Acts 16:33

ESV And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family.
NIV At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his household were baptized.
NASB And he took them that very hour of the night and washed their wounds, and immediately he was baptized, he and all his household.
CSB He took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds. Right away he and all his family were baptized.
NLT Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds. Then he and everyone in his household were immediately baptized.
KJV And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway.

What does Acts 16:33 mean?

Jesus was not an authorized deity of the Roman Empire. And yet, Paul and Silas are in Philippi preaching that Jesus of Nazareth died on a cross and rose again, offering reconciliation with the Creator God, forgiveness of sins, and eternal life. Residents of the city with a grudge against Paul and Silas accuse them of promoting the worship of an illegal deity; the crowd attacks them and the city magistrates have them beaten with rods and imprisoned (Acts 16:20–24).

When an earthquake rattles the jail, freeing every captive of their chains, Paul and Silas stay and apparently encourage the other prisoners to do the same. If any had escaped, the jailer would have been executed. He knows he is saved from physical death, and he and his family accept Paul and Silas's invitation to accept God's offer of salvation from eternal death (Acts 16:25–32).

Now, he washes the blood off Paul's and Silas's wounds, and they baptize him and his family. Baptism doesn't save. It doesn't actively forgive every past sin. It is a picture of the washing away of sins people experience when they give those sins to Jesus to forgive (Acts 22:16). It represents dying to one's old sinful nature, burying the old person, and rising again regenerated and restored to new life (Colossians 2:12). Paul and Silas no longer bear the blood of their shameful, unfair punishment, and the jailer's family is washed of their sins in Jesus' blood and freed of the punishment they justly deserve.
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