Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | May 18, 2011

“Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 16:25-34.
25  But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them;

 26  and suddenly there came a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison house were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were unfastened.

 27  When the jailer awoke and saw the prison doors opened, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped.

 28  But Paul cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here!”

 29  And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas,

 30  and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 

 31  They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

 32  And they spoke the word of the Lord to him together with all who were in his house.

 33  And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.

 34  And he brought them into his house and set food before them, and rejoiced greatly, having believed in God with his whole household.”  Acts 16:25-34.


“For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.”  Acts 2:39

Like the jailer’s household, God does save children of believers, not necessarily every child or other descendant of a believer.  But, it should be a great encouragement that God elects to save children of believers. 

Even though God does not necessarily save every child or other descendant of a believer, the parent believers have a duty to raise all their children in the Christian faith.  “For I have chosen him (Abraham), so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing righteousness and justice, so that the LORD may bring upon Abraham what He has spoken about him.”  Genesis 18:19. 

Isaac had a duty to circumcise and otherwise raise both of his sons Jacob and Esau in the faith, but we know that God only chose Jacob for salvation. 

“That is, it is not the children of the flesh who are children of God, but the children of the promise are regarded as descendants.  For this is the word of promise: “AT THIS TIME I WILL COME, AND SARAH SHALL HAVE A SON.”

And not only this, but there was Rebekah also, when she had conceived twins by one man, our father Isaac;  for though the twins were not yet born and had not done anything good or bad, so that God’s purpose according to His choice would stand, not because of works but because of Him who calls, it was said to her, “THE OLDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER.”  Just as it is written, “JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.”  Romans 9:8-13.

Even though the salvation principle of election rules, we must not think of election in terms of election of just random independent individuals.  Rather, we must think of election in terms of election of “you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 

Recognizing this promise or covenant of salvation of “families”, we baptize infant children of believers rather than only baptize adults that have professed their faith.  Infant baptism is also consistent that salvation is based on God’s election rather than based on man’s free-will.

But again, just because we baptize our infant children, our action does not necessarily “lock-in” our baptized child into salvation.  Salvation is still based on God’s election.

Like the jailer, we can “greatly rejoice” when we see our children truly believe.  But, I think we can do better.  Prior to “knowing” who is saved and who is not saved, we can and should “exult” at the promise of God.  We have a God who not only saves us but also saves our children whoever God elects. 

Our highest joy is not based on our own actions or even the actions of our child.  Our highest joy is based on God and His promises and His actions.  “I will give Thee thanks forever, because Thou hast done it, And I will wait on Thy name, for it is good, in the presence of Thy godly ones.”  Psalm 52:9.  “For Thou, O LORD, hast made me glad by what Thou hast done, I will sing for joy at the works of Thy hands.”  Psalm 92:4.

Psalm 9:2
“I will be glad and exult in You;  I will sing praise to Your name, O Most High.”

Psalm 35:9
“And my soul shall rejoice in the LORD;  It shall exult in His salvation.”

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