GOD’S SPIRITUAL FLEET OF SHIPS


  1. INTRODUCTION:

    1. THE WORD SHIP:
      1. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary: Nautically it has reference to any seagoing vessel; In script it is used as a suffix to a noun or adjective, denoting a persons state, condition, quality, office, dignity, or profession.
      2. The Greek words and there are three (PLOION, PLOIARION, AND NAUS) that are translated ship.
        1. The Greek words are used much in the same way as described in Webster.
        2. The word is used in connection with other specific words that denote:
          1. One’s office as "eldership".
          2. That which one does in paying homage to God "worshipper" (John 4:23); "worshipping" (Matthew 20:20); "worship" the act of reverence paid to God (John 4:24).
          3. The association with those of like service, communion, or partnership with, "fellowship"
             (I Corinthians 1:9; I Corinthians10:16II Corinthians 8:4).
          4. It is used in reference to one than manages, or looks after that which is another’s household "stewardship" (Luke 16:2). It is also used metaphorically in a wider sense as to the type of service done by those in the service of "stewardship":
            1. Preachers of the gospel (I Corinthians 4:1).
            2. Elders or bishops in churches (Titus 1:7).
            3. Believers in general (I Peter 4:10).

    2. THE LORD HAS QUITE A FLEET OF SHIPS IN HIS SERVICE AS CAN BE SEEN.

    3. NOTICE WITH ME JUST A FEW OF THESE SHIPS MORE SPECIFICALLY.

  2. DISCUSSION:

    1. WORSHIP:
      1. Religious homage or reverence paid to God; A religious service of worshippers.
      2. Worship maybe at any designated place "…where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them" (Matthew 18:20).
      3. Such assemblies of worship are not to be taken lightly, or forsaken. (Hebrews 10:25).
      4. Like as on Pentecost in Acts 2:1, the disciples should be assembled together "…with one accord in one place."
      5. The worship is to only be directed to God. Luke 4:8 = "And Jesus answered and said unto him, get thee behind me Satan: for it is written, thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve."
      6. Which worship is to be in spirit and truth. John 4:23-24 = "But he hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth."
      7. The worship is to be by those that are assembled as "lively stones" built up into "a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ" (I Peter 2:5).

    2. FELLOWSHIP:
      1. The mutual partnership of those in the same communion, relationship in the family of God by birth into His body the Church.
        1. These "…are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: …" (I Peter 2:9-10.)
        2. A people that are "…all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous; not rendering evil for evil, or railing for railing: but contrariwise blessing; knowing that ye are thereunto called, that ye should inherit a blessing"
          (I Peter 3:8-9.)
        3. We "being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another"
          (Romans 12:5.)
        4. God has called us into this partnership or fellowship by His Son that is to be free of division with everyone speaking the same thing "…perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment" (I Corinthians 1:9-10.)
      2. It is very evident that the worldly minded teachings of man that has resulted in the vast accumulation of denominations was not that expressed fellowship as defined in I Corinthians 1:9-10.
      3. Thus we are to "…have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them" (Ephesians 5:11.)

    3. STEWARDSHIP:
      1. A steward is one that manages, or looks after that which is another’s. Recognizing God as the true owner and ourselves as ministers (servants) "…of the manifold grace of God" (I Peter 4:10.)
      2. The Lord holds us accountable for our talents as is evident in the parable of the talents in
        Matthew 25:14-30. Note Matthew 25:19 = "After a long time the Lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them."
      3. Paul said it this way in Romans 14:12 = "So then each one of us shall give account of himself to God."
      4. The Lord expects us to "…lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come" (I Corinthians 16:2.)
        1. Have you purposed in your heart to set apart a portion for the Lord’s work as His steward.
          II Corinthians 9:7
          = "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver."
        2. Or, will you return unto Him what which gave us as a trusted stewards to use.
        3. Remember the one talent man was condemned for failing to be a productive steward – how will you fair at the day of reckoning?

  3. CONCLUSION: SOME HAVE ABANDONED SHIP.

    1. HOW DOES ONE ABANDON SHIP -- AWOL.
      1. Neglecting the assemblies of worshippers.
      2. Caused division and strife in the fellowship.
      3. Made mockery of their service as a good steward of God.

    2. MANY HAVE NOT REMAINED AT THEIR BATTLE STATIONS:
      1. The church (God’s flagship) has been nearly sunk because of some leaving their responsibilities to others.
      2. No one can handle your station of responsibility and their’s at the same time. Galatians 6:5 = "For every man shall bear his own burden."
      3. This is likewise true that no one can give for themselves and for you. First
      4. I Corinthians 16:2 = "…Let every one of you lay by him in store, …"

      5. Absenteeism is at the root of much of this:
        1. God has not excused any one of us to neglect our duty.
        2. In God’s sight "He is no respecter of persons." (Acts 10:34).

    3. ARE YOU, OR HAVE YOU BEEN AWOL?
      1. The Lord is depending on each of us to help keep His ship afloat. (Ephesians 4:16; Galatians 6:5.)
      2. The Lord said in Matthew 12:30 = "He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth."

Back to the Top