Monday, August 8, 2011

Skirting the channel

I work in the recreational boating service industry i.e. yacht club. Whenever someone does something questionable, but not really illegal, I have a co-worker who will say, “They’re skirting just outside the channel. “Skirting just outside the channel” is nautical slang meaning sailing the boat outside the “legal” place of sail. It may be too close to the shore; shallow water or rocks might be just under the surface.

A channel is “A navigable route on a waterway, usually marked by buoys. Channels are deep enough for ships or boats to navigate without running aground.” There is a reason why the coast guard has channels in the waterways. The channels are not there to confine the vessel but to help and guide it to the right destination. When sailing a boat (under normal circumstances i.e. not in stormy weather) and staying in the channel the chances are great that the vessel will arrive safe and secure.

Sailors use charts to help with the navigation at sea. The charts have everything marked out; basically it is a map for the water. As sailors in the world of life we also have a map for our life as a Christian. Our chart is known as the Bible. The Bible is our navigation tool to guide us through our course.

There are Christians who are “skirting the channel”. They will follow the course of the chart some of the time, but certainly not all the time.

Recently, I have heard a number of very questionable statements that are just outside the channel of Christian life. Here are a few of them:

God is not bound by His Word.

• Yes God can do anything He wants, He is God, but if it is in His Word He has to keep it because - God cannot lie.

That by two immutable things, in which it was impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us: Hebrews 6:18

A faithful witness will not lie: but a false witness will utter lies. Proverbs 14:5

Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. Romans 1:25

In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began; Titus 1:2

That verse is opened to interpretation.

• Whose interpretation? When we all have our own “take on a verse”, Someone is right and someone is wrong. We cannot all be right, but God is right. We need to dig in the scripture and find God’s answer.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. II Peter 1:20

That is the Old Testament.

• What does that mean? Do we not “pay attention” to the Old Testament?

• What did Jesus quote throughout the New Testament – the Old Testament. It certainly is relevant. God’s principles whether Old or New Testament are still God’s principles. We need to follow what God says.

• Here are a few places were Christ quoted the Old Testament: Matthew 4:4, 7, 10; Mark 7:6, 14:27; Luke 4:4, 10; John 6:31; 12:14

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: I Peter 2:21

How can we stay in the channel?

Study the scriptures

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. John 5:39

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Act 17:11

Be ready to change your ways

And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: Act 17:30

And they went out, and preached that men should repent. Mark 6:12

Repent in these verses are from Strong’s Greek number 3340
1) to change one's mind, i.e. to repent
2) to change one's mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one's past sins

"Repentance (metanoia, 'change of mind') involves a turning with contrition from sin to God; the repentant sinner is in the proper condition to accept the divine forgiveness." (F. F. Bruce. The Acts of the Apostles [Greek Text Commentary], London: Tyndale, 1952, p. 97.)

When you fail – don’t stay down but dust yourself off and get up.

• Not one of us is perfect, we all fail, and this is recognized in the book of Proverbs.

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Proverbs 24:16

Be careful what you follow – make sure it is of God not of men.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; Ephesians 4:14

Only you can answer the following questions:

Am I skirting the channel?
Am I following the chart?

We need to get back on course, steering our vessel in the middle of the channel.

Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

Have a blessed day,

No comments:

Post a Comment