Acts 16:31 - "Believe in Lord Jesus and you will be saved"
Updated: Mar 15, 2022
Please, browse the many free commentaries available on https://www.katrinapearls.com/blog
In a Bible Study presentation on You Tube a Baptist minister read from Acts 16. In his teaching of this story, he repeated Acts 16:31, which tells what Paul and Silas said to the jailer, after an earthquake shook the foundation of the prison and all the doors were opened and all the chains holding the prisoners fell loose. The jailer was going to kill himself, but Paul called to him, telling him nobody had escaped. The jailer asked them, “What must I do to be saved?” We then read, “They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”’
For the Baptist minister to repeatedly say, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved,” his mistake was not explaining what “belief” means. The failure of the vast majority of people claiming to be Christians is they “believe” without having personal experience. Without personal experience, “belief” is simply memorizing what one has been told. That means the “belief” is in the one who told you to “believe,” because one has personal experience with that one. It is that personal experience that leads one to “believe,” because “someone told me so.”
The Baptist minister prefaced his reading of Acts 16 by saying this event in Acts 16 also included Luke and Timothy, who were four traveling together into Philippi. Still, Luke and Timothy were not named in this event. He said “Luke is the author of Acts and the Gospel bearing his name.” The Baptist minister said he did not know where they were at this time; but he hypothesized they were two separately ministering elsewhere.
As the writer who was not present when Paul and Silas together told the jailer, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved,” one has to realize that more than Paul telling Luke, “Write this down,” Luke personally experienced this event … divinely. The Book of Acts is the truth because it is not hearsay. It is Yahweh speaking through a Saint, whose soul was taken to this event; so, Luke was like the proverbial ‘fly on the wall’ that witnessed everything of which he wrote.
To me, that is a basic statement of faith that says, “I believe Luke wrote the truth, as seen through the Mind of Yahweh.” To not have that faith is to be something much less than a ‘Christian,’ as a Christian means being ‘one Anointed by Yahweh’s Spirit’ … one of His chosen. It means one is also like that proverbial fly on the wall; so, when one reads Luke, one then is there with Paul, Silas, and the jailer. It means one experiences personally the truth of what happened.
To be that fly, one has to stop “believing” that the English translation read aloud by a Baptist minister in a Bible Studies class is the whole truth and nothing but the truth. A true Christian says, “Wait a minute sir. I need to examine what was written myself, because you are making it seem that I must “believe” you saying, “believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved. The way you say that (without explanation) says to me that you are suggesting, “believe the English translation I believe … about the Lord Jesus … and I will be saved, simply from believing you, an English translation, without any explanation about what that means.”
That is the error of Christianity today. It is taught by people who know nothing of value. All they do is read English translations and do some study that is beyond what ordinary people will do, so they can stand before a crowd and seem informed. Nobody explains the truth of what was written by Luke, about this event involving Paul, Silas and a jailer.
Here is the Greek written by Luke:
“Hoi de eipan , Pisteuson epi ton Kyrion Iēsoun , kai sōthēsē , sy , kai ho oikos sou .”
That must be seen as five segments of words, with each segment directed by the Mind of Yahweh for Luke to state separately. The separation means each segment must be read as an individual statement that must be discerned (with divine assistance), one at a time. Additionally, two of the segments (3 and 5) are begun by the Greek word “kai,” which is a marker word that denotes “importance to follow.” To simply read it as saying “and” misses the deeper truth. With that understood, here is a viable English translation of the Greek:
“These now answered ,
you have Faith on the basis of this Master Jesus ,
kai will be saved ,
kai this of house of you .”
In this translation, it is vital to see four words are capitalized: “Hoi, Pisteuson, Kyrion, and Iēsoun.” Every capitalized word must be read as divinely elevated, meaning each word takes on the essence of Yahweh in its meaning.
This means “Hoi – “These” (the plural of this, the) – must be then seen as the two – Paul and Silas – who were divinely elevated by Yahweh. Both of “them” or “these” were “saved” and could thereby “now answer” a question about being “saved.”
The capitalized word “Pisteuson” must be seen as that divine elevation brought on by Yahweh, where simple “belief, trust, confidence and persuasion” becomes the personal experience of Yahweh, leading to divinely inspired “Faith” and “Trust.” That is relative to knowing the truth as one with Yahweh. The form this word is written in – second-person aorist active imperative – adds “you have” to the root meaning. The implication (not actually stated) is that had is “in” that believed.
The capitalized “Kyrion” makes this word that simply means “lord, master, sir” become divinely elevated so Yahweh becomes the “Master” over one’s soul. This means all human beings are souls that are themselves the “lords” over their bodies of flesh. While all human beings find life on the material plane impossible without things, the right to “lord” over one’s body becomes sold into slavery to others, who then become extended “lords masters and sirs,” to whom one’s things are afforded.
In the story told in Acts 16, the earthquake and the doors opening, with the chains no longer binding the prisoners, cause the jailer to draw his sword to kill himself. That act of self-sacrifice was due to his “lord, master, and sir” being his employers. He knew those “lords” and “masters” would hold him responsible for an act of nature, because human “lords” always place blame on someone other than self One must then see his readiness to sacrifice himself for a lesser “lord” be why Paul and Silas called out to him, saying no prisoners had escaped. In essence, they told him, “If you are willing to sacrifice self, then sacrifice yourself to a higher “Lord.”’
The capitalization of “Iēsoun” is then the one word that is clearly identified as being divinely elevated by Yahweh, because that is the name of His Son. Simply by seeing the name “Jesus,” everyone joins his name together with “Lord,” as if everyone understands “Jesus” is the Lord. There is complete ignorance to Yahweh directing Luke to write the word “Lord,” separately and capitalized. If it was just some ‘added fluff,’ then all Luke would have written is “you have Faith on the basis of this Jesus.” That ignorance of “Lord” leads to ignorance of the meaning behind the name “Jesus.”
The angel Gabriel announced to Mary, “You are pregnant with a son; and, you will name him Jesus.” [I write according to English translations, where “Jesus” is actually “Iēsoun” is the Greek. Still, Gabriel would have communicated divinely with Mary in Aramaic, saying “Yehoshua” or “Joshua.”] The name means “Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh is salvation,” where the capitalization makes it important to see this “Yahweh” element in the name. After Gabriel told Mary what the name of her son would be, he then added Jesus would be “Lord this of God,” “Son of God,” and she was the “handmaiden of Lord.”
The key element for understanding this verse written by Luke is then found in segment five. That is begun by the word “kai,” stating importantly: “this of house of you.” While the English translation makes it seem that Paul and Silas said, “If you serve Jesus as your Lord, that will then also save your family,” where “of house of you” is paraphrased as “those you see when you go to your house.” That ignores the singularity of the word “you” being written between comma marks.
Paul and Silas said (importantly), “will be saved,” where that becomes reflective of the bridge between oneself (“you”) and “Jesus” becoming one’s “Lord.” The importance of the fifth segment of words (“kai”) says the union of “Jesus” as-with-IN “you” makes “you” become a “house of” Yahweh, where Yahweh is “of you.” Just as Gabriel told Mary, “you will become the handmaiden of the Lord,” by bearing the “Son of God” inside her flesh, the same would apply to the jailer. His body of flesh would be “a house of God,” where Jesus would be born as the high priest.
On a lower level of meaning (the duality built into the Word) makes "of house of you" being the area of responsibility held by the jailer. He was the responsible one "of jailhouse." The 'family' "of jailhouse, under the control "of you" the jailer, all the prisoners held therein were all just like the jailer, wanting to know, "What must I do to be saved?" What Paul and Silas said about a "house of you" equally applied to everyone, especially those justly or unjustly thrown into jail. If none of those prisoners had found it being their time to escape, all remaining in their cells, the 'earth moving experience' that released their chains must be seen as the power of Yahweh felt within them, having heard the songs of praise sent forth by Paul and Silas, so they too sought salvation. True salvation of a soul means personal experience of Yahweh, being reborn as His Son (each individually).
To drive this point home, the Baptist minister had made clear that Philippi was in Macedonia, which he said was in Greece. It should be realized that during the 'early days' of Christianity, the name "Jesus" did not have the immediate effect that it has today. By telling a jailer, who was most likely a Greek-born Philippian, of pagan religious values, "Believe in the Lord Jesus and be saved," the immediate response would have been, "Who's that?" Because that was not the way the jailer responded, what Paul and Silas said was (in essence), "Let me introduce to you your new Lord. His name is Jesus, which means Yahweh is Salvation." That would have then led to segment five having the effect of saying, "And all you other guys finding prison as reflective of the punishment that is unrewarding life on earth (in the flesh), your opening your hearts to our songs of praise means your new Lord is also named Jesus."
By seeing that, the capitalization of “have Faith” says that can only come from personal experience. The Baptist minister, while speaking about all the beatings by rods Paul and Silas experienced, said, “I don’t know about you; but if that was me, I think for a moment I would not be singing songs of praise. I would be going, ‘Man this hurts.’” That speaks volumes about how we all have experienced beatings unjustly, so we have faith in the fact – that hurts. Our beliefs are physical, not spiritual.
Because so few today have personally experienced the presence of Yahweh within, so His Son has been resurrected inside new flesh (like in that of Paul and Silas - Saints), it is hard to “have Faith” and be reflected in singing songs of praise after having been beaten. Just the thought of a bad beating means that is something best left to, “I hear you brother, so I believe in you.” It drives people away from wanting to self-sacrifice.
That is not the point of Yahweh leading Luke to write this about Paul and Silas.