by Johnny Hunt

Principles Learned from Storms and Shipwreck
Johnny Hunt
Acts 27:39-44
January 13, 2008

INTRODUCTION: Why would Luke, the inspired writer, devote such a long section of his book to a description of a voyage and shipwreck?

Perhaps the major purpose Luke had in mind was the presenting of Paul as the courageous leader who could take command of a difficult situation in times of great crisis. Future generations would love and appreciate Paul all the more for what he did en route to Rome.

Since ancient times, writers have pictured life as a journey or voyage. Pilgrims Progress, by John Bunyan, is based on this theme, and so is Homer's Odyssey. We sometimes use the "voyage" metaphor in everyday conversations. "Smooth sailing," or "Don't make shipwreck!" or "Sink or swim." When a Christian dies, we might say, "She has reached the other shore."

Think of the songs: "Sail On," "Ship Ahoy," "It Is Well With My Soul," "Master of the Sea," etc.

1 Timothy 1:19, "having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck"

A good conscience serves as the rudder that steers the believer through the rocks and reefs of sin and error. The false teachers ignored their consciences and the truth, and as a result, suffered shipwreck of the Christian faith, which implies severe spiritual catastrophe.

As Acts 27 unfolds, it begins with Paul as a prisoner and before the chapter ends we will see manifested his ability to deal with a crisis that will elevate his role. It reminds me of Joseph in prison and his wisdom constantly pressed him upward until he was number two in command.

Note a few characteristics of Paul the leader:

1. He Learned Well From His Past.

Acts 27:10, "Men, I perceive that this voyage will end with disaster and much loss, not only of the cargo and ship, but also our lives."

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