Chapter Sixteen — Part Five: The Book of Acts

By: Pastors Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne

Publish date: 05/22/2022

Foundation Scriptures:
Acts 16:29-40

1. Bands Loosed.
a. Paul and Silas were arrested on false charges, savagely beaten and thrown into prison, with no trial.
b. At midnight, they began to pray and sing praises to God.
c. He sent a mighty earthquake, and everyone’s bands were loosed, but amazingly none of the prisoners tried to escape.
d. Perhaps they were still in shock from experiencing God’s miracle-working, delivering power in the middle of the night, or perhaps they were restrained by angels.
e. More than likely, all of them, except Paul and Silas, deserved the punishment they were given under their laws.
f. There would have been terrible consequences for the jailer if the guilty had escaped.
g. Believing that all the prisoners had escaped, the jailer was about to take his own life when Paul cried out to prevent him from doing it.
h. Acts 16:29 KJV — Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas,
i. When he got a light, he saw that they were all still there, and he realized that their God must be responsible for these miracles.

2. Saved and Baptized.
a. Acts 16:30 KJV — And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
b. The jailer humbled himself before them, calling them “sir,” a title of respect, meaning “lord,” or “master.”
c. He asked what he should do to be saved.
d. Whether he meant “saved” in a physical sense or an eternal sense, Paul went ahead and preached the Gospel to him.
e. Paul did not hold any unforgiveness in his heart toward the jailer and was more than willing to lead him to Jesus.
f. Acts 16:31 KJV — And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
g. The simplicity of the Gospel is that one may receive salvation through surrender to God—repenting of sin, believing on the Lord Jesus Christ, and confessing Him as Lord (Rom. 10:9-10).
h. Acts 16:32 KJV — And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
i. Both the jailer and all his household believed and received Jesus as Lord and Savior.
j. The Lord promised Abraham, "…in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed" (Gen. 28:14).
k. It is God’s plan that whole families should be blessed with salvation and receive all His good promises.
l. Acts 16:33a KJV — And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes…
m. When the jailer was converted, his heart was immediately changed, and he went from showing uncaring cruelty to kindly compassion and washed their wounds.
n. Acts 16:33b KJV — …and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
o. He and his family were baptized in water there and then.
p. Acts 16:34 KJV — And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
q. Salvation came to his house that day.
r. He was changed—he brought them to his own house, fed them from his own table, and rejoiced in the Lord.
s. There is a pattern throughout the scriptures of great joy, together with generosity, accompanying salvation.
t. Acts 2:28 NKJV — You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.

3. Roman Citizens.
a. Acts 16:35 NKJV — And when it was day, the magistrates sent the officers, saying, “Let those men go.”
b. Early the next morning, they sent word for them to be released.
c. Rome was zealous about protecting their citizens.
d. It was unlawful to cause any Roman citizen to be bound or beaten without a proper trial.
e. Neither could they be put to death without an appeal to Caesar.
f. The magistrates, who should have known better, had Paul and Silas unjustly beaten and now they were just going to quietly let them ago as if this is how things were done.
g. Acts 16:36 NKJV — So the keeper of the prison reported these words to Paul, saying, “The magistrates have sent to let you go. Now therefore depart, and go in peace.”
h. The jailer, no doubt was glad to hear that they were now being released, but Paul was not going to let the authorities get away with their violations of his Roman rights.
i. Acts 16:37 NKJV — But Paul said to them, “They have beaten us openly, uncondemned Romans, and have thrown us into prison. And now do they put us out secretly? No indeed! Let them come themselves and get us out.”
j. They were publicly ill-treated, and now they boldly declared that they expected a public apology.
k. Acts 16:38 NKJV — And the officers told these words to the magistrates, and they were afraid when they heard that they were Romans.
l. Paul planned to teach the magistrates a lesson.
m. The people would see that they were unjustly condemned.
n. And that by disregarding the law, the magistrates had also held Rome, itself, in contempt.
o. Acts 16:39 NKJV — Then they came and pleaded with them and brought them out, and asked them to depart from the city.
p. When they realized Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were afraid and begged them to leave the area.
q. If Rome found out what they had done, they could have been penalized by being deposed, or ended up in prison themselves.
r. Acts 16:40 NKJV — So they went out of the prison and entered the house of Lydia; and when they had seen the brethren, they encouraged them and departed.
s. It was time for them to leave, but there were fellow believers who remained and who would continue the work that had been begun there.
t. They comforted and encouraged them in the Word, and in the Lord, and departed to a new harvest field.