SAILING ON THE SHIP OF ZION.
1. I know somewhat about ships and the sea having served in the US Navy in WWII.
2. The church of our Lord is likened unto a ship, with all the integral parts therein and the captain and crew thereof.
I. THIS SHIP WAS IN THE ETERNAL PURPOSE OF GOD, HE IS THE MASTER ARCHITECT THEREOF.
A. Note the following scripture: Eph. 3:8-11.
B. It was purchased and built by Christ: Acts 20:28; Mt. 16:18.
C. The Holy Spirit was and is the guiding power of outfitting the ship for the sea: Jno. 16:13,14.
D. Christ chose the charter crewmen or plank owners to be the first part of His crew, the apostles were those chosen.
E. The Holy Spirit directed them and others in drawing up the sailing orders: 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Pet. 1:3,21.
II. ALL CREW MEMBERS ARE CHOSEN AND SIGNED ON BY THE STRICTEST OF QUALIFICATIONS. Rom. 10:17; Heb. 11:6; Lk. 13:3; Rom. 10:10; Acts 2:38.
A. First mates or elders, are chosen from the crew according to their past seamanship and present activity in leadership. Their qualifications are strict: 1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9.
B. Second mates or deacons are chosen also by their past and present seamanship, and according to strict regulations: 1 Tim. 3:8-12.
C. The Captain or Pilot is Christ, Heb. 2:10; 5:9.
1. "Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me, Over Life's Tempestuous Sea". All of us as crewmembers are subject to the Captain. He has the last word on everything that goes on on His ship.
III. THE SHIP'S TACKLE CONSISTS OF:
A. Compass: -- The Word of God. 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 2 Pet. 1:3. "Chart and Compass Came From Thee".
B. Power for the sails. -- Our Faith. Heb. 11:1-40. "Faith is the Victory."
C. Anchor. -- Our Hope. Heb. 6:18,19. "Whispering Hope".
1. The anchor holds the bow of the ship into the storm, thereby keeping the ship from capsizing.
IV. THE CARGO IS MADE UP OF PRECIOUS SOULS. Heb. 13:17; Acts 2:47.
A. The sea upon which we are sailing is the sea of life.
B. The harbor for which we are heading is heaven.
V. A GOOD SAILOR WILL CHECK THE SEAWORTHINESS OF HIS SHIP FROM STEM TO STERN BEFORE SETTING SAIL.
A. We must always be sure that the Captain is on board. Mt. 18:20; Rom. 8:31.
1. Mary and Joseph thought Jesus was with them when He was not.
B. In checking the seaworthiness of our ship, we must check: Compass, Anchor, Sails, Cargo, etc. 2 Pet.1: 3-11.
C. A good shipmaster will be sure that his ship and cargo are insured.
1. Christ is our Blessed Assurance.
2. In order for the insurance to stay current the premiums must be paid.
D. Caesar, when once exposed to the danger's of shipwreck, roused the sinking spirits of the crew by crying aloud amidst the roar of the winds and waves and exclaiming, to his helsman, that was almost ready to desert his post, "The vessel which carries Caesar and his fortunes can never sink."
E. Might not the apostles of the Lord, when they were in the great storm on the Sea of Galilee, and we that are in the ship of Zion today, learn a lesson from this heathen conqueror and apply his words to our case in their truest and highest form? "The vessel that carries Jesus our Lord and His precious possessions can never perish".
VI. A TRUE SEAMAN WILL TURN TO THOSE THAT CAN HELP, WHEN HE SEES HIS POWER IS NOT PREVAILING AS IT SHOULD AGAINST THE STORMS OF LIFE.
A. We must always be willing to turn to God to help us to sail the stormy waters of life.
B. A true seaman will take his ship out to meet the storms and will not allow it to be battered against the docks while tied up and idle.
C. A true sailor upon the sea, will keep a continuous eye upon his compass and his hand upon the helm.
D. A true and efficient seaman will keep his radio line open to the right channel of the ones that can help in time of storm.
1. This can be done by study and prayer.
E. A true sailor stands by the life lines "to rescue the perishing and care for the dying to snatch them in pity from sin and the grave."
F. A true and faithful sailor will never be guilty of mutiny or inciting mutiny among his fellow crewmen.
1. Webster tells us that: "Mutiny; Insurrection against, or refusal to obey, constituted authority."
What type of sailor are You?
Are you sailing on the only ship that is sea worthy for the sea of life and is headed for the right destination or port?
In Noah's day there was only one ship that was bound for the right harbor and was able to withstand the flood.
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