Our text for this sermon comes from Acts 27.
The title for this sermon is: Faith Is All You Need
Vs 1-2 The voyage to Rome is written from Luke’s perspective because he is there with Paul on the ship. Paul is not the only prisoner on this ship.
The ship is most likely a small coasting vessel that was not built to travel on the harsh waters of the sea.
Vs 3-4 Julius is Paul’s guard. Notice that Paul is the only prisoner that is allowed to leave and go visit with friends. Julius trusted Paul enough that he knew when it was time to sail out, Paul would be on time and not try to skip town and run away.
Because the ship was not able to sail in the more heavy waters, the ship stayed closer to the coast, hugging the islands. The trees on the island provided shelter from the harsh winds that should have damaged the ship.
Vs 5-8 The Centurion found a new ship and had all the prisoners, cargo and supplies transferred over. Because of the fierce winds, the ship had to turn the coast and stay close by so that the trees would protect the ship from the wind. Having much difficulty, the captain of the ship could not push the ship anymore. They had to stop. They came to rest at Fair Havens.
Vs 9-12 They had to stay at Fair Havens for some days because the captain was responsible for gauging if the weather was appropriate for sailing. The Fast refers to the Day of Atonement in the fall, when Mediterranean voyages became too dangerous for sailing vessels. Despite the poor harbor, Paul’s advice was that they stay put.
The centurion was not bothered by what Paul had to say. In his mind, Paul is just a prisoner. He would listen to what the captain and owner of the ship had to say. The majority is most likely the majority of the crew. They only have a 50/50 shot at making Phoenix. It was not in their best interest to stay in the harbor because it was in such bad condition. However, the weather is dangerous and not safe for any ship to travel in. The captain made a decision and decided to gamble everything on the water.
Vs 13-20 The northeaster: This type of storm has characteristics similar to a hurricane. Nor’easters can cause severe coastal flooding, coastal erosion, hurricane force winds or blizzard conditions; these conditions are usually accompanied with very heavy snow or rain, depending on when the storm occurs. Nor’easters can be devastating and damaging, especially in the winter months, when most damage and deaths are cold-related, as nor’easters are known for bringing extremely cold air down from the Arctic air mass. Giving way to it means that they gave up and just let the wind carry them wherever it will. That is how some people live their life but that is for another sermon. They had to begin dumping the cargo and the tackle to lighten the ship. The captain needed to regain control of the ship’s direction before it violently crashed into sharp rocks. Because the storm was bad and the sun had not broke through the clouds for many days, everyone had given up hope that surviving the storm was possible. They all had chalked it up as they were going to die.
Vs 21-44 Paul, in the midst of the storm, urged them to eat. Then they threw the remaining food over the ship to lighten it.
The ship was as light as it could be minus the crew, soldiers, and prisoners. The crew dropped the anchors into the water to produce drag. Trying to slow the ship down, the captain fought the wheel and was able to turn the ship towards the land. The ship struck a reef and was torn apart but all 276 people made it to the shore unharmed in any way. God always honors what he says.
Focus: vs 23-25 The God to whom I belong
So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told.