Acts 16:31-35
Acts 16:31 (KJB)
And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.
Whether the man was speaking about his physical life was inconsequential to Paul because he turned it around and made it a question of salvation. For him to be saved, he must believe on the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation because He is the only way of salvation. (Acts 4:12 KJV) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. Salvation can never come by religion or any means beside Christ. (John 14:6 KJV) Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. That is why Christianity is a narrow faith because no one can become saved and come to the Father unless they come through the Son. Paul goes on to say that not only will you become saved but your house will become saved because the father will now bring the true gospel to his family and the Elect within the family will hear the Gospel and become saved. One is not saved because another in the household is saved. They must be Elect of God and He will open the heart unto salvation.
Acts 16:32 (KJB)
And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house.
Paul and Silas then spoke the word to the jailer and to his entire household. They explained to them the word of God and how one becomes saved through the Lord Jesus Christ alone. They no doubt received a solid biblical foundation from Paul and Silas in the middle of the night.
Acts 16:33 (KJB)
And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.
Once they heard the Gospel from Paul and Silas, the entire household had become saved. The jailer and his family was immediately baptized in water which was probably in a pool in the courtyard of their house. Archaeology has uncovered many such pools in large Roman houses. The jailer now takes on Christian characteristics giving evidence of his conversion. He took them immediately and washed the wounds which they received from the beating.
Acts 16:34 (KJB)
And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.
After the baptism and the washing off of the blood and dirt from their backs, he really showed his Christian conversion by bringing them out of the prison and into his own house. He not only invited them in but he had set food before them and no doubt it was a good meal and not something of low character that they normally fed the prisoners, if they fed them at all because in many places the family was responsible for providing food and clothing for their family member who is in prison. There was much joy in that house that night because salvation had come to it. If you think about it, if he would have committed suicide, then he and his family would never have come to inherit eternal life. This is why the doctrine of predestination is very important. This jailer’s name was written in the Lamb’s Book of Life from the foundation of the world, therefore nothing could cause his death until the time that he became saved. (2 Pet 3:9 KJV) The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. God is not willing that any of His Elect perish but that all of them will come to salvation.
Acts 16:35 (KJB)
And when it was day, the magistrates sent the serjeants, saying, Let those men go.
The serjeants which they sent were not Roman soldiers but were basically orderlies or attendants. They were also known as “lictors” but could also have been Roman officers who wore their insignia and accompanied the Magistrates. These serjeants may have also been the ones who carried out the beating on Paul and Silas. There is no reason given as to why they were released from jail. Maybe the Magistrates realized that they had no evidence against them of any kind for any crime. The word may have even come to the Magistrates that Paul and Silas had prevented the jailer from committing suicide. No matter what the reason was, they were free to go.