God Is Not Limited

god possible

But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)

God Is Not Limited

Words are important in language to convey a thought describing an idea that predicates the need of the speaker. Jesus was very surgical in the use of language to establish the teachings of His Father. When a wealthy ruler came seeking the answer to salvation, Jesus carefully instructed the man what to do but sadly it was not in the heart of the seeker to obey the will of God. He went away to the amazement of the disciples who had witnessed the encounter. Questioned what was required to be saved, Jesus defined the eternal difference between man and God. There are many things that are impossible for man but there is nothing impossible for the Creator. When something is impossible it is beyond the bounds or means of a man to accomplish. This would not be a matter that man is unable to do a thing today but at some future day invent a means to accomplish what seemed beyond reality. No one would have imagined a man walking on the moon but on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin accomplished what seemed for thousands of years as completely without certainty. In some small way, a man accomplished an impossible task but this is not what Jesus is telling His disciples. No matter what man can invent it is impossible for man to walk to the moon. Man will never be able to live on the moon or travel to Mars to establish colonies or touch the surface of the largest known star in the universe, VY Canis Majoris (4,900 light years away). The things that are impossible with men are possible with God.

Salvation is not a walk to the moon. There is no way to measure, define or understand the immensity of man’s place before a loving, graceful, wrathful and punishing God who has determined the habitation of man to dwell upon the face of the earth. Sin may be diminished in the mind of man but the very thing that separates him from his Creator is the one thing that it is impossible for him to bring to bear upon his soul. Adam and Eve could not find a means to change what they did in the garden and without the grace of God to allow them to live humanity would have been lost at the beginning. As the world grew corrupt and turned away from the love of God, only because mercy did the Lord speak to Noah and show him a way to save himself. Without the knowledge of grace from the mind of God telling the family of Noah what to do to be saved, all men would have perished and there would not have been eight saved in the ark. What separated Noah from all others is he believed the grace of God and through his faith justified himself in building a most unlikely means of salvation – the ark. Noah believed in something impossible: a flood that would cover the world more than twenty-two feet above the mountains. He also believed in the impossible: God would save Him if he obeyed. Abraham was tested by God to kill his only begotten son as an offering. The man of God took Isaac and told his servants they were going to the mountain to worship and the two of them would return. Abraham knew exactly what he was going to do with Isaac. He would take him, bind him, kill him and through the power of God his son would be raised from the dead – an impossibility – but Abraham believed in the power of God. David overcame the threats of the Philistine giant to defeat a nine-foot behemoth because he believed a young lad with a sling and a few stones could defeat such a champion. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah defied the king of Babylon who threatened to burn them alive in a fiery furnace because they believed in the impossible. The things that are impossible with men are possible with God.

The wealthy ruler came to Jesus wanting to know what to do to be saved. Jesus gave him a stark answer but one based on the reality of the man’s heart. He was unwilling to sell all he had and give to the poor going away sorrowful. The day came when he did give up his riches and left them for others to squabble over. What seemed impossible that day now seemed possible if only he had trusted in the word of the Lord. Nothing is impossible when a man allows God to work in his life, changing his heart and overcoming the wiles of the devil. No matter what life brings and no matter where a man finds himself, the God of possibilities stands ready to help in times of impossibility. Man is limited. God is unlimited. There are things a man cannot do because it is beyond his abilities and powers to accomplish because his Creator has drawn a line of declaration and determined he will go no further. There are no lines with God. He can walk on the water, raise the dead, heal any disease immediately and tell you the name of every star in the heavens. The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.

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Bring The Children To Jesus

children Jesus

Then little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray, but the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” And He laid His hands on them and departed from there. (Matthew 19:13-15)

Bring The Children To Jesus

It is a remarkable thing to consider that as busy as Jesus was trying to put into less than three years His ministry of salvation for all men the Son of God would often take time with children. The disciples did not understand and rebuked those who would dare interrupt their master. They would receive a harsh rebuke from the Lord for thinking He did not have time to engage with young children. On one occasion Jesus placed a young lad in the middle of His disciples and used him as an object lesson on the humility of character required to be a follower of the Christ. Jesus took time for children. Because of this, parents would bring their children to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray. They were seeking the blessings of this teacher and guide impressing upon their children His worth and importance. Little did they know how important He would become to themselves and their children when He emptied Himself on the cross. The Holy Spirit does not reveal how many of these parents who brought their children to Christ during His ministry would have brought their children to the story of Jesus in the early church. What is impressive about these parents is a deep desire to do something as simple and profound as bringing their children to Jesus for a blessing. They recognized Him as a teacher and as one to give wisdom to their children. Going beyond the pressures of those who tried to keep them away from Jesus, the parents wanted to let their children’s lives be touched by the hand of Jesus. He laid His hands and them and blessed them.

The people of Jesus day realized there was something special about the man from Nazareth. There is no greater need for parents in our day to see the need to give their children the most important example they will find in life: Jesus Christ. Learning about God and His Son begins at home. From infancy, children should be brought to Jesus through song, teaching, instruction, and example of godly parents who show Christ living in their life. Children in large part become the kind of people their parents instruct them to be. Learning about truth and righteousness is not something that is found without diligent effort, constant study and a devoted spirit to emulate the pattern of God’s word in life. The home is the bastion of the word of God. Prayer is the constant presence in the home with an examination of the Bible as a daily menu of the stories of God’s people. Children must first learn about God in the home and parents must be the first to introduce them to the man from Nazareth.

Many children do not know about Christ because their parents never took the time to bring them to the Bible.  The mistake that is most often made is parents who believe that taking their children to church is all they need to learn about the Bible. While the activities of the church whether in Bible class or worship time are invaluable to the training of the child if this becomes the only basis of knowledge the attempt to teach the lessons of God’s word will be severely limited. Bringing children to Jesus must begin at the hearth of the godly home nurtured by the hearing of the word of God. Fathers lead as spiritual guides to train their children in the way of truth and righteousness. Mothers exemplify the characteristics of a godly woman that knows well the stories of holy writ. The home becomes a haven of spiritual foundations built upon the love and grace of God. Nothing is more imperative to the teaching of children than what happens in the home. Like the parents long ago who brought their children to Jesus to be blessed by Him, fathers and mothers must bring their children to an understanding of the Son of God through the knowledge of God’s word and lives that are filled with the glory of God. If parents do not bring their children to Jesus, the world will take their children to the devil.

 

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New Priesthood Means New Law

Jesus High Priest

Therefore, if perfection were through the Levitical priesthood (for under it the people received the law), what further need was there that another priest should rise according to the order of Melchizedek, and not be called according to the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, of necessity, there is also a change of the law. For He of whom these things are spoken belongs to another tribe, from which no man has officiated at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord arose from Judah, of which tribe Moses spoke nothing concerning priesthood. (Hebrews 7:11-14)

New Priesthood Means New Law

When God gave the law to Israel at Sinai He ordained the tribe of Levi to be His priests and servants to guard the words of the covenant. Originally the Lord had said that Israel would be a kingdom of priests but following the worship of the golden calf and death of three thousand Hebrews God set up the priesthood after the tribe of Levi. Specifically, the priest only came from the family of Aaron. This would remain unchanged throughout the history of Israel. The attempt of Jeroboam to circumvent the law requiring priests to be from Aaron did not change the word of God when the kingdom divided after the death of Solomon. Jesus kept the law including all the activities connected with Temple worship as He watched the priest from the ancient family of Aaron carry out their duties each year when the Son of God came to the Temple. When Jesus died on the cross and rose the third day the priesthood changed forever. One of the most profound doctrines of the New Testament church was the teaching that the Aaronic priesthood was no longer binding and through Jesus, a new priesthood was established after the order of Melchizedek. When Abraham returned from rescuing his nephew Lot he was met by the king and High priest of Salem (later called Jerusalem) where the patriarch paid tithes to Melchizedek. It was a significant part of Jewish history to read of Melchizedek who was unknown as far as his lineage. Paul makes the argument in the Hebrew book that Jesus was a priest after the order of Melchizedek which required a changing of the law. Under the Law of Moses priest could only come from the tribe of Levi and from the family of Aaron. Jesus was born of Mary who was from the house of David who was from the tribe of Judah. The Law of Moses said nothing about priest coming from the tribe of Judah.

If perfection came through the Law of Moses there would never have been a need for a second covenant. For a man to believe that Jesus is the Christ the Son of God there would require a belief the Law of Moses is no longer binding because the priesthood of Jesus is not defined in the Law of Moses. Paul makes the argument the Law of Moses was abolished because Jesus is not a Levite and was not born from the family of Aaron. If the Law of Moses is still binding then Jesus cannot be a priest and could never serve as a High Priest. To deny Jesus is the great High Priest is to deny the kingship of Christ and refuse to accept that Jesus is the Son of God. No man could serve as a priest who came from the tribe of Judah. Jeroboam tried to change the law of God by having men who were not from Aaron serve as a priest but this was futile. If Jesus is the great High Priest and Jesus came from the family of David through the lineage of Judah then the only conclusion can be drawn is the Law of Moses has been abolished. When the priesthood changed the law changed. It is impossible to bind the Law of Moses and accept Christ as High Priest. If the priesthood has changed then the Law of Moses has no more authority for salvation. It is evident that Jesus arose from Judah and the Law of Moses says nothing about the tribe of Judah serving as priests much less ordained as High Priest.

The Law of Moses was annulled because the priesthood of Aaron was based on the blood of bulls and goats which could never take away sins. A time of reformation came when Jesus established the law of grace and truth through His blood nailing the Law of Moses (including the Ten Commandments) to the cross so that He could rise the third day as High Priest of the good things to come. He is the mediator of a new covenant making the Law of Moses an old covenant with no authority and no saving power. When men try to return to the Law as their guide and body of truth they immediately deny the Kingship of Jesus and His place as High Priest. Jesus offered one sacrifice for sins forever and sat down at the right hand of God as High Priest. If the Law of Moses is still binding Jesus could not sit at the right hand of God because He is from the wrong tribe and wrong family and sits on a throne that denies the word of God. But Jesus, because He lives and reigns forever, has an unchangeable priesthood. Binding the Law of Moses today requires identifying those from the family of Aaron through the tribe of Levi. What most people fail to understand is that no Jew for nearly two thousand years has been able to identify what tribe they are from. God removed the tribal identities because the Law was abolished. The only tribal identity that brings salvation is the tribe of Judah because Jesus came from the family of David. Thank God He gave the gift of His Son who was born of the seed of David to be the great High Priest to cleanse all men from their sins.

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They Did Not Continue In My Covenant

hebrews people

For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest. For I will be merciful toward their iniquities, and I will remember their sins no more.” In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. (Hebrews 8:7-13)

They Did Not Continue In My Covenant

Israel shared a relationship with the Lord God that no other nation on earth could claim. The Hebrews were chosen by God not because of they were a mighty people in number (they were the least of all peoples) but because of God’s love for them. He had made a promise to Abraham and He kept His word with the covenant made with His servant to bring forth a nation so that all the nations of the world would be blessed. A covenant was established at Mt. Sinai between the people and the Lord which was ratified with the blood of animals and confirmed by the voice of the nation to be faithful to the promises given in the law. Before leaving Sinai the people disobeyed the covenant and worshiped the golden calf. Throughout the legacy of Israel’s history, the people would continually break the word of the Lord, reject the covenant made at Sinai and rebel against the voice of the prophets who cried for the people to repent. During the final days of Israel when only two tribes remained the prophet Jeremiah proclaimed the will of God to remove the first covenant and establish a new law that would be written in the hearts on His faithful people. Almost seven hundred years later the apostle Paul would describe in a letter to the first century Hebrew Christians the first covenant (Law of Moses) was flawed and the Lord would seek a second covenant as declared by Jeremiah. If the Law of Moses had been faultless (perfect), then no place would have been sought for a second. Because finding fault with the Law of Moses, the Lord proclaimed the days were coming when He would make a new law with the house of Israel and the house of Judah which would be very different from the covenant He made with them at Sinai. The reason a second covenant had to be made is that the children of Israel did not continue in His covenant and so the Lord disregarded and ignored the first covenant. God had been faithful in His part of the law; Israel had failed repeatedly to keep the law. Because of their rejection, the Lord rejected them.

In the legal world, a contract is a binding covenant as long as both parties fulfill the declarations stipulated and faithful participation of both parties agrees to continue in the arrangements outlined in the agreement. If at any time one of the parties fail to meet the requirements of the contract and a continued effort is rejected to resolve the dispute, the covenant is broken. There can be no doubt of the legality of a broken covenant when it is clearly demonstrated the one party did not follow the guidelines and instructions sworn to at the inception of the covenant. This principle of law did not originate with the wisdom of man but was ordained by the wisdom of the Creator. God made a covenant with Israel and stipulated innumerable blessings to the people if they would heed the words of the law. The Hebrews broke the covenant so often the day came when the Lord rejected them and canceled His promises made through the Law of Moses. He took them by the hand and led them out of Egypt but they did not honor Him. In the days of Jeremiah, the Lord promised to make a new covenant nullifying the old covenant. When God promised to make a new covenant He made the first covenant obsolete. The first law was old and the apostle Paul (who was a Hebrew of Hebrews) declared was vanishing away and to disappear. In the first century, the people of God would no longer follow a law that was outdated because of the blood of bulls and goats but they would find a new law sanctified by the blood of Jesus Christ. The first covenant was taken out of the way because Israel did not continue to be faithful to the agreement with God.

There are many in the religious world teaching the need to keep the pattern and teachings of the Law of Moses. Jeremiah would challenge this failed doctrine of trying to follow a covenant that God has rejected because the Jews rejected Him. They killed the Son of God sealing their final judgment of rejecting the will of the Lord. No man can be saved by the Law of Moses or keeping the commandments of the law (i.e. Ten Commandments). The law was given through Moses and the people of Israel broke that covenant. Grace and truth come through Jesus Christ and Him crucified. The only law that can save a man now is the blood of Christ and the perfection of His priesthood found in the church of Christ and His body. A new covenant has been made with Jew and Gentile alike and salvation is found in repenting and being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. The promise made through the Holy Spirit as spoken by Peter on the day of Pentecost still resounds in the hearts of those who will faithfully accept the covenant of Christ and His blood.

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Teaching Contrary To The Law Of Moses

law of moses

Then Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his household. And many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. Now the Lord spoke to Paul in the night by a vision, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you, and no one will attack you to hurt you; for I have many people in this city.” And he continued there a year and six months, teaching the word of God among them. When Gallio was proconsul of Achaia, the Jews with one accord rose up against Paul and brought him to the judgment seat, saying, “This fellow persuades men to worship God contrary to the law.” (Acts 18:8-13)

Teaching Contrary To The Law Of Moses

During the Apostle Paul’s second missionary journey, he is told by the Holy Spirit to go into the region of Macedonia to preach the gospel to them. This will eventually bring the preacher of the Lord to the city of Corinth, one of the populated, prosperous and immoral cities of Greece. There was a common saying that if one acted in an overtly wicked manner they were acting like a “Corinthian.” The city was home to the goddess Venus with licentious worship an integral part of the cities character. Paul would spend eighteen months in this city establishing the church and in working as a tentmaker with his fellow companions Aquila and Priscilla. There was a synagogue in the city and Paul spent much of his time during the year and a half in Corinth reasoning with Jew and Gentile alike. His message was the crucified Christ and that salvation could only come through a belief that Jesus was the Son of God and that He had come to ordain a new covenant found in the teaching of the first-century church. The Jews opposed Paul and shaking his garments against them, the apostle declared he would go the Gentiles to teach the good news of salvation. As a result of his teaching, Crispus, the ruler of the synagogue believed on the Lord with all his household and many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed and were baptized. After a time, the Jews rose up against Paul and brought him to Gallio, Roman proconsul of Achaia and brother of the great philosopher Seneca. Gallio would dismiss the attempt of the Jews to have Paul arrested or charged but what the Jews said about their fellow Jew was most telling.

Taking Paul before the Roman authorities is no small matter and the Jews believed they had a justified cause to bring him before Gallio. Their charge was that Paul was persuading men to worship God contrary to the law. Compelled by the Holy Spirit, Paul testified to the Jews that Jesus is the Christ. Many of the Corinthians and a number of the Jews believed in the teaching of Paul and were baptized on the belief that Jesus was the Christ. If salvation was found in keeping the Law of Moses and binding the precepts, commands, and doctrines of the Law, what was Paul preaching that upset the Corinthians Jews? By their own words, Paul was suggesting the Law of Moses was no longer a valid avenue of salvation as he was persuading men to worship God contrary to the law. Many believe today the Law of Moses is still a binding law but Paul (who was a Jew and Rabbi) taught the Corinthian Jews to worship in a manner contrary to the law given to Moses. The conclusion can only be the gospel message of salvation did not come from keeping the Ten Commandments as contained in the Law of Moses or the practices and worship of the Law of Moses. Paul was better versed in the Law of Moses than anyone living today and yet to believe the Law of Moses is still a valid body of law is made without consideration of a man who left the Jewish faith to embrace the grace of God in a crucified and risen Christ. The teaching of the apostle Paul clearly defined the Law of Moses was abolished as he wrote to the Roman church. If Paul is the author of the book of Hebrews the thesis of the entire message is the perfection of the new covenant over the old covenant; i.e. the Law of Moses and the law of Christ. Teaching men to worship contrary to the law shows that Paul taught the Jews of his day that salvation cannot come from keeping the Law of Moses whether in part or in the whole.

The Jews of Paul’s day continually sought ways to destroy the apostle and often made plans to murder him. His eventual death was orchestrated by the hatred of the Jews against the man that was their champion at one time. Luke tells the story of Paul’s early days when he was known as Saul of Tarsus and the efforts he put forth to destroy Christ and His church. When he came to a complete understanding of the grace of God he left the keeping of the Law of Moses and all its teachings to share the gospel of Christ. Paul never taught that men should keep the Law of Moses. In fact, the apostle throughout all of his writings shows the failing of the Law and the perfection of Christ and that abolished the Law of Moses with all its ordinances and customs. Israel had broken the covenant God made with them at Sinai and as early as the prophet Jeremiah determined there would be a better covenant in the Christ. Paul explains this in the book of Hebrews. The Jews of Corinth confirm the Law of Moses is abolished and obsolete. Paul taught men to worship God in a manner not in keeping with the law because the law could no longer save a man. As Peter and John declared in the early days of the church, there is salvation in no other name but Jesus Christ.

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His Day The First Day

lords day

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5)

His Day The First Day

From the beginning of the world and the creation of man and woman, time has been marked by days and years. Though calendars have evolved throughout the history of man, all men have marked the passing of life in days, weeks, months and years. Ordained by God each week consists of seven days. On the fourth day of creation, the Lord created the sun, moon, and stars to be as signs and seasons, and for days and nights dividing the day and night. After the flood, God told Noah that all seasons and days would continue as they had from the beginning as long as the world would stand. However long the grace of the Almighty allows the universe to remain, days pass as fleeting shadows of increasing years and centuries. Man is trapped in the revolving door of days and weeks counting his life in years until time is no more and death approaches. Whether a man believes in God or not he recognizes the law of creation when he marks his life with days. With all the wisdom of man, he can never escape the invisible attributes of the Lord’s handiwork in determining his life with days and weeks. The challenge for all men has been how he spends those days and what the weeks of life will mean to him. Throughout the revelation of God to man the Divine has ordained certain things on certain days that would test the resolve of man to honor his Creator or deny Him. It is not insignificant to consider the world was created with the power of God to bring light dividing the darkness and the story of man begins. Darkness was on the face of the deep and by the word of the Lord, the light came and overwhelmed the darkness of the world. The first day was the first evidence of God’s love, His power, His might and His message of a hope that would save man from himself. On the first day of the week on the first day of creation, light ruled the world.

As God prepared to deliver Israel from the bondage of Egypt, the Lord told Moses the final plague would be the beginning of the calendar for His people. When the Lord told Moses what would come upon the nation of Egypt and the death of the firstborn, He gave instructions to the Hebrews to save themselves and flee the wrath of God. On the tenth day of the month, they would take a lamb, a male of the first year and keep it until the fourteenth day when it would be killed at twilight. Taking the blood and putting it on the doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat the Passover meal, the children of Israel would be saved from the death of their firstborn. The tenth plague would take place on the night of the seventh day which corresponds to our Saturday night. The Lord instituted the seventh day as a holy convocation for the nation of Israel to remember how they were delivered from the Egyptians. Moses would define the day as the Sabbath day in the Law. The significance of the Sabbath was first realized because of what happened on the first day of the week. Under the Law, on the first day of the week, the people were to remove leaven from their houses and if a man ate leaven on the first day or other days he would be cut off from Israel. The first day of the week was a significant day for the feast of the Passover. It would have greater significance when the Passover lamb of Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the first day of the week.

The New Testament is very clear the Law of Moses has been abolished and as the Jews are no longer bound by that Law so the Gentiles cannot find salvation apart from Christ. God sent His Son into the world to save the Jew and the Gentile who could not justify themselves as a law to themselves or keeping the Mosaical law. The hope of eternal life is found in Jesus and in the divine wisdom of the Father He established the first day of the week as a day of remembrance for the sacrifice of Jesus, the love of God and the ordination of worship for all men who will obey His will. The first day of the week was when the Creator brought light into a world of darkness. In the New Testament church, the first day of the week is when God brought from the grave His only begotten Son that gave light to a world filled with sin. On the first day of the week, the Holy Spirit ordained that all men honor and worship the Lord without exception. Like the Passover lamb when Israel was in Egypt, Jesus became the sacrifice as His blood is now the evidence of God’s mercy to save men from His wrath. The beginning of salvation began on the first day of the week and has been bound as a sign of the everlasting covenant of grace to worship the Father who willingly gave His Son as a sacrifice. Sunday is not just a day of the week. It is a day of praise, worship, glory, and honor to the Lord for His love, His grace, His kindness, and His message that hope can only be found in Christ. There is a symbolism from the Law of Moses as the people prepared for the Passover feast to remove leaven from their homes on the first day of the week. It would do well for all those who honor God to use the first day of the week as a day of cleansing the leaven of the world from their lives so they can prepare their hearts for the devotion of the lamb that was slain on a Roman cross. Sunday is the day of the Lord for a reason. Never lose the meaning of this day.

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The Family Of The Philippian Jailer

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Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Now when he had brought them into his house, he set food before them; and he rejoiced, having believed in God with all his household. (Acts 16:32-34)

The Family Of The Philippian Jailer

Serving as a jailer for the Roman authorities would not have been a very glamorous occupation requiring very little to do but to keep men awaiting execution or adjudication of charges. The Romans cells were dim, damp, and filthy with an incredible stench. These would have been places that were repugnant to the human senses and to be in charge of such places would require little more than men of lower morals and values to keep men as cattle. On the scale of men who would have been prime candidates for the gospel of Christ the Philippian jailer would not have risen to the top. When Paul and Silas arrived in Philippi, they encountered a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination her masters used for fortune-telling. Annoyed by her constant harassment Paul cast out the evil spirit which greatly angered her masters. Inciting the crowd against Paul and Silas, the men were beaten with many stripes and thrown into prison. The jailer would have received these strangers with no little fanfare and decided to place these trouble makers into the inner prison. To further humiliate and punish Paul and Silas, the jailer had their feet fastened in stocks. Albert Barnes make a note about the jailer placing them into the stocks: “It is probable that the legs of the prisoners were bound to large pieces of wood which not only encumbered them but which were so placed as to extend their feet to a considerable distance. In this condition it might be necessary for them to lie on their backs; and if this, as is probable, was on the cold ground, after their severe scourging, their sufferings must have been very great. Yet in the midst of this, they sang praises to God.” And the jailer was the man who caused this misery on Paul and Silas.

The Lord had greater plans for His two servants. At midnight as Paul and Silas were singing hymns the Lord brought an earthquake that shook the foundation of the prison and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. The keeper of the prison was startled awake by the earthquake. He thought that all his prisoners would have escaped at such an opportune time and decided to kill himself. Knowing the fury of the Roman authorities for allowing prisoners to escape there would be no other choice. From the inner prison, Paul cried out for the man to not harm himself because all the prisoners had remained. Calling for a light he fell down at the feet of Paul and Silas begging to know what he must do to save himself. In the midst of a terrible injustice done to these messengers of God a wonderful story of grace is found in Paul preaching not only to the jailer but to all that were in his house. The Philippian jailer then took Paul and Silas and washed their stripes. Now the incarcerated are treated with sympathy and gratitude instead of the harshness of the stocks. The jailer washed Paul and Silas of their stripes and then Jesus washed the jailer and his household of their stripes. Immediately the jailer and all his family were baptized. It is not known who made up his family but they believed with open hearts who had witnessed the earthquake and the great faith of Paul and Silas. The jailer had concern not only for himself but for his family. God’s grace was brought into the home of a man who just a day earlier was nothing more than a jailer imprisoning the outcasts of society. Now he and all his family were children of God and glorifying in the saving grace of a loving Lord.

After Paul and Silas baptized the jailer and all his family they were brought into the jailer’s home to receive nourishment as they all rejoiced together their new found faith. The spirits of Paul and Silas were lifted to the throne of God for such a powerful testimony of the power of the gospel. This would be a story often retold in the presence of many witnesses to show how the Lord can and will work in the lives of the most unsuspecting souls. The household of a Philippian jailer was now part of the household of God. Not only did the jailer learn of the grace of God but he also saw the faith of Paul and Silas as they returned to their cells. They did not flee or try to escape. It was certain they had been beaten openly and as a Roman citizen, Paul was charging the city officials of the high crime of condemning a fellow Roman without charge. The jailer learned a great lesson of trust in the will of the Lord when he saw how Paul and Silas remained in jail until they were released with legal means. Luke does not tell what became of the jailer and his family but one can imagine what a strong church there was in Philippi when Lydia and her friends met their new Christian friends – the jailer and his family. Later Paul would write to “all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.” Could the jailer have been one of the bishops or deacons? It is certain he was one of the saints. Praise God for His incredible grace to save a jailer and his family.

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