice of a large number who otherwise would not have been reached.
Paul’s labours at Philippi resulted in the establishment of a church whose membership steadily increased.
His zeal and devotion, and, above all, his willingness to suffer for Christ’s sake, exerted a deep and lasting influence upon the converts.
They prized the precious truths for which the apostles had sacrificed so much, and gave themselves with wholehearted devotion to the cause of their Redeemer.
That this church did not escape persecution is shown by an expression in Paul’s letter to them.
He says, “Unto you, it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him but also to suffer for His sake; having the same conflict which ye saw in me.”
Yet such was their steadfastness in the faith that he declares,
“I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now.” Philippians 1:29, 30, 3-5.
Terrible is the struggle that takes place between the forces of good and of evil in important centers where the messengers of truth are called upon to labor.
“We wrestle not against flesh and blood,” declares Paul, “but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world.”
Till the close of time, there will be a conflict between the church of God and those who are under the control of evil angels.
The early Christians were often called to meet the powers of darkness face to face.
By sophistry and by persecution the enemy endeavoured to turn them from the true faith.
At the present time, when the end of all things earthly is rapidly approaching, Satan is putting forth desperate efforts to ensnare the world.
He is devising many plans to occupy minds and to divert attention from the truths essential to salvation.
In every city, his agencies are busily organizing into parties those who are opposed to the law of God.
The archdeceiver is at work to introduce elements of confusion and rebellion, and men are being fired with a zeal that is not according to knowledge.
Wickedness is reaching a height never before attained, and yet many ministers of the gospel are crying,
“Peace and safety.”
But God’s faithful messengers are to go steadily forward with their work.
Clothed with the panoply of heaven, they are to advance fearlessly and victoriously, never ceasing their warfare until every soul within their reach shall have received the message of truth for this time.