And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. And immediately he and all his family were baptized. Acts 16:30-33 NKJV
After God had given Israel rest from all their enemies in the Promised Land, Joshua—now old and advanced in age—gave Israel his final message with an unwavering conviction, saying: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Jos. 24:15). You can’t always understand the way that God works, but when a father believes and faithfully obey the Lord, sooner or later, his children will come along (Mal. 4:6). This is called Oikos evangelism, i.e., reaching out to the whole family and household.
For example, in our text above, the Philippian Jailor sought salvation; not only for himself, but for his household. He and his household were immediately baptized after Paul and Silas spoke the Word of the Lord to them. Now, the Philippian Jailor could also stand on Joshua’s conviction: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Jos. 24:15).
Another example would be Cornelius, a man who was devout, feared God, give alms to the poor, and even received a vision from God; yet, Cornelius hadn’t made Jesus Christ Lord and Savior. But after he received Peter’s preaching that Jesus is Lord, he and his relatives and near friends—gathered together in his house—all received the gift of the Holy Spirit, which strongly infers that they first received their salvation in Christ Jesus. As for Cornelius, he and his household served the Lord (Acts 10:1-5, 24, 44-45).
Fathers and the heads of households must let their lights shine, ala Joshua, the Philippian Jailor and Cornelius (Matt. 5:16). Too many heads of households have an unchristian reputation, i.e., how they live at home; thus, the unsaved living with them don’t see them practice the promises of God. When a father or head of household walks in faith and acts on what he believes, he will influence his relatives and household members toward the Lord. Then and only then, can he say with confidence: “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!”
Dr. Jerry Miah Williams Gospel teaching and preaching from the Word of Word for your encouragement and inspiration.
And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. Acts 16:30-32 NKJV
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment; that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. Genesis 18:19 KJV
Headship is a fundamental arrangement that God uses to maintain order in the home. For example, according to the Scriptures, “the husband is the head of the wife” (Eph. 5:23; 1 Cor. 11:3). Subjection to a husband/father is essential to building a solid, happy, and peaceful family. According to U.S. Census Data, this principle of husbandly/fatherly headship is missing in 25% of white families and about 65% of black families in the U.S. But a lack of a husband/father doesn’t change the principle of headship; because mothers, out of necessity, will assume headship. I call this phenomenon “mother-head.”
Motherhood is the state and quality of being a mother (Merriam-Webster). On the other hand, “mother-head” is when the mother assumes headship, co-opting the roles, qualities and spirit of both mother and father (Author/Blogger).
God’s promise to save isn’t limited to gender. The Philippian Jailor and his household was promised salvation—not because he was a man, but because he was the head of a household (Acts 16:31-32). God honors headship regardless if the head is a male or female. In the home, God’s promises can only be circumvented only if the head of the family and household doesn’t live for God, nor command his children and household to do the same. The primary responsibility of the “head” is to command, i.e., instruct and teach, his children and household in two ways: (1) to keep the ways of the Lord; and, (2) to do righteousness and justice (Gen. 18:19). “Mother-head” is when a single mother is given this charge out of necessity.
It is God who builds a family and household (Psalm 127:1). And, it is God who gives a single mother the grace for “headship.” In fact, most single mothers would gladly choose motherhood over “mother-head” where they have to wear both “hats”—fulfilling the roles and responsibility of a mother and father. Some fathers are present, some AWOL, and some are just titular heads.
A present father will lead his wife and children and other members of the household, thus fulfilling his God-given role and responsibility. An AWOL father is absent—not present in the mother or the children lives. And, a titular father is the “head” only in name. He is physically present but emotionally and spiritually absent. Without headship from a father, children are at risk of behavior problems, dropping out of school, teenage pregnancy, gang membership, substance abuse, crime, prison, and poverty. But when a mother is forced into “mother-head”, God will still honor his promise to her and her household. Happy Mother’s Day!
Dr. Jerry Miah Williams Gospel preaching and teaching from the Word of God for your encouragement and inspiration.
And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” 29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 32 Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. 33 And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their stripes. Acts 16:27-33 NKJV
Undoubtedly, a missing fruit in the latter day church is a lack of oikos (Greek) evangelism, i.e., sharing Christ with the whole family—the whole household. This includes witnessing the Gospel message to everyone under the influence of your household. You may be saved, but without your witness, family and household members remain lost and need to be found.
The “Lost and Found” is a place where personal property is kept until claimed by the lawful owner. So, what does it mean for a sinner to be lost and found? First and foremost, understand that a person is a sinner, primarily, not because of what they do, but because of whom they are—a person without Christ in their life. Furthermore, a person is lost because they don’t know where they are and whose they are. They are lost within themselves but not to God. Nothing is ever lost in the mind of God.
To be found is when God, by His Spirit, makes a rightful claim on your soul (Luke 19:5-10; John 6:44). Figuratively, God claims the lost from the “Lost and Found.” Like the keeper of the prison (Text), a sinner is sleep in darkness and will only be awaken by God shaking the foundations of his life—being before oblivious to the light of the Gospel. In fact, Apostle Paul told the Corinthians that, “ . . . if our gospel is hid, it is hid to those who are lost, in whose minds the god of this world has blinded, who do not believe, lest the glorious light of the gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them” (2 Cor. 4:3,4 ). So what makes a sinner see and realize the need for salvation?
If a sinner doesn’t see the need, he remains blind to the Supply; if he doesn’t see the problem, he remains blind to the Solution. Jesus Christ is the Supply and the Solution, and He will come to claim lost souls in the “Lost and Found.” When a sinner realizes that he is lost, helpless and without hope; then he’ll believe. It’s the only thing left that he can do (Acts 2:37). The evidence that he truly believes that he acts on what he believes, i.e., he’ll look for an opportunity to “wash stripes” (Acts 16:33). To “wash stripes” are acts of rectitude and restitution—seeking to clean up what he messed up; he wants to right his old sinful acts that wounded and hurt others. This may not be possible in every case, but just know, what the new believer can’t make right, God will by His grace.
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But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. 27 And the keeper of the prison, awaking from sleep and seeing the prison doors open, supposing the prisoners had fled, drew his sword and was about to kill himself. 28 But Paul called with a loud voice, saying, “Do yourself no harm, for we are all here.” 29 Then he called for a light, ran in, and fell down trembling before Paul and Silas. 30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” Acts 16:25-31 NKJV
Most churched people are familiar with the terms “deathbed salvation, sickbed salvation, and jailhouse salvation.” But have you heard of household salvation? I believe that the missing fruit in the latter day church is a lack of oikos (Greek) evangelism, i.e., reaching out for the whole family—the salvation of the whole household.
The Greek word Oikos means household, family; it includes all those under the influence of your house, and all those in relationship with you and those in your household. God has always desired to save, not just the one, but the entire family unit (Gen. 7:1, 7). Paul and Silas also valued the family unit just like God did long ago with Noah (1 Peter 3:20). When the Jailor asked in desperation, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Paul and Silas replied: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household” (Text). This was a simple and right to the point instruction—no churchy or religious hoops to jump through.
It is important to note that there is no implication that the Jailor’s household would be automatically or instantaneously saved if the Jailor believed (See John 1:12-13). Every family member or other person under the influence of your household must stand on his own faith (Heb. 11:6, 7). Nor was it the Jailor’s faith that would save his household. His family members and servants all needed to come to Jesus in faith and believe in the same way. This was true for the Jailor’s household, and certainly, the same principle apply to your household today. God wants the Lamb (Ex. 12:3) to be over every household (John 1:29).
Dr. Jerry Miah Williams’ Gospel preaching and teaching of the Word of God for your inspiration and encouragement.
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 NKJV
A prescription is a direction given for the preparation and use of medicine to provide a remedy for a condition. God is like a spiritual doctor, who prescribed the death, burial and resurrection of His son, Jesus—as the medicine—to save a lost and dying world drowning in darkness, sin and shame.
When one is sick, any visit to a doctor’s office—more often than not—includes at least four things: (1) a review of your family history; (2) the examination of symptoms; (3) a diagnosis; and, (4) the writing of a prescription. Spiritually speaking, Father God has outlined through the Scriptures, our family history. We are all descendants of the first man, our natural father Adam; and, his disobedience, sin and failure has been passed to all men and sin brings spiritual death. “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12).
After a thorough examination, the diagnosis is clear: the curse of Adam. Because of our Adamic nature, all were born in sin and shaped in iniquity (Psalm 51:5) So, God has written the prescription. God’s prescription isn’t a pill but a person; it isn’t rehabilitation or therapy, it is the Gospel: Jesus died for our sins according to the Scriptures, He was buried; and, He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:3, 4). God’s prescription has no side effects, i.e., condemnation, guilt, fear, etc. “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him” (John 3:17). “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set [you] free from the law of sin and death” (Rom. 8:1, 2).
Although God’s prescription has no side effects, God wants you to know: (1) all have sin (Rom. 3:23); (2) sin brings spiritual death (Rom. 6:23); (3) notwithstanding, the curse of Adam in your spiritual “DNA”, God loves you so much and has demonstrated His love (Rom. 5:8); and, (4) if you’ll receive His prescription by confession and belief in your heart (Rom. 10:9, 10)—directions concerning confession and belief in your heart, you “should not perish but have everlasting life” (Text). Look unto “Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. 12:2). Jesus is faithful to save all to the utmost and be a faithful friend. And, a faithful friend is the medicine of life; and they that fear the Lord shall find God’s prescription!
Dr. Jerry Miah Williams’ Gospel preaching and teaching from the Word of God for your inspiration and encouragement.