INTRO: The mariners now know the whole story. but they are still in the same bad fix as before. The storms violence was not diminished ... in fact, the language here seems to indicate a worsening of what is already beyond the mariners ability to cope. Yet, there is still no solution which appears to them. Finally, though, they are forced to take dramatic, decisive action. Jonah will have to be cast into the sea if the rest of those aboard ship are going to live! However, in the verses we have read there is suggested a lesson which we might simply entitle The Pain of Correction. When troubles come, what must we do?
I. OBVIOUSLY, WE MUST FIND THE CAUSE
A. If cause is unknown, a cure is certainly improbable
1. so, mariners took steps to find cause (1:7)
2. certainly, a number of things may cause troubles in our lives: economic woes, bad health, catastrophe
B. But no doubt that sin is the root of much trouble
1. God will not permit the righteous gone bad to flourish without His opposition - Hos 5:15
2. sin will sap spiritual vitality - Rev 3:1-4
3. sin will ruin if not resolved - 1 Cor 5:6,7
4. true of church or individual
II. THEN, WE MUST SEEK THE CURE
A. Why wallow in misery if a solution is available?
1. this was next step for mariners (1:11)
2. what they wanted most was that calm sea
3. and Jonah answered their search (1:12) he was the cause, and cure involved dealing with him
B. Sin makes our lives like troubled seas
1. Isa 57:20,21 see what sin does in our lives!
2. the cure ... repentance and correction on our part Ezek 14:6 and 18:30 note especially last part of v.30)
3. forgiveness on Gods part and assurance of it! (1 Jno 1:9)
III. KNOW THAT PAIN MAY ACCOMPANY THE CURE FOR SIN
A. The mariners had to deal with this, too (1:13)
1. cure was too much for them at that point
2. they did what so often we do sought to handle it in a way other than as God prescribes they rowed hard
3. we try to ignore a problem, tolerate a problem, resolve by some alternative means (making a show of religion or of good works)
4. but that is not the way out of the tempest caused by sin
B. What pain may we face in dealing with sin?
1. pain of realization - no one happy to discover that he is in sin
2. pain of correction - suppose it means stopping pleasure giving habit or practice? suppose it means having to sever a harmful relationship? suppose it means a whole new lifestyle (Ezek 18:31)?
3. at that point are we going to be willing to repent and correct?
4. I wonder if Mt 19:22 does not describe many?
C. This pain is momentary, small compared to the calm
1. no amount of rowing changed the storm - got worse
2. the calm sea and safety for life and limb finally meant more than that momentary pain (1:15)
3. some may never want the calm - perceive the cure for sin is too painful
4. but God, brethren help us through that pain ... and the peace of God comes into our lives as a calm sea
CLOSE: We must each decide if the correction, needed in our lives is worth the pain. And it is, in fact! Read, again, with me Ezek 18:31,32 ... if we want to really live as Gods people, the way is plain!
Cecil A. Hutson
23 June 2002
You Must Hear the Gospel
You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)
You Must Believe
You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)
You Must Repent
You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)
You Must Confess
You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)
You Must Be Baptized
Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!
You Must Be Faithful Unto Death
Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)