Saturday, November 21, 2009

How To Walk On Water Without Sinking

I wanted this article to be more involved than it will be. Time is a factor, and truth is I have another subject I want to move on to. :)

There are seemingly endless deep theological insights contained in Mat 14:22-33 but I'm interested in "how to walk on water." Peter did it, and I think we can too.
22 Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He sent the multitudes away. 23 And when He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there. 24 But the boat was now in the middle of the sea, tossed by the waves, for the wind was contrary.
25 Now in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went to them, walking on the sea. 26 And when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out for fear.
27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.”
28 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”
29 So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. 30 But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!”
31 And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased.
33 Then those who were in the boat came and worshiped Him, saying, “Truly You are the Son of God.”
In my last article I talked about the idea of walking on water being akin to salvation by grace through faith. Nothing to do with effort (whether God-powered or man-powered), and everything to do with being above the water. You can't swim if you're walking on the water was a sort of catch phrase.

My point was, you're not living a way that is acceptable and so you are saved NOR are you saved and so living a way that is acceptable. The fact is in Scripture that you are acceptable to God ONLY through Christ's full and final payment. You do not "become acceptable" and then "remain acceptable" until you are "finally" accepted. You are accepted the moment you are IN Christ. Your acceptability is based ONLY on that.

That was my point in my last article, but this one is slightly different.

Peter wanted to walk on water. The difference between Peter's attitude and that of our Lordship Salvation friends is that Peter wasn't expected to do the work. Peter didn't say Lord I am willing to swim to you! No Peter called on the Lord and asked Him to call him out on the waters. Peter didn't say I'm willing to get wet so I can get to you! Peter didn't say I'm willing to risk my life for you!

Peter said, in effect, Lord by your power let me walk on water too! So it happened.

But Peter doubted and became afraid, he did not "persevere to the end." Peter had not been transformed into a supernatural Water-Walker. No Peter was still every bit flesh and blood. His carnal fears gripped him and took over the supernatural walk that he had been given the privilege to experience.

Peter then cried out the the Lord to be saved from the predicament he found himself in and the Lord IMMEDIATELY did so. Peter didn't have to come to Him in fealty, in submission. Clearly at that very moment Peter was not exercising what our Lordship Salvation friends would express as "True Saving Faith" for immediately after saving Peter Our Lord and Saviour said to Him "Ye of little faith, why did you doubt?" Peter looked away. Peter turned from Christ to observe the World, and suffered the consequences of doing so - however it did not change his Eternal Salvation. Not only did it not change the fact of his salvation it did not even indicate the state of his salvation.

So how can WE walk on water? We must have the same faith that Abram did, and that Peter did when he stood in the boat. We must trust in the Word of God. Contrast this with what our Lordship Salvation friends might say. Peter, why did you doubt? Are you really trusting the Lord? Why were you not willing to walk all the way to the Lord? Why did you fall away? Could it be that you were never indeed one of us? Peter, you need to check yourself to see if you are indeed in the faith. True Christians do not fall back.

Of course we can check the rest of Peter's life and see that it took many years before the one whom Jesus claimed to have already washed clean became anything at all like what the Lordship Salvation proponents claim a real Christian is. Worse, what a sinner must agree to become in order to be saved.

Walking on water is as simple and easy as Eternal Salvation is (this could be said in vice verse as well).

Look to the Lord only, be assured by His Word (not your own) and you won't touch the water. You'll be lifted above it. Are you catching this? Peter didn't call to the Lord and say "Lord, make me to be able to walk on the water!" Peter didn't call on the Lord to say "Lord, PLEASE change me!" When Peter was still looking at the Lord, "Peter" was not on Peter's mind. Only Jesus was on Peter's mind.

Please consider the object of your faith. Are YOU the object? Are the things you DO the object? Is your FAITH the object? Are you only sure if you're saved if you see something in yourself?

Are you only saved so long as you're walking on the water?

1 comment:

Jan said...

When Peter was still looking at the Lord, "Peter" was not on Peter's mind. Only Jesus was on Peter's mind.

Yes! That's it!

And that is what makes all the difference between the despair of attempting to be acceptable and the hope, joy, and thanksgiving of being accepted in Him.