An anchor is that which gives stability or security; that on which we place dependence for safety. We have some anchors in the faith that help to keep us rooted and grounded and keep us from being tossed to and fro when the storms of life assail us. We are going to look at the four anchors of the faith, that we have as demonstrated by the life of the Apostle Paul, that will keep us rooted and grounded as we journey through this life.
1) The presence of God (Acts 27:23)
The first anchor that we will look at is the Anchor of the Presence of God in your life. If you have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour, then the Bible teaches that you have the presence of God within you:
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. - Romans 8:9-11
This is made possible by the Gospel as preached by the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). This gospel did not originate with man and it was not developed by man but was given to the Apostle Paul by revelation, directly from the Lord Jesus Christ:
But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. - Galatians 1:11-12
What has the Gospel made possible?
- The gospel has made it possible for us to be called the Children of God. Regardless of popular opinion, not everyone is a child of God. Only those who have been adopted into his family are his children:
For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. - Galatians 3:26But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father. Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ. - Galatians 4:4-7For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. - Romans 8:14-17
We have been adopted into his family by the new birth. Therefore, we are no longer the children of the devil (John 8:44), but we have been adopted as the children of God.
2. The Gospel has made it possible for us to become a part of the Body of Christ:
For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. - 1 Corinthians 12:12-14
3. Because of the Gospel, nothing can separate us from the love of God:
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. - Romans 8:31-39
2. Faith is the second anchor of the faith (Acts 27:24-25)
Paul said, “I believe God”. You can believe God, You can believe his words. Peter was witness to the Lords transfiguration and he heard God speak out of heaven with his own ears. Yet he said that the scriptures are a more sure word of prophecy than any experience that you can have:
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. - 2 Peter 1:16-21
Psalms 12:6-7 and Psalms 119:87 tell us that Gods word is settled forever in heaven, that they are pure words, and that God himself will preserve his words. In Deuteronomy 30:10-14 he tells us that his word is not far from us, but rather it is very close to us. It is not across the sea, or in heaven where we would need someone else to go get it for us, it is not in some foreign or dead language that we would need someone else to read it for us. It is in our language and available for us to read, memorize and study daily.
Gods words are plain for you to understand them (Proverbs 8:1-11) if you approach his word with the right heart:
For the LORD hath poured out upon you the spirit of deep sleep, and hath closed your eyes: the prophets and your rulers, the seers hath he covered. And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I cannot; for it is sealed: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I am not learned. Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: - Isaiah 29:10-13
We need to approach Gods word with the right attitude. We need to realize and understand that Gods word is right all the time, we are the ones who are wrong. If something in your life does not match up with the Bible, then you need to change, Gods word does not need to change.
We can believe his promises
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. - Romans 8:28
We can believe the fact that we don’t need to fear the storms
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. - John 14:1-3
Notice that Jesus said that we are to not LET our hearts be troubled. That means that it is up to you as to whether or not your heart is troubled. It is not always up to us as to if we go through a storm or not, but it is always up to us as to how we go through that storm.
We can believe that he won’t abandon us
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. - John 14:18
We can believe that he will give us peace
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. - John 14:27
3. Purpose is our third anchor of the faith (Acts 27:24)
Paul’s purpose according to Acts 23:11, and here in Acts 27:24, was to go to Caesar in Rome and to bear witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Our purpose is to be agents of change with our families, friends, and communities.
Agents of Change
But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also; Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. - Acts 17:5-7
Like the disciples, we are called to turn the world upside down! Unfortunately for most Christians, they have this backward and have allowed the world and the world system to turn them upside down instead. Paul commands us in 1 Corinthians 15:34 to “Awake to righteousness”. The church has been asleep at the wheel for far too long. It is time to awake out of our sleep and turn the world upside down for Jesus and for his cause. Some have not the knowledge of God, and this is our fault. We need to get back on track and fulfill our purpose.
The local church
Serving in the local church is our purpose. Paul went about establishing local churches (Acts 15:36). As stated above, one of the benefits of the gospel is that we are now part of the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ was started at the cross (Ephesians 2:13,16) and it is formed as local assemblies. Notice that Paul wrote letters to local assemblies in 1 Corinthians 1:2, he wrote to the church at Corinth. In Galatians 1:2, he wrote to the churches (plural) in Galatia. The Body of Christ is to be manifested in local assemblies.
Church attendance is important
Why do we attend church? First of all, it is a command to attend:
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. - Hebrews 10:23-25
We are to attend a local church without wavering.
- To get rooted and grounded
- For the perfecting of the Saints
- For the work of the ministry
- for the edifying of the body
And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 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; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. - Ephesians 4:11-16
- To have your faith nourished
If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained. - 1 Timothy 4:6
- To grow in faith
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious. - 1 Peter 2:1-3
- To add to your faith
And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: - 2 Peter 1:5-10
- To prove yourself
Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? - 2 Corinthians 13:5
Stay in church
Don’t jump ship when things get hard:
And as the shipmen were about to flee out of the ship, when they had let down the boat into the sea, under colour as though they would have cast anchors out of the foreship, Paul said to the centurion and to the soldiers, Except these abide in the ship, ye cannot be saved. - Acts 27:30-31
Staying in the ship (local bible believing church) is your anchor to make it through the storm. Don’t abandon your anchor for something that looks better. These sailors would not be better off to leave the large ship for a smaller one, but in the middle of the storm, they had convinced themselves that anything would be better than staying in the storm. Stay in the ship and weather the storm together. Staying where you are supposed to be, and going through the storm together is your only hope. Which brings us to our final anchor.
4. Hope is our fourth and final anchor of the faith
Hope is defined as a desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it. Hope differs from wish and desire because it implies some expectation of possessing it. Hope gives you pleasure or joy, whereas wish and desire will produce anxiety and pain because it is based in doubt.
The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. - Joel 3:16
Without God, there is no hope
Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. - Ephesians 2:11-13When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth. The righteous is delivered out of trouble, and the wicked cometh in his stead. - Proverbs 11:7-8And when neither sun nor stars in many days appeared, and no small tempest lay on us, all hope that we should be saved was then taken away. - Acts 27:20
The Lord will calm your storm
They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep. For he commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits' end. Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. Then are they glad because they be quiet; so he bringeth them unto their desired haven. Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men! - Psalms 107:23-31
The Lord is our hope
Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven. And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight: If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister; Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for his body's sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God; Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: - Colossians 1:13-27Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; - 1 Timothy 1:1
Hope is based on the resurrection
But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. - 1 Corinthias 15:13-20Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. - 1 Corinthians 15:51-58
We also have the hope of a new body
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it. - Romans 8:18-25Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. - 1 John 3:1-3
These are the four anchors of the faith that we have to help us to remain on course even in the worst of storms. Don’t sail the turbulent seas of this life, without your four anchors.
Our hope at Irvington Bible Baptist Church is that this podcast provided some encouragement and has helped you to develop a closer relationship with the LORD Jesus Christ.