This is not for everyone, but it will surely help some of you.
“What must I do to be saved?”
We see this question from the Philippian Jailer in Acts 16:30. The question itself arose from Greek culture. It became a figure of speech, so the actual meaning varies with the context. It was intentionally ambiguous in the sense that it was seeking whatever divine rescue was available, asking what were the terms. The jailer was hardly unaware of the plethora of Eastern religions represented across the Mediterranean in those days. He knew that people connected to Judaism were also part of that broad collection of Eastern mystical religions. Since he saw the power of something beyond human ken and these men were confident and at peace, he wanted some of whatever it was that set them free but kept them from escaping and getting him in trouble.
In Western culture, the question has taken on a rather precise theological meaning that builds on a false foundation. Bear with me a moment while I try once again to untangle this.
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