Summary: To establish that in the course of all of our lives; while serving Christ there will be perilous times and risks that press upon our faith. It will be then we need to remember the promised reassurances of God in time of need; and then wait for His providential rescue.
1. Paul’s Witness: “Amidst Perilous Ragings”
2. Paul’s Witness: “After Promised Reassurances”
3. Paul’s Witness: “After Providential Rescue”
1. In our lesson today we are going to be discussing the theme: “All Hope was Lost!” As some might know, it is easy to witness of Christ and the church while things are going alright in our lives. But what about when there come into our lives, as in this text: “perilous ragings and times?” It appeared to Paul and to all these travelers, that “all hope was lost.” These perils of life and countrymen, were nothing new unto this servant of God; regarding them he wrote: “In journeying often, in perils of waters...in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren,” 2 Corinthians 11:26. I would be out of time quickly, if I spoke of some of these, like Abraham, Joseph, David and Job. Perils when allowed; are sent to test and try our faith. We will see this for certain in this lesson.
2. First, we will consider our witness, during these raging and perilous times. Our text of discussion takes place amidst a terrible storm. Luke wrote: “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared and no small tempest lay on us (in the ship), all hope (that we might be saved) was then taken away,” Acts 27:20. But I came by to tell you; that you’re not bound by your present circumstances! There is nothing too “impossible with God,” Matthew 19:26. Storms are a part of life for us all; the blessing is that, we do not go through them alone.
3. Second, we will discuss the angel’s promised reassurances to Paul, regarding his visit to Rome. Luke wrote: “But after long abstinence Paul stood forth in the midst of them, and said, Sirs, ye should have hearkened unto me, and not have loosed from Crete, and to have gained this harm and loss. And now I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, Saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Caesar: and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me,” Acts 27:21-26. This is the same Jesus who: “Arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm,” Mark 4:39.
4. Lastly, we will investigate God’s providential rescue of these stricken voyagers en-route to Rome. Luke wrote: “But when the fourteenth night was come...Being driven up and down in Adria... Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, except these abide in the ship they cannot be saved. And while the day was coming on, Paul besought them all to take meat... And when it was day, they knew not the land... they were minded, if it were possible, to thrust in the ship... And falling into a place where two seas met, they ran the ship aground; and the forepart stuck fast, and remained unmovable, but the hinder part was broken with the violence of the waves. Then the centurion commanded that they which could swim, should cast themselves first into the sea, and get to land. And the rest, some on boards, some on broken pieces of the ship. And so it came to pass, that they escaped all safe to land,” Acts 27:38-44. With this introduction, let’s consider our first point.
BODY OF LESSON
I PAUL’S WITNESS: “ADMISDT PERILOUS RAGINGS”
A. The word “witness” in Gr., is mártys, mar'-toos; a witness literally (judicially) or figuratively (genitive case); by analogy, a "martyr":—martyr, record, witness.
1. In our lesson today it means: “Those who after Christ’s example have proven their own strength and genuine faith to Him, by undergoing great hardships or even a violent death: as a martyr or witness to Christ.”
2. Luke the historian shares Paul’s witness during this perilous and troubling time; in his life, with 276 others en-route to Rome. Paul has been sent to stand trial before Caesar’s throne, to bear witness and testimony of Jesus Christ.
3. Luke wrote of these perilous and ragings times: “And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us (in the ship), all hope was then taken away,” Acts 27:20. All hope was lost, that they should arrive safely.
4. This journey was ordained of God. Therefore, regardless of the circumstances; things will be alright, because God has commissioned it. Notice:
a. First, Paul’s purpose: “After these things were ended, Paul purposed in the spirit, when he had passed through Macedonia and Achaia, to go to Jerusalem, saying, After I have been there, I must also see Rome,” Acts 19:21. Work in Ephesus.