Dr. S. Lewis Johnson describes the deity of Christ demonstrated during the storm on the Sea of Galilee.
The Scripture reading for today is from Matthew chapter 8 verse 23 through verse 27, as we continue our exposition of the Gospel of Matthew. Chapter 8 verse 23,
“And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him. And,
behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was
covered with the waves: but he was asleep. And his disciples came to him,
and awoke him, saying, ‘Lord, save us: we perish.’ And he saith unto them,
‘Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?’ Then he arose, and rebuked the
winds and the sea; and there was a great calm. But the men marveled,
saying, ‘What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey
May God’s blessing rest upon the reading of his word.
The subject for this morning in our continued exposition in this Gospel of Matthew is “His Wonders in the Deep” or Jesus healing storms on the sea and the disciples’ hearts.” Who is this man who calls men cowards because they are afraid of the storm? Who is he who speaks words to hopeless cripples, such as the leper? The helplessly sick such as the centurion’s servant and Peter’s mother-in-law? To raving lunatics and leaves them with a peace that passes all understanding?
Some people answer and say is this not the carpenter’s son, the son of Mary? Others, thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. Some call him a gluttonous man, and a wine drinker, and others speak of him in worshipful tones with “my Lord” and “my God.” Down through the centuries, literally thousands of reconstructions have gone to the cemetery of departed hypotheses concerning the nature of the person of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It has been estimated by Dr. Hugh Anderson, Professor of New Testament at the University of Edinburgh, that in the 19th Century, 60,000 biographies were written concerning the Lord Jesus.
The early chapters of the synoptic gospels contain the mighty credentials of the King, and they decisively answer the ancient question in phrases which many, unfortunately, consider the tired blood of ecclesiastical language. But these incidents show quite plainly, and they actually cry out that the man who sleeps from fatigue in the boat in the midst of the storm is also God of God, light of light, true God of true God, begotten, not made, as the Nicean creed put it many hundreds of years ago.
The incident asks a further question, and one that queries not the unbelieving world but the believing world, and we want to stress some of this this morning. And that question is, in the tempests and tensions of life, where is your faith? Now, I think as we look at this incident, one of the things that stands out is the fact that the incident has to do with the stilling of winds and waves upon the Sea of Galilee.
The rabbis called the Sea of Galilee a chosen sea. It is a beautiful little lake. It is oval in shape, about seven miles wide, about thirteen miles long. To the eastern side of the lake, on the eastern shore, are the brown-covered hills that stretch up to small mountains about 2,000 feet high. To the north, one can see snow-capped Mt. Hermon. As you look down upon the blue body of water in the midst of the brown hills round about, you think about a sapphire stone, set in gold. It was to this lake that the apostles came on this day.
If one were to take out of the New Testament the incidences of the life of the Lord Jesus associated with the Sea of Galilee, a whole lot would be missing which is very familiar and very precious to us. For example, it is at Capernaum, on the side of the sea, where Jesus made his home. There he performed many of his greatest miracles. He called his disciples by the Sea of Galilee. There he walked on the sea. He stilled the tempest. He talked to his disciples after the resurrection. Eliminate those great events from the gospels, and a whole lot of the best parts of them would be gone.
The Lord Jesus, on the day in which he calmed the storm, had been tired and exhausted from a full day of ministry in the bow of a boat. He had said to the apostles and disciples, let’s go over to the other side, and he himself had gone into the boat again. I’m going to assume that it was Peter who shoved off from the gravelly beach. A few of the others were in the boat with him, such as Andrew and probably John, and they began to make their way across the lake at the end of the day.
As is often the case, the wind was soft, the night was fairly cool. And they were slowly making their way across with the black, square sail that was characteristic of the vessels at that time. I can imagine the disciples speaking with one another quietly, for the Lord Jesus evidently had taken the pillow that the steersman usually sat upon, had put his head upon it and had fallen quickly asleep. And his breathing was in time with the lapping of the waves against the side of the boat. John was nearby, if we can think of John as nearby, because he was the one who so often leaned upon the breast of our Lord. It was a calm, quiet, night.
What we know of the Sea of Galilee, however, leads us to understand very clearly what may have happened here, because the Sea of Galilee is a rather low body of water in comparison with the mountains that are to the west. And frequently, the winds blew off of the Mediterranean Sea, blew over those higher mountains to the west, and then in the hot weather of the sides of the lake, the result was often at night that the cool wind was sucked down through the canyons to east and to the north, and by the time that the wind arrived at the little lake, it arrived with great fury. It was not unusual to have unusually bad storms of the Sea of Galilee, and so tonight, on this particular occasion, that evidently is what happened.
And as we look at this, I want to look first at the creation itself, then, at the Creator, and finally at the creatures. Matthew tells us in verse 24, and behold there arose a great tempest in the sea. The word that is used to describe this is the word, seismos. Now in Greek, seismos is used to mean an earthquake. It also can mean a great storm, but it really basically means a great shaking, and all of us know from the constant reference to earthquakes, and seismographic readings, that this has to do with a kind of shaking that took place.
In one of the other gospels, in Luke’s, when he describes the incident, he uses a word that refers to black thunderclouds, furious gusts and floods of rain. So you can imagine that as they were making their way across the sea, Andrew turns to Peter and says, it looks as if we’re going to have a bit of blow tonight. And then Peter replied, it does look a little bit like it. I feel the air a little cooler. Perhaps we’d better shore up the sail.
But before they had a chance to do anything about it, the winds arrived, and the sail cracked like the report of a pistol, and the next moment the mast and sail were swept overboard by the rush of the wind. The waves mounted higher and higher, and the disciples became greatly afraid.
Now remember, they were seasoned navigators. They had often spent their times on that lake. They made their livings from the lake, and they were frightened, so it must have been a tremendous storm. The waves rising higher and higher, the stars extinguished, the lightening flashing, the thunder crashing round about them, the rain falling like a cataract, and finally, these men who were so familiar with this lake, fled to our Lord in order to awaken him. All of the accounts lay great stress upon the fact that the Lord Jesus was sleeping.
Incidentally, this is the only time, so far as I can remember, that in the New Testament accounts we are told that Jesus Christ was sleeping; this is the only time we see him performing that particular type of activity. We see him rejoicing, we see him preaching, we see him walking and resting, we see him eating and drinking, and praying and even dying, but this is the only time that we ever see him sleeping. And in this particular occasion, it stresses for us the fact that the Lord Jesus is truly a man, just as we are, apart from sin, exhausted, tired from the activities of the day, the Son of God sleeping in the stern of the boat.
Matthew tells us in the 25th verse that his disciples came to him and awoke him. This is a most interesting statement to me, because in the first place, here are experienced fishermen, amid the confusion of the situation, crying to a carpenter, of all people, for help in the midst of a storm on a sea in which they are probably more familiar than he. It is an amazing testimony for their regard to the Lord Jesus. They are willing – it almost seems instinctively – to renounce all human ability for the divine ability which they see in the Lord Jesus.
They are very confused. You put the three accounts together, and in one of the accounts they come and say, “Teacher, save us, for we are perishing.” In one of the other accounts they say, “Master, Master, save us, we are perishing.” In still another, the Matthian account which we have before us, they say, “Lord, save us, we are perishing.” So evidently the body of disciples converged upon the Lord Jesus, each of them blurting out in their own words the fact that they needed some help.
Errol Singen, one of the Bible teachers of another generation, has said, “Strictly speaking, this is the story of two storms: one on the surface of the waters, the other in the hearts of the disciples.” And that is true. There is another thing that we notice here. It’s not said so plainly in the Matthian account, but it’s said very plainly in the Markan account. Mark says that they came and they said to him, “Carest not that we perish?” It was a rude vote of no confidence at a moment of despair.
So what you can see here is a mixture of faith and unbelief in the hearts of the disciples. They come to him. They have some idea of the greatness of his power, but at the same time they are disturbed over the fact that it would seem that the Lord Jesus was not concerned about them at all. And these words are words of reproach: Lord, do you not care for us? They haven’t learned yet that a storm with the Lord Jesus is much better than a calm without him.
And they have not yet learned that with the Lord Jesus on board, there is no possibility of a boat sinking, and it’s something that all disciples need to learn, to, that once having believed in the Lord Jesus, and possessing the Holy Spirit, we cannot go under in any imaginable series of circumstances if we really have put our trust in him. It’s a kind of self-centered fear that they have: save us, we perish! Someone has said that they were including him in that: save us, we’re perishing, you too! But that doesn’t seem to be the disposition of this account to me. It is a self-centered fear that we will fail. We are going to perish. How human.
Now then, we come to the stilling of the storm. And he saith unto them, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” Then he arose. What a great subject for a great artist. Imagine, a boat in a storm, a tremendous storm; the disciples standing in fear of holding on to parts of the boat. The Lord Jesus asleep, rising up in the midst of the storm, standing in the midst of the storm with the boat at the angles it must have had from time to time. One time, the stern is in the trough of the wave, another time on the top of one of the large waves, the Lord Jesus standing up in the midst.
Now if I were a great artist, that would be something I would like to capture: the majesty of the Son of God. This was a great subject to my wife, who also paints. She said, “I don’t paint anything but landscapes. I’m sorry.” And now I said this over the radio some years ago in Chicago, and a lady wrote me a letter and said, I want you to know that what you have said about this being a great subject for a great artist is true. Then she detailed for me some people who had painted this particular scene. I don’t remember ever seeing a picture of this, but I think this would be a great one for a great artist, in spite of what my wife has said.
Now, we read here that “he arose,” and isn’t it interesting in this incident that we can see that the Lord Jesus did not hear the storm, but he heard their cry. The storm may surge and the waters may roll over the boat, but the Lord sleeps on. He is not at nature’s mercy; nature is at his mercy. And all of these things may happen in nature, but he sleeps on. But the moment the disciples come to him with their cry, the Lord Jesus is awakened to hear their voice.
I’ve always thought that one of the best illustrations of this from my own personal experience was the experiences that we used to have many years ago when I lived on Caruth Boulevard here in Dallas. I lived over near the old Cotton Belt railroad line, that comes from Downtown Dallas through the north of the city, very near now where the freeway goes down into town. We lived just a few houses from that railroad train. It was in the days when it was moving from a passenger train to a freight train, and consequently, there was only, as I remember, one passenger train that came out that line, but at night there were a number of freight trains, and they usually ran on those tracks from about twelve until six in the morning.
And as they would come by our house, we were two or three houses from the railroad tracks, our house would shake from the trains as they came by. We learned to sleep right through them. But our children were real young in those days, and they lived down the hall from our bedroom, and I can still remember that whenever anything happened in the rooms of the children, when they turned over in some unusual way, when they cried out in some unusual way, my wife was up immediately in the sitting position in the bed. The cry of the children she heard. The noise of the freight trains which rattled the house she didn’t hear.
You see, it illustrates, it seems to me, the fact that in the midst of the storms of experience, the Lord Jesus may sleep on the floor, but the cry of the apostles is a cry that awakens him. It illustrates the very thing that they had question about: that the Lord Jesus does care. He rose, we read, and he rebuked the wind and the sea, as well as the apostles, and there was a great calm. Tired, but yet a terrifying Messiah, the Lord Jesus.
In the Markan account, it is said that when the Lord Jesus arose and turned to the wind and the waves, he cried out to them, to use the translation of Goodspeed, “Hush! Silence!” And the word that is translated by Goodspeed, silence, is a word that means literally, “to muzzle.” It is a canine metaphor. And the form that is used is the perfect tense, which refers to an action, the results of which continue to the present time.
The man who led me to the Lord was Donald Gray Barnhouse, and he used to like to say, if he were translating this, since this is a word that was used of the muzzling of the dogs that the Lord used addressing the winds and the waves, he would translate it as, “Jesus stood up in the boat. He said to the winds and waves, ‘Back to your kennel!’” And since it’s the perfect tense, I think we should add, “Back to your kennels and stay there!” because he is the mighty king who has authority over the elements. And so as a result of this, the wind folded its wings, and as a siren ceasing its screams stopped. He looked down and rebuked the sea, the waves fell flat on their faces, and there was a great calm. Anyone who has ever lived near the seashore, as I have, knows that this was a second miracle within the miracle, because when a storm leaves, the waters usually surge and move for some time afterwards.
As you probably know, I lived in South Carolina, and I lived about two or three blocks from the Battery, from the harbor front in Charleston. And after the storms which frequently come to that city, especially in the fall, we could walk out of my house, onto King Street, down to the Ft. Sumter Hotel which was right on the water, and there watch the surging and moving of the waters, which are still moving and surging because of the storm that had just passed.
But when the Lord Jesus speaks a word, there is immediate calm. Now I don’t know how to answer this question, but Mr. Nixon was very upset this morning in a friendly way that I had commented on the fact that today was his birthday. And so he said, “I’m going to give you a conundrum. You said that in the midst of that storm, the winds came and they took the mast and the sail and flung it out into the sea. If there was a great calm, then how did they get to shore when the calm came?”
Now I don’t know how to answer that exegetical question. [Laughter] I leave that to you. I know that this text of Scripture says that it was a great calm, and it appears to me that it’s a miracle within a miracle. The result was a great calm.
Now this introduces for us another question that I want to say a word about. We have said above that we have one picture of our Lord Jesus asleep in the boat, and we have said that that suggests to us that the Lord Jesus was truly man. Now we have something else suggested to us here by the fact that the Lord Jesus is able to speak the word, and the elements obey his voice. That suggests to us that he is not only true man, just as we are, apart from sin, but that he is also truly God.
The Christian effort to grow in the knowledge of the Son of God has taken three historic stages, and all of them survive in modern interpretations of the Lord Jesus. The first phase is the Ebeonite, or the Sophinian stage. Now, the Sophinians, of course, were much later, but they had the same general idea of the person of the Lord Jesus. The Ebeonites and the Sophinians stress the saintliness and the moral super-eminence of the Lord Jesus. And of course, it’s true enough. The Lord Jesus is morally super-eminent. There is not a man who has ever had the moral character that the Lord Jesus had.
They have spoken of him as our religious hero, our religious genius, unsurpassed. And of course, that is true. He is a religious genius unsurpassed. They have spoken of him as the grand and perfect receptacle of the Spirit of God, and yet they have added he is only man. God’s true prophet, that is true, but nevertheless he is only man.
Now if you go into the Protestant pulpits of the United States of America today, and I do believe with all my heart that 75% of them at least refer to Jesus Christ in similar tones. That is, he is not God, but he is a most unusual man; a religious hero, a religious genius, a kind of man who we ought to emulate as our example, but one we should not worship as God.
The next stage in the church’s understanding of the Lord Jesus was in the Arian stage. Arius was the great opponent of Athanasius. According to Arius, the Lord Jesus was something like a superman. He was God’s plenipotentiary, his super-human chancellor. As P.T. Forsythe has put it, “He was the most private secretary of his eternal praise, and so far invested with his power and prestige.” He, as the mediator of sorts, was the kind of individual who possessed power and authority and wisdom from God, but at the same time, he was not of one nature with God. He was, it is true, more than a man, but nevertheless, he was just a creation, a kind of intermediary creation.
Now, we do not have people today who speak of our Lord Jesus in that way, but there are no doubt some who still have the idea that Jesus Christ possesses a dignity that we do not possess, but yet he is not God.
The final stage is the Athanasian stage, and through Athanasius, the church was led on to believe that the Lord Jesus was of the same nature as the Father, that he truly possessed the deity that the Father possesses, and by means of this controversy and the successful resolution of it, the church came to a full understanding of the triune God who we worship as the Christian God, Father, Son and Spirit, one God who subsists in three persons, and the Father is God and the Son is God and the Spirit is God, and the Son is just as much God as the Father is God and the Spirit is God, and the Spirit is just as much God as the Father is God or as the Son is God. The Lord Jesus is very God, truly God, begotten not made.
Now it seems to me that this text here and this passage answer that question beautifully because it says to us, in essence, the Lord Jesus commands the power and authority of the true God. He is truly man, but he is also truly God. It cannot be too often recalled by us that when we say that Jesus Christ is deity, we are simply saying what is the theological expression of the evangelical experience of salvation.
Now when we say that we have been brought to the knowledge of God, and that we have been saved from the guilt and power of sin through the Lord Jesus, we are essentially saying that the Lord Jesus is God. For only a God can save men who are in guilt or under sin. So when we say that Jesus Christ is the Savior, we are saying that he has delivered us. And when we affirm that he is truly God, we are simply expressing in theological language the fact that he has saved us, for only a God can save us.
In the Old Testament we read, “I am God, and beside me there is no Savior.” And yet, Jesus Christ forgave sins. And in the forgiving of sins, he takes the place of Savior, and thus claims that he is God.
Well now that brings us to the sequel, and really the purpose of this incident comes to the fore here. The question that is asked by the Lord Jesus in the 26th verse is, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” This is a rebuke, now of the disciples; a rebuke of their frantic panic, and the cure for fear, he says, is faith. Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?
Now I have several principles here that I want you to notice, and first of all, it is the principle of the trial of faith. James tells us, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into divers trials.” Now that doesn’t seem to be a very good text. Count it joy when you fall into trial and temptation. But just think for a moment. How does a man come to faith in the Lord Jesus? Why he comes to faith in the Lord Jesus as a gift of God. It is by the working of the Holy Spirit that we are brought to trust in the Son of God. The faith that we have in the Lord Jesus is from God himself. He then permits the winds to blow, and he permits the trials to come. He permits the tragedies to take place, in order that he may test the faith that he has given.
And so, my Christian friends, you will always, I think, discover that when you are brought to faith in the Lord Jesus, there will soon come the tests and trials of life. And this illustrates the principle of the trial of faith. God permits the winds to blow. I’m sure that one of the worst winds that can blow is the wind of the feeling that God is unconcerned about us, and that was what was troubling the apostles – the Lord Jesus sleeping in the midst of the storm.
How many Christians have had that same feeling, that God does not care? The trials of life have come. You have gone to him in prayer, and it seems as if he is unconcerned. Well, this incident speaks very plainly to the fact that the Lord Jesus is concerned and he does, ultimately, answer the needs of the human heart.
I ran across a very interesting statement by J.H. Jouett. “When life is a picnic,” he states, “we play with theology. When life is a campaign, we grope for religion.” He was trying to express the fact that when the trials of life come, theology is great, but we want this theology to be true in practice, and that’s what we learn through the experiences of life.
And here, the principle of the trial of faith is so beautifully seen. So do not be surprised my Christian friends, when we fall in the midst of the storms of life. Do not be disturbed when it seems as if you are being singled out for special difficulties and even tragedies. Do not be so overly concerned that you fail to flee to our Lord Jesus Christ and look to him, ultimately, to meet your need.
In the final analysis, the answer of the Scriptures is the cross of Jesus Christ. If you have any question about whether God does care, the cross of Jesus Christ is the answer to that question, for he tells us very plainly that he does care. His atoning sacrifice fully expiates our sin. His righteousness justifies us from all things. His blood sprinkled upon the conscience stays the storm and tempests that are there. And if you have any questions, just look off to the cross at Calvary and see our Lord Jesus crying out, “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” and realize that from that incident you can know that he does care for you. That’s the first principle.
There is also the principle of the nature of faith, here. You’ll notice that faith is not feeling, nor is it automatically exercised. Some people think of faith as a kind of thermostat, that when you run into difficulties, your faith automatically becomes stronger. And when things are going lovely, then like the thermostat, faith dwindles. But it is not that way. It is not feeling, however. If faith were feeling, the apostles would have lost most of their faith in this incident. Feelings are up and down depending on the circumstances of life—feelings related to our happiness—but faith is something much more substantial. And consequently, faith is the trust in the Savior that takes us through the experiences of life.
And finally, there is the principle of the value of the weakest faith. And I must confess I get a deal of pleasure out of this. Do you notice what happened? He said, “Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?” True, they had doubts about his concern. True, they were disturbed and upset. True, they were unhappy. But there was within their hearts that essential attitude of trust in him that brought them, perhaps even unwittingly, not knowing altogether the reasons why, to the Lord Jesus, so that they cry out to him. And in that cry out to him they express their little faith; O ye of little faith. And although disappointed, and although he rebukes them, the Lord Jesus delivers them. Isn’t that amazing?
Isn’t it amazing that even in the midst of their unbelief, he delivers them? Being confident of this very thing, my Christian friend, that he who hath begun a good work in you, that initial faith, will complete it and perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. Isn’t it great to know that having begun that Christian life in us, he is going to carry us through?
I think of that other incident on the sea when Peter saw the Lord Jesus walking on the water, and he cried out, “Bid me come unto thee, Lord,” and he stepped out of the boat at our Lord’s bidding, began to walk on the water. After reading some of these incidents, I’m not even sure it was a miracle for Jesus to walk on the water, but for Peter to walk on the water, what a miracle. And he walked, and evidently he walked far enough to come right into the presence of the Lord Jesus, perhaps long enough to look around and say, “I’m doing pretty good for an apostle” [laughter]. And when he looked and saw the winds and waves boisterous, he began to sink, because he looked away from our Lord. His faith had failed.
And in looking away from our Lord, finally he cries out – not like we say on Sunday morning – he cries out and says, “Lord, save me!” Great kind of prayer to pray. And the Lord reached out and took hold of him, and in his unbelief saved him. It’s great to have a Savior who has committed himself to us by the blood of the cross and guarantees that he will complete his work. So, there is the great calling.
Now the reaction of the apostles is understandable. The men marveled. They were overtaken with awe and wonder. What manner of man is this that even the winds and sea obey him? To spell it out, what it really means is: this is the Messianic king. Well, let me conclude.
What this incident teaches us is that the storms will come. First of all, the storms of guilt when we realize our sin, our condemnation, our need of redemption through the Lord Jesus. There will also come, as Christians, the storms of anxiety and doubt. The storms of temptation. The storms of anger and of sorrow, and all of the other plagues with which we are plagued. But, the blood and the presence of the Lord Jesus is sufficient to allay all of the storms of life.
And then, finally, there is no promise of a calm passage; there is only promise of a safe one. Our text says in the 18th verse, “Now when Jesus saw great multitudes about him, he gave commandment to depart to the other side.” One of the accounts says that the Lord Jesus said, “Let’s go over to the other side,” and one of the commentators said, “He did not say, ‘Let’s go out on the water and drown.’” He said, let’s go over to the other side. There is no promise of a calm passage; there is only promise of a safe one for believers.
Many, many years ago, here in Dallas, when my young girl who is now the mother of two of my grandchildren, was just a little girl and going to child evangelism classes, like most parents, when she returned home I used to ask her, “What did you learn today?” And she would say to me, we learned this and we learned that. And I would sometimes ask her, “Well what did you learn to sing?” And she would volunteer and say, “Daddy, we learned a new chorus today.” Of course, I would have to listen to it, and I could remember when she came home to me one day and she said, “We learned a new chorus, and the chorus was: ‘With Christ in my vessel, I’ll smile at the storm, I’ll smile at the storm, I’ll smile at the storm / with Christ in my vessel, I’ll smile at the storm until he takes me home.”
It sounded so cute coming from a little girl six or seven years of age, but it expresses a great truth. Since we do have the Lord Jesus in the vessel of our lives, through the faith given by God in him, it’s true we can smile at the storms of life. And we know, too, that he does care for us. He is concerned. And when we come to him, he will meet our needs.
You may be here this morning and you may never have truly believed in our Lord Jesus. What a great day to become a Christian. Christ died for sinners. And if you have come to realize that you are a sinner, this saving work of the Lord Jesus is for you. May God give you the grace, the illumination, the motivation, within your heart to acknowledge to him your condition and to trust in the Lord Jesus. Abandoning such trust in your good works, in your culture, in your education, in your church, in all of your religious activities, and turning to him for regeneration and faith. Why don’t you come? Come to the Lord Jesus who offers eternal life by virtue of the shedding of the blood.
Now if you’re a believer, what a beautiful text for you. In the trials and struggles and the tragedies of life, the fleeing to the Lord Jesus receives the ministry of our great Savior-king. Perhaps some of you are saying, “Well I wish, Dr. Johnson, that I really had the faith to do this.” Do you know how faith comes? Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. Do you know that when those apostles, when they finally go their feet on terra firma, and had relaxed a little bit, I’m sure that as they sat down by the side of the fire that night and recounted the experience one to another they must have said, “Wasn’t that a tremendously edifying experience?” Our faith has been strengthened by the mighty works of the Lord Jesus.
And you are saying, “Well, I wish I was one of the apostles. We could have had such great means of increasing our faith.” Well let me assure you that you have even more means in the word of God. Through the word of God you are able to enter into all of the experiences of the apostles and others, too. And by meditating on the word of God, by reliving those experiences, by finding yourself in the boat with the apostles in the midst of the storm, your faith will be increased as you have fellowship with him through the holy Scriptures.
That is why we urge you, as believers, to flee to the word of God and spend time in it in order that you might know him, and through knowing him, grow in faith and trust in him. It is through this that you will be strengthened for the experiences of life that face you. And so, believers, may God bring you in his grace to a deeper trust in him through the Scriptures. May we stand for the benediction?
[Prayer] We thank Thee, Lord, for the incidents in our Lord’s life which so beautifully expound the saving ministry that he has for each one of us.
O Father, if there should be someone in this auditorium who has not yet come to faith in Christ, again we pray, work through the Holy Spirit in their hearts towards salvation we pray.
And for the believers how are here, who have had the questions propounded to them, where is your faith? O God, give us motivation to have fellowship with our Lord Jesus in the Scriptures through which our faith may be strengthened as we face the experiences of our lives.
And now may grace, mercy and peace be and abide with each one present.
For Jesus’ sake. Amen.