Summary: Christians often need to be saved from their subjective fears that put their emotional system into a turmoil.There was a spirit of pessimism reigning over the lives of the Apostles in this setting. They were safe, but they felt like they were sunk.
Most of us probably have some money in a saving account where it
is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Cooperation, or FDIC for
short. This brilliant idea which saved the banks after the depression,
and saves all savers a lot of anxiety is a gift God gave to the American
people through a Christian banker in Philadelphia. His name was
Leon H. Sullivan. When black Monday hit on March 4, 1933, and
closed the banks, he went to prayer and labored long over a plan to
reopen the banks. He thanked God for the idea which led to the banks
being able to open. It was the FDIC idea.
He came to Christ as a boy of nine, and by twenty five he was the
youngest bank cashier in the U.S. Banking was his life. But like all
successful Christians he had a struggle with pride. He began to crave
more power, prominence, and possessions. He began to have social
parties in his large house with champagne. He stopped going to
church, for his new goal kept him too busy for the God who had saved
him. He got so greedy that he went into partnership with a
non-Christian. His wife warned him, but he would not listen, for there
was a fortune to be made. The entire real estate deal collapsed,
however, and he lost everything. He was one hundred and fifty
thousand in debt, and had no reputation and no friends. He was
sinking fast, but unlike Peter who cried out immediately, "Lord save
me," he held on for twelve days in pride.
After twelve days of living on corn flakes he finally cried out to
God in brokenness, "Lord save me!" It took years, but he was saved
and restored and became a successful investment broker who helped
Christian colleges and other Christian causes raise millions. By his
fall and failure he learned to be successful as a Christian in the world
of business. Successful Christians often have to fail so they can be
saved for success as Christians. Their success becomes an idol and
leads them away from God, and only by means of failure can they be
brought back to God to succeed for him. Christians only need to be
saved once for eternity by putting their faith in Christ, but they need
to be saved many times in time, as they begin to sink because of their
lack of faith.
Peter was a saved man as a hand picked disciple of Christ. If he
would have drowned in the storm, he would have been welcomed into
heaven. He was a saved man, yet, we see him here crying out, "Lord
save me." It was not the sinners prayer. He was not crying out to be
forgiven and reconciled with God. That was not his problem. He was
already saved that way, and you never need to be saved that way
again. When Jesus is trusted as Savior you are saved for eternity.
But here is Peter still calling out, "Lord save me." A saved man can
still use some saving when he is sinking.
Balzac, the Sir Walter Scott of France, wrote a famous short story
called Jesus Christ in Flanders. A ferry-boat is carrying a mixed
crowd of passengers when a furious gale strikes and throws everyone
into a panic. A stranger with a glow on his face is calm and serene as
if he knew he would not die. As the boat begins to sink the stranger
speaks, "Those who have faith shall be saved! Let them follow me."
He then stepped out upon the waves and walked on the water. A
young mother took her child up in her arms and followed him. A
soldier and two cousins also followed and walked upon the sea, and
they came safely to the shore. The stranger vanishes, but they
recognize he is Christ. Balzac's story is obviously an adaptation of
our text. But it is a focus on the fact that even saved people; people
who already have faith in Jesus, still need to be saved from storms,
and all kinds of threats to life and health.
Jesus could say, "How do I save thee, let me count the ways." And
they would mount up to a high number. The point is, this prayer of
Peter as he began to sink is a prayer that needs praying often because
even saved people need perpetual saving in this storm tossed world.
Let's look at just some of the ways we need saving as suggested by
Peter's experience. First of all we all need to be saved-
I. FROM LITTLE FAITH.
Whenever a Christian begins to sink, you can trace the trouble
back to little faith. The negative realities of life begin to overwhelm