The Christian Navy
Human life appears as a sea, an ocean, on which each life is a boat. You often experience this analogy in dreams. The picture presents various aspects of life: the sea can be stormy, the sky grey, and then again the sun will shine and the waters be calm until the next storm comes along. And so it alternates until the journey reaches its destination. This sentiment is expressed in several of the songs we sing. Master the Tempest is Raging and Jesus, Savior, Pilot Me are two that come quickly to mind.
The United States Navy has several types of ships in its fleet. Each ship has a specifically designed purpose. For example, the aircraft carrier is used as a mobile airport, the submarine is used for under water secrecy and the battleship is a mobile battlefield. There are sever other ships in the fleet that we could look at and see the purpose for their existence. In our life as a Christian there are many ships at our disposal.
First, there is discipleship. Remember that a disciple is simply a follower. As a true disciple of Christ we must exhibit several traits. John 15:8 tells us that a true disciple bears fruit. John 13:35 tells us that true disciple is known by the love they exhibit towards one another. Finally, John 8:31-32 speaks of one who abides in Christ’s word as a true disciple. Our challenge today is to be the true disciple in the midst of a world that easily distracts us and pulls us in many directions.
Secondly, there is citizenship. As a Christian we carry a dual citizenship, earthly and heavenly. The question some have is, ‘How do I obtain and maintain this heavenly citizenship?” It cannot be bought according to Acts 22:28. It is only attainable by the new birth, as Jesus instructed Nicodemus in John 3:5. Romans 6:3-4 tells of when the new birth takes place. The new birth occurs t the point of immersion into Christ. Heavenly citizenship is maintained by living a life of loyalty according to Revelation 2:10. Life is going to have mountaintops and valleys. Our response to the valleys will be the greatest test of maintaining.
Thirdly, there is fellowship. Fellowship is granted to those who have obtained and are maintaining heavenly citizenship. Ephesians 5:11 and Revelation 18:4 explains that fellowship works apart from sin and the ways of the world. 1 Corinthians 1:9 and Philippians 3:10 explain that true fellowship comes through Jesus Christ. Some folks miss what 1 John 1:3-7 says. We must have fellowship one with another. How can we expect to have fellowship with one another in heaven when we refuse to speak with each other as we live on earth?
Fourthly, there is workmanship. We have been created in God’s workmanship in order that we follow Christ’s example in going good to our fellowman. As we go about being the workman God’s desires for us to be we need to examine some aspects that need to be noted. Our workmanship needs to bring no shame according to 2 Timothy 2:15. The work we do needs to be profitable as revealed by 1 Timothy 4:8 and Titus 3:8. Our work needs to be done faithfully to brethren and to strangers according to Galatians 6:10 and 3 John 5.
Next week in part two of this article we will look at four more ships that we, as Christians need in our fleet. All will not be smooth sailing, but if we have a complete arsenal of ships we will be ready to face the storms of life.