Title:† At Thy Word
Text: Luke 5:5†††††† Scripture Reading: Luke 5:1-11
Subject: The Believerís Submission to the Word and Will of God
Date: Sunday Morning - July 31, 1994
Tape #: Q-32
You who were here Tuesday night will recall that I preached to you then about the beginnings of our Lordís earthly ministry from Matthew 4:12-25. In that passage, Matthew gave a very brief description of our Lordís call to Peter and Andrew and James and John to become preachers of the gospel and fishers of men. Our text this morning is taken from Lukeís much more detailed account of that same event.
Peter and Andrew and their partners, James and John, had been fishing all night. They cast their nets repeatedly, first to this side and then to that side of the ship, in the deep waters and in the shallow waters. They failed all night long, they caught nothing. Early in the morning, while Peter and Andrew were washing their nets and James and John were mending theirs, the Lord Jesus came. He got into Peterís fishing boat, had him to thrust out from shore a little way, and preached to the crowds thronging about him. After he had finished preaching, he told Peter to launch out into the deep and let down his net for a draft of fish.
Peter was a trained, seasoned, experienced fisherman. He had failed all night. But I want you to notice his response to the Lord Jesus. Rease verse 5!
Faith in Christ is demonstrated by obedience to his word. Peter demonstrated his faith in Christ by surrendering to his will and obeying his word.
Try to understand the significance of Peterís response to Master:
--Though it is contrary to reason and experience, nevertheless....
Though we have failed all night, nevertheless, at thy word...
At his command, though they were exhausted, they were willing to go back to see, knowing that he that commanded them to work would renew their strength and supply them with grace sufficient to meet their needs. God never called anyone to do anything for which he did not equip them and supply them.
Though we have labored hard and long, and have taken nothing, nevertheless, at thy word we will let down the net again in hope of catching some things.
At thy word. I will launch out to sea. At thy word, I will let down the nets. I take these three words for my subject. BAt Thy Word. These three words are only used together three times in the entire bible: here, in Psalm 119:162, and in I Kings 18:36.
I. In I Kings 18:36, they are used by Elijah in his prayer to the Lord God and are set before us as The Prophetís Mandate. Elijah, speaking as the prophet of God said, I have done what I have done at thy word. Find a servant of God, find a prophet of God, find a man who is sent of God to preach the gospel and you will find a man who...
A. Believes and preaches the word of God
††††††††† A prophet is a man with a message.
††††††††† A message that must be delivered.
He tells the truth about God, about you, about salvation.
B. Seeks and is obedient to the will of God. (Acts 26:19, Gal 1:15-16)
C. Faithfully performs the work God has called him to do. Godís servants are fishers of men, placed in the sea of this world where God puts them. And there they toil. Ghey may or may not meet with the successes they hope for, but they toil on at the Masterís word.
Matthew Henry wrote: The ministers of the gospel must continue to let down that net, though they have perhaps toiled long and caught nothing.
John Gill said: Faithful preachers of the gospel sometimes toil in the ministry of the word a great while with little or no success, and are discouraged from going on, and would be tempted to leave off, were it not for the commission and word of command they have received from Christ, which they dare not be disobedient to, and for the word of promise he has given them. To be with them, on which they depend.
What a prayer Elijah prayed! Let it be know
1. That thou art God in Israel.
2. That I am thy servant.
3. And that I have done all these things at thy word.
The word of God is the prophetís mandate!
II. Now look at Psalm 110:162. When David was persecuted and pursued by Godless, reprobate men, he stood in awe of Godís word and said AI rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. He declares that the word of God is a treasure chest of comfort, hope and joy. At thy word, I rejoice.
Whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. (Rom 15:4)
When your soul is troubled, when you life is turned upside down, when men persecute you, slander you, and abuse you, turn to the book of God and find consolation, hope and joy in the things written there.
A. Divine Predestination (Eph 1:11)
B. Sovereign Electing Love (John 15:16)
C. Substitutionary Redemption (II Cor 5:21)
D. Effectual, Saving Grace (Eph 2:8-9)
E. Imputed Righteousness (John 23:6)
F. Special Providence (Rom 8:28)
G. Resurrection Glory (John 14:1-3)
III. As Peter used these three words, Aat thy word, he implies that the word of our Lord is the believerís rule of life.
I have declared to you the blessed, glorious truth that salvation is by grace alone, without works, incessantly since the very first time I preached here. (Eph 2:8, II Tim 1:9, Tit 3:5)
But I remind you again that all true believers are desciples, followers of Christ. He is our Savior and he is our Master, too! That simply means, we do what he says. The moment you are saved by Christ, you become the servant of Christ. As such, it is your responsibility and min to obey his will as it is set forth in his word and made known to us by his Spirit. (John 2:5)
Like Peter, we must in all things be subject to the Masterís word. When it appears to us to be contradictory to our own ideas and opinions, or when it contradicts the customs and traditions of men, we must say Nevertheless, at thy word.
A. When our reason is staggered by the Revelation of God.
††††††††† The Humanity and Deity of Christ.
††††††††† Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility
B. When we are exposed to the quibbles of reprobate men.
One fool can ask more questions than fifty wise men can answer. Creation-Famines-Disease-war, etc.
If my adversaries like to see their arrows in my shield, I will amuse them. Arrows in my shield do not bother me!
C. When the word of God contradicts personal experience.
Illus: Aunt Joan blowing fire, AI have no doubt that I was saved. - AHe was saved.
D. When the will of God conflicts with self love.
Spurgeon - It is our duty to do whatever our Lord bids us do, and to take the consequences, whatever they may be.
IIlus: Walter Grover - Being happy has nothing to do with it! (I Cor 6:19-20, Rom 12:1-2, Col 3:1-3)
E. When Love for others would keep us from obeying Christ.
Illus: Abraham Sacrificing Isaac.
John Bunyan: If I be in the gale till the moss grows on my eyelids, I will never conceal the truth which God has taught me. Luke 14:26
IV. These words, at thy word, falling from Peterís lips, also teach us that the word of Christ is a sufficient warrant for action.
It cannot be wrong for anyone to do what Christ himself commands us to do. His work is our warrant.
A. For Faith!
B. For Believerís Baptism
I Peter 3:21
C. For the Lordís Supper
I Corinthians 11:23-28
D. For Gospel Separation
II Corinthians 6:14-7:1
E. For preserving prayer
F. For being a faithful witness
G. For serving the interests of Christ in this world.
V. Once more, I want you to understand that obedience to the word and will of God is and act that has its own rewards.
You know, of course, that I am not talking about legal rewards. Salvation is, in its entirety a matter of free grace. Both grace and glory are the gifts of God. But obedience to the word and will of God is something that is rewarding in itself.
A. An Obedient heart and spirit is a great blessing of grace.
If I have such a heart, God gave it!
B. A reward of obedience is an easy, quiet conscience.
II Timothy 4:6-8
Iíve done what I know I should have done today.
C. Yet, it must also be asserted that obedience to Christ is distinctly rewarded by him.
I Samuel 2:30
1. Obedience makes us useful
2. Obedience makes us happy.
3. Obedience honors God
Application: Obey the gospel
Obey the word
Live for Christ