Bible Studies, Facing Fear, Topical Studies, Trusting God VBS 2013

Dare to Believe (Acts 16:16-34) Day 3 of VBS

CaptureIn today’s Bible story, Paul and Silas first reaction to being thrown in jail was to praise and worship God!  Is that naturally your response in a difficult situation?  Most likely, it is not a typical response for anyone.  We tend to trust in whatever the latest celebrity or whatever is popular says is best.  But all of those things fade away within time.

In today’s Bible story, the jailer recognized that he was helpless to save himself.  Paul and Silas gladly showed him the way out of his sin, Jesus!

Today we will hear that the only plan they can trust is God’s plan of salvation.  Jesus Christ is the only way to live eternally with God.  Not only can we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord, Savior, and Treasure, but we can also share His love with others!

Read Acts 16:16-34

Paul and Silas were sharing good news about the Savior in Philippi.  Paul drove out the evil spirit that was controlling a fortune-telling slave girl, which also drove out the income potential for her owners.  The owners quickly pressed charges.  Paul and Silas were beaten, chained, and jailed.  Then the messengers in manacles began to sing praises to God.

However, the music was interrupted by a rock concert, the noise of an earthquake rocking the jail off its foundations!  The jailer, who would have been required to serve the sentences of any escaped prisoner, decided death would be preferred.  Although it was pitch dark, Paul knew what the jailer was about to do and called out to stop him.  The jailer asked, What must I do to be saved?

The jailers first fear was for his own life.  However, he soon realized that Paul and Silas had a message he wanted to hear.  Paul seized the moment to explain how to be permanently, irreversibly saved from the penalty of sin.  The jailer dared to put his future in the hands of Jesus.  What did the jailer do next, once he received this good news of Jesus Christ?  He went and told his family.  See when Jesus saves you it influences those around you, you have to tell everyone about it because that is where your treasure is.

Today, you too can be like the jailer and accept the good news of Jesus Christ.  Admit you are a sinner.  Believe that Jesus died to take the punishment for your sin and accept the gift of salvation.  Confess Jesus as you Lord, Savior, and Treasure.

So we have two questions we need to look at in this passage.  First, Paul and Silas was in chain and in prison, but who was really in chains?  The guard was in bondage of sin, while although in physical chain Paul and Silas were free to sing hymns and pray.

Second, who was really set free?  The physical chains were broken, but it was the guard and his family that experienced true freedom that night.

Now it is important to point out that if Paul and Silas had left that the guard would have to pay their penalty for them.  That is exactly what Jesus did for us.  We deserved to be punished for our sins, we deserved God’s wrath, we deserved to be left in the bondage of sin, but Jesus came and loved us so much that He took the penalty for all those that repent of their sins and believe in Him as their Lord, Savior, and Treasure.

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