New American Standard Bible
and after he brought them out, he said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
King James Bible
And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved?
Darby Bible Translation
And leading them out said, Sirs, what must I do that I may be saved?
World English Bible
and brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?"
Young's Literal Translation
and having brought them forth, said, 'Sirs, what must I do -- that I may be saved?'
Acts 16:30 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
And brought them out - From the prison.
Sirs - Greek: κύριοι kurioi, lords - an address of respect; a title usually given to masters or owners of slaves.
What must I do to be saved? - Never was a more important question asked than this. It is clear that by the question he did not refer to any danger to which he might be exposed from what had happened. For:
(1) The apostles evidently understood him as referring to his eternal salvation, as is manifest from their answer, since to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ would have no effect in saving him from any danger of punishment to which he might be exposed from what had occurred.
(2) he could scarcely now consider himself as exposed to punishment by the Romans. The prisoners were all safe; none had escaped, or showed any disposition to escape; and besides, for the earthquake and its effects he could not be held responsible. It is not improbable that there was much confusion in his mind. There would be a rush of many thoughts; a state of agitation, alarm, and fear; and in view of all, he would naturally ask those whom he now saw to be men sent by God, and under his protection, what he should do to obtain the favor of that great Being under whose protection he saw that they manifestly were. Perhaps the following thoughts might have tended to produce this state of agitation and alarm:
(1) They had been designated by the Pythoness Acts 16:17 as religious teachers sent from God, and appointed to "show the way of salvation," and in her testimony he might have been disposed to put confidence, or it might now be brought fresh to his recollection.
(2) he manifestly saw that they were under the protection of God. A remarkable interposition - an earthquake - an event which all the pagan regarded as ominous of the presence of the divinity - had showed this.
(3) the guilt of their imprisonment might rush upon his mind; and he might suppose that he, the agent of the imprisonment of the servants of God, would be exposed to his displeasure.
(4) his guilt in attempting his own life might overwhelm him with alarm.
(5) the whole scene was suited to show him the need of the protection and friendship of the God that had thus interposed. In this state of agitation and alarm, the apostles directed him to the only source of peace and safety - the blood of the atonement. The feelings of an awakened sinner are often strikingly similar to those of this jailor. He is agitated, alarmed, and fearful; he sees that he is a sinner, and trembles; the sins of his life rush over his memory, and fill him with deep anxiety, and he inquires what he must do to be saved. Often too, as here, the providence of God is the means of awakening the sinner, and of leading to this inquiry. Some alarming dispensation convinces him that God is near, and that the soul is in danger. The loss of health, or property, or of a friend, may thus alarm the soul; the ravages of the pestilence, or any fearful judgment, may arrest the attention, and lead to the inquiry, "What must I do to be saved?" Reader, have you ever made this inquiry? Have you ever, like the pagan jailor at Philippi, seen yourself to be a lost sinner, and been willing to ask the way to life?
In this narrative we see the contrast which exists in periods of distress and alarm between Christians and sinners. The guilty jailor was all agitation, fear, distress, and terror; the apostles, all peace, calmness, joy. The one was filled with thoughts of self-murder; the others, intent on saving life and doing good. This difference is to be traced to religion. It was confidence in God that gave peace to them; it was the want of what led to agitation and alarm in him It is so still. In the trying scenes of this life the same difference is seen. In bereavement, in sickness, in times of pestilence, in death, it is still so. The Christian is calm; the sinner is agitated and alarmed. The Christian can pass through such scenes with peace and joy; to the sinner, they are scenes of terror and of dread. And thus it will be beyond the grave. In the morning of the resurrection, the Christian will rise with joy and triumph; the sinner, with fear and horror. And thus at the judgment seat. Calm and serene, the saint shall witness the solemnities of that day, and triumphantly hail the Judge as his friend; fearful and trembling, the sinner shall look on these solemnities with a soul filled with horror as he listens to the sentence that consigns him to eternal woe! With what solicitude, then, should we seek, without delay, an interest in that religion which alone can give peace to the soul!
LibraryThe Riot at Philippi
'And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, 20. And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, 21. And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. 22. And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. 23. And when they had laid many …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture: The Acts
Lydia, the First European Convert
The Martyrs of Lyons and vienne (Ad 177)
Scotland and Ireland
Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?"
"And I said, 'What shall I do, Lord?' And the Lord said to me, 'Get up and go on into Damascus, and there you will be told of all that has been appointed for you to do.'
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