“And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.” (Acts 16:31)
To get to this wonderful declaration by Paul about salvation through faith in Jesus, Paul and Silas had endured a most miserable situation. First of all, we need to realize that Philippi was a Roman colony and practiced pagan Roman idolatry. The spiritual darkness in Philippi was so great, that prior to Paul’s arrest he had to cast a demon out of a soothsaying, black magic practicing, demon possessed girl. This girl had been used as a front for the sale of pagan religious idols, and this girl’s masters had Paul and Silas arrested and beaten for disrupting their moneymaking schemes. It must have seemed that darkness had triumphed over the truth. But, the abiding faith that dwelt in the hearts of Paul and Silas shined through the darkness in the prison as they sang hymns to Jesus in the night. Acts 16:25-26: “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” What a wonderful thing it is that these men were singing praises unto God while in prison! No wonder the doors were shaken loose!
The jailer, who was responsible for the prisoners, assumed they had escaped in the earthquake, and he would be responsible to forfeit his own life through suicide. When a man is in a position like that, he thinks about eternity. This man did just that, as he asked Paul and Silas how to be saved. The verse beginning this note is the reply to his question, and instead of taking his own life he gets saved and baptized. The truth had pierced through the darkness and shined for all to see.
When Jesus was crucified it seemed as though Darkness had prevailed, but three days later up from the grave He arose, and that truth is still shining into a dark world today. May God help us all to be confident in the tough situations we may get into, remember that God is with us and that truth shines especially bright in the darkness.