Sermon #24 Luke Sermons
Title: “Nevertheless, At Thy Word”
Text: Luke 5:1-11
Subject: Obedience to Christ
Date: Sunday Evening – February 20, 2000
Tape # V-71b
Readings: Office: Lindsay Campbell Auditorium: James Jordan
In Luke 5, the Holy Spirit gives us the record of the call of our Lord’s first three disciples. This is a more detailed account of their call to the work of the ministry than we have had before. Read verses 1-11 with me, and pray that God the Holy Spirit, by whom these words were inspired, will teach us the lessons they are intended to convey to us.
Proposition: It is obvious that these eleven verses are intended to show us something of what is involved in believing and obeying the Lord Jesus Christ.
We must both trust and obey the Son of God. Obedience does not save us or sanctify us; but where there is no obedience there is no salvation and no sanctification. Where faith comes, obedience follows.
Hold your Bible open on your lap. I want you to see seven things in these eleven verses. Obviously, I will speak very briefly about these seven things; but they are all matters of great importance. Follow carefully, and ask the Lord to apply the lessons to your heart and life for the glory of Christ.
I. Those who seek to hear the Word of God shall be taught of God (vv. 1-3).
Here is a multitude of eternity bound men and women pressing upon the Savior “to hear the Word of God”. What a blessed press! Like Mary, these men and women chose that one thing needful. They sat at Christ’s feet to hear his word!
What Peter saw here, he later experienced in Caesarea, at the house of Cornelius (Acts 10:33). Cornelius said to Peter, as he arrived to preach,…
Have you come here tonight to hear the Word of God? Are you here, present before God to hear what the Lord God has sent me to declare to you? If you have come here seeking bread, your Father will not give you a stone.
· If you have come to be fed, you shall be fed.
· If you’ve come to be taught, you will be taught.
· If you have come seeking comfort, you will find comfort.
· If you have come seeking Christ, you will have Christ.
· If you’ve come for grace, you will have grace.
Hear now what God himself says…
II. In verse 4, we see how that our great and glorious Lord God condescends to use human instruments to perform his great and wondrous works.
The catching of this great draft of fish was miraculous. However, the fishermen were just fishermen. The boats were just boats. The nets were just nets. But they were fishermen, boats, and nets, God was pleased to use.
1. Moses’ Rod Parting the Sea
2. “Take ye away the stone.”
3. The Loaves and Fish
So, too, in the salvation of chosen, redeemed sinners, God condescends to work by means of human instruments. It is written, “It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”
A. The instruments God uses are themselves utterly useless and insufficient for their work, and acknowledge that fact. – “Master, we have toiled all night and have taken nothing.”
Why was this the case? Was it because there were no fish in the sea? No. Were they unskilled in their work? Certainly not. These were master seamen. Were they lacking in diligence? No. They had toiled all night. Why, then, had they caught nothing? Because we must ever be reminded that the instruments themselves are worthless and useless. Our Savior said, “Without me, ye can do nothing.” But with him, we can do all things.
When the Son of God is at the helm of the boat, by some mysterious power, hordes of fish are drawn into the net.
B. The Lord usually performs his work in the most unlikely places.
Our Master always chooses the most unlikely people as the objects of his grace, the most unlikely men to be his servants, an the most unlikely places to perform his works. He commanded the disciples to launch out into the deep. But, if you fish in lakes, you know that you are not likely to catch many fish in the deep waters.
III. Faith is obedient to Christ (v. 5).
Let men say what they will, God says, “Faith without works is dead,” and it is! You can attempt, if you dare, to justify your disobedience, but faith is obedient to the will and Word of God. Believers are not rebels, but willing servants.
The Master said, “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a great draught.” This was a command which was manifestly…
· Contrary to reason.
· And contrary to experience.
· But it was Christ’s command.
Now, listen carefully. Obedience to the Word and will of God requires immediate, unquestioning, selfless, self-denying compliance. “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.” – “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth thee.” – “Immediately, I conferred not with flesh and blood.”
“Trust and obey, trust and obey,
For there’s no other way
To be happy in Jesus,
But to trust and obey.”
IV. Now, look at verses 6-9, and learn this – When sinners are made to see the goodness, grace, power, and glory of God in Christ, they are overwhelmed with their unworthiness to stand before his presence.
There may be some things involved in Peter’s prayer which are not commendable. But I know this. What Peter here expressed is exactly what sinners feel when they see the glory of God in Christ.
· Adam in the Garden
· Israel at Sinai – “Let not God speak with us, lest we die.”
· Isaiah Before the Lord (Isa. 6:1-8)
V. God honors those who honor him.
A. Nothing honors God like obedient faith. – “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22).
B. When Peter launched out and let down his nets, he caught the fish.
C. Faithfulness in small things always leads to greater things.
Peter, James, and John, who were faithful to Christ as fishermen, were made by Christ to be fishers (catchers) of men!
VI. Now, I want you to look at verse 11 and the account of Matthew (Matt. 4:19), and learn this – The call of Christ demands and produces three things.
When the Master calls sinners by his grace, and when he calls men saved by his grace into the work of the ministry, he requires three things from them, three things which only he can produce, but three things we must give.
· Faith – If we would be the servants of God, if we would be men fishers, we must believe him!
· Forsaking – If we would follow Christ, we must forsake all.
· Following – If we would be used of God, we must follow him: his will, his Word, his Spirit.
VII. This historic event, like all historic events recorded in Holy Scripture, has an allegorical meaning.
The whole event is a remarkable picture and type of the history of God’s church and its work in this world.
A. The ships carrying Christ and his people across the sea with the Word of God represent gospel churches.
B. The fishermen are representatives of gospel preachers and their work.
C. The net cast is the gospel of the grace of God, which we preach to all men.
D. The sea represents the world.
E. The shore represents eternity.
F. The miraculous draft of fish caught and brought to shore represents the success of our labors in compliance with the Master’s word, the salvation of God’s elect.
Application: -- “Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.”