If You Have Judged Me to Be Faithful

If You Have Judged Me to Be Faithful

The above statement is made by Lydia after her baptism in an effort to persuade the teachers (Paul, Silas, Timothy and Luke) to use her house as a headquarters during their stay in Philippi (Acts 16:15). 

There are direct arguments for the necessity of baptism for salvation. For example, notice Ananias’ words to Saul “arise, be baptized, washing away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord” (Acts 22:16). There are also subtle arguments for baptism which are just as persuasive. Notice Lydia’s words about being considered faithful. What had just occurred in her life wherein she could now be regarded as faithful? Clearly, her faithfulness included her obedience to the gospel, which involves baptism for the remission of sins (Acts 16:15; Acts 2:38). 

Back up a moment and see the order of Lydia’s conversion to Christ. First, Paul “spoke” the gospel to her (16:13); then, she “heard” the message (16:14). Following the hearing, “the Lord opened her heart” (16:14), she “gave heed” or “paid attention” to the things which were taught and was baptized into Christ (16:14,15). When one “gives heed” to a command, he hears with the intention of obeying (cf.Acts 8:5-12). This is what Lydia and her household did. The order of the procedure is critical because it involves first the preaching and understanding of the word (the only way of obtaining faith, Rom.10:17), then the Lord opening her heart (by means of the word), which then leads to her obedience. This very same procedure is to be followed today. 

When Paul met Lydia, she was already a believer and was in the habit of worshipping the Lord (Acts 16:13). But, she was nevertheless a sinner (like all of us, Rom.3:23) and had not yet learned about salvation in Christ. Multitudes in our community and around the world are in the same situation. Will you not tell it today? 



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