The Bilging System of Salvation
Posted on September 24, 2019 by America's Keswick in Freedom Fighters
“You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” — 1 John 4:4 (NKJV)
So, I get to work at yacht building company. I also get to be a boat owner. Often times I see how the two are a bit different from each other. Yacht’s start their selling price at somewhere in the six zero range on up, my boat cost me a few zero’s less. Yacht’s have fancy gadgets that help you navigate; tell the depth of the water and the exact size of the fish you are trying to catch. I rely on the ancient method of using the sun, the moon, the stars and the surrounding landscape to navigate (I really should buy a compass), my depth finder has a 3”x 5” screen to show the depth of the water and the fish are but mere blips on the screen (that’s even if they are fish at all).
Yachts can have two engines that require quite a few amounts of amps to kick over, my boat engine has a pull rope and depends on my few amounts of muscle to kick over. But outside of these few minor differences, the one thing every boat, big or small, needs are some kinda bilge pumping system. I myself just happen to use the new-fangled Maxwell House coffee container. With its sleek design and easy to grip feature, this bilging system helps bail me out every time I forget to put the drain plug in its proper location at the bottom of the transom. For those of you keeping score, I was in the Army, not the Navy.
But, for the sake of example, imagine my boat is your boat and that boat represents your life or your church, just sailing along the waters of the world. I have found that when the waters of the world are as smooth as glass, the cruise can be absolutely peaceful. Cruising along at about 35 knots, on a sunny day, with no wind can be the bestest time anyone can have while being out on the water. However, ever been in a 14’ Boston Whaler when the water is beyond rough and the winds are blowing at 35 knots? I have and getting the water outta the boat with a coffee container is futile work.
This is how it can look as the storms of everyday life overwhelm us. Its okay to be the boat on the waters of the world, but when those waters get into boat, bilging is the only thing to save you. A good bilging system can be your only salvation while on the stormy waters of the world. If we take this and apply it to our Christian life, Jesus Christ is that bilging system of salvation. He needs to get into your very depths of your keel to keep you a float. You’ll need His help in order to overcome the world instead of being overcome by it. And just so you know this isn’t a one and done kinda bilging system. Au Contraire, there’s more.
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.” (Phil 2:12-13)
When you look at what Paul has written to the Philippians, you’ll notice he says “work out” your own salvation and not “work on.” This serves as a reminder that, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast.” (Eph 2:8-9) So basically, we’re being told to “work out” or allow the bilge system to do it’s work and put into practice what God has worked in us by His Spirit in our daily living. This means allowing Him to identify areas that we should work on like our tongues, unforgiveness, bitterness, love of money, lust of flesh kinda stuff.
“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil 1:6) When you said “YES” to Jesus the bilge pump of salvation clicked on and stuff started to changed. You may have lived as if that coffee container was the only thing saving you, but Jesus wants you to know your boat needs to stay afloat and you’ll need Him to do a good work in you so that there’ll be a desire in us to do good and we’ll be empowered by Him to be able to carry that work out. Smooth waters fool us into thinking a coffee container is bilge enough but it’s Jesus that calms the storm. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) has been married for 25+ years (Kathy), has a married son (Kevin) and a daughter in college (Karen). He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.
Think About This: “Since no man is excluded from calling upon God, the gate of salvation is open to all. There is nothing else to hinder us from entering, but our own unbelief.” —John Calvin
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.