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Text Sermons : ~Other Speakers S-Z : Classic Christian Writings : Thou And Thy House By Theodore H. Epp

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"And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:31).

The same God who said if you believe you shall be saved, also said if you believe your house shall be saved. God has committed Himself to this fact.

This may not sound reasonable to an individual, but God’s promises supersede human reasonableness.

They are to be accepted at face value. If you believe God, then you are saved. You can have that assurance. But if you believe God cannot bring your family to saving faith, then you are walking by sight and not by faith.

"But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear Him, and His righteousness unto children’s children" (Psalm 103:17).

The fact that a parent looks to God for the soul of a child, does not keep the matter of salvation from being a personal act of faith, and by no means does it pave the way for an easy-going Christian experience, but it does insure the dealings of God with your child on behalf of your faith, for salvation is of the Lord. Perhaps a few Biblical illustrations will help to make this plain.

Possibly the outstanding illustration of the individual faith that has brought blessing to not only a blood-related family but a spiritually related family, is that of Abraham. Abraham was called out from his country and home to follow the Lord. In Genesis 12:1 we have the call; in verses 2 and 3 we have the promise of blessing given to him.

And because of the faith of this one man, blessing has come upon the whole family of God. While individuals in his family were brought unto saving faith, the unconditional promises have been that the world would receive blessing because of his doings.

While this illustration may not bear so directly upon the subject at hand, it does show the principle of God that He will visit the good of a man even unto a thousand generations, and because of Abraham’s faith, you and I today are enjoying the blessings of the gospel of the grace of God.

Joshua and His House

Joshua became another outstanding example of household salvation. In his final challenge to Israel, after he had enumerated the wonderful blessings of God, he closes his whole argument with this statement: "Choose you this day whom ye will serve...as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord" (Josh. 24:15).

Since Joshua is here able to speak firmly in behalf of his whole family, naturally the question arises: Did he not speak prematurely? Could not, between the time of his making this statement and the death of his family, someone in his family fall away from the faith or some not believe?

Joshua did not place his confidence in his own children but in the promise of God, and he believed God would fulfill His promise of household salvation. Long before the promise was given to the Philippian jailor, God made it clear that faith on the part of one member of the family would bring blessing and eventually salvation to that family and on the basis of this promise Joshua could make such a statement.

We have an outstanding illustration in the New Testament in the person of Cornelius. He not only believed that he himself would be saved, but that it was for his whole household. The result of Cornelius’ faith is written in Acts, chapters 10 and 11.

Katherine Booth was heard to pray "Oh, God, I will not stand before Thee without my family." And as far as man can reckon, the whole Booth family is not only saved but all serving the Lord in the ministry.

Jonathan Edwards, that great preacher of over a century ago, claimed his seed for God, and in a diligent search that was made of the three generations since, not one has been found without decision for Christ.

John was a straying one, but when his mother was dying, she happily proclaimed the salvation of all of her children, stating that her faith was based on the promise of God that she should be saved and her household.

Five years after her death, John rose in a meeting to give testimony of his dying mother’s faith, proclaiming that he had been brought to the place of saving faith and that he based it upon the statement of his being claimed for Christ on the basis of his mother’s faith in Acts 16:31.

Faith Is Resting on the Faithful One

If prayer is accompanied by faith, there can definitely be thanksgiving. True faith will bring such peace to a man’s heart that he can cease from his worry and bring thanksgiving unto God.

"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" (Acts 16:31).

"For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off...and with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word...were...added unto them" (Acts 2:39-41).

"God is not a man, that He should lie...hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?" (Numbers 23:19).

"Blessed be the Lord, that hath given rest unto His people...according to all that He promised: there hath not failed one word of all His good promise...Let your heart therefore be perfect with the Lord our God, to walk in His statutes, and to keep His commandments" (1 Kings 8:56-61).

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