Summary: Three things...1. Get in the boat, 2. Stay in the boat, 3. Love the boat
The Boat of Salvation
INTRODUCTION: Charles Swindoll, in his book "Three Steps Forward, Two Steps Back," tells the story of a farmer who wanted to impress his hunting buddies. So, he bought the smartest, most expensive hunting dog he could find and he trained his dog to do things no other dog on earth could do---impossible things that would surely amaze everyone. Then he invited his buddies to go duck hunting with him. After a while a flock of ducks flew over and the hunters were able to make a few hits. Several ducks fell in the water and the proud owner shouted to his magnificent dog, "Sally, Go get ‘em!" The dog leapt out of the boat, walked on the water, picked up a bird and returned to the boat. As soon as he dropped the duck in the boat he trotted off across the water again and grabbed another duck and brought it back to the boat. The owner beamed with pride as his wonderful hunting dog walked across the water and retrieved each of the birds one by one. Unable to resist the opportunity to brag a little he asked his buddies, "Do you notice anything unusual about my dog?" One of them rubbed his chin and said, "Yow... Come to think of it, I do notice something different! That silly dog doesn’t know how to swim!"
a. The first thing you need to do to get into the boat is to [accept Christ] as your personal Savior! Jesus said with utmost confidence, “I am the way, the truth, and the life….no man comes to the Father except through me.” So…the first step, in getting into the boat is getting to the Father by way of Jesus Christ. Sometimes that first step can be a little shaky as far as we are concerned.
[Tell story about getting into the little 8 foot flat bottom boat..]
b. The second thing you need to do is to [trust Christ] to do the work of salvation.
Ill- A Kindergarten class went to the fire station for a tour and some instruction in fire safety. The fireman was explaining what to do in case of a fire. He said, "First, go to the door and feel the door to see if it’s hot. Do you know why we feel the door?" “To see if there is fire on the other side”, a child responded. Then he said, "Next fall to your knees. Does anyone know why you ought to fall to your knees?" One of the little girls said, "Sure, you get on your knees so you can start praying to ask God to get you out of this mess!"
TRUST? You mean we have to trust Christ to do the work? YES…and we have a verse of Scripture to assure us that if we do our part God will do HIS! I John 1:9 (quickview) .…“If we confess our sins, HE is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” Here is the promise…If we confess, our confession will be responded to in two ways…
1. He will forgive us of all our sin! Hallelujah!
2. He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness…any thing that is not like Christ will be dealt with when we get saved! Go ahead…get in the boat!
I. Get into the boat!
II. Stay in the boat…How do I stay in the boat?
In the book of I Timothy, Paul, the aged and experienced apostle writes to the young Pastor, Timothy, who is facing a heavy burden of responsibility in the church at Ephesus.