[SW160] 11/08/2014 message notes by Sister Susan J. Wynn ©2014
If you obey Jesus Christ today, His promise to you is that you will catch many people, and they will no longer be under the wrath of God, but will believe and obey Jesus, and have eternal life!
LOOKING AT THE TEXT (LUKE 5:1-11):
Verse 1 – Jesus is teaching the Word of God; He is doing what He sees His Father doing (John 5:19). As a result, the people press in around Him and listen. They know God is speaking.
Verse 2 – The fishermen had finished THEIR work, which they were doing in their own power.
Verse 3 – He uses Simon’s vessel to teach from, so all can hear and see.
Verse 4 – He commands Simon to go out again into the deep water and let down the nets. He says they will have a catch. When HE commands, it will be so, even though it seems impossible!
Verse 5 – Simon says THEY worked hard all night but caught nothing.
— But He OBEYED JESUS, saying, “I will do as you say.”
Verse 6-7 – The catch is huge, the nets start to break, the other boat is called, and even then, both boats begin to sink from the weight of the catch. When HE commands, we go out in HIS power and miracles happen!
Verse 8-9 – As a result of this miracle, Simon is convicted of his own sinfulness, and falls down in worship to Jesus. Note that Simon was NOT convicted of his sinfulness prior to this point, even though Jesus had been talking with him and the others.
— When true miracles are done by God, conviction of sin and repentance are always the result. In this way, we can discern whether signs and wonders are false or truly from God.
Astonishment seizes (grabs) them all!
— They are trained fishermen, experts! But they had no catch. Suddenly, there is a huge catch!
— Training and expertise does not make for a huge catch. Apart from Him, we can do nothing:
John 15:4 “ Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.
Verse 10 – After this amazing miracle, Jesus amazes them further by telling them that from now on, they will be catching men!
Verse 11 – They left their work which they had been doing in their own power, and followed (BELIEVED AND OBEYED) Jesus.
Catching men! They did, with Him!
And then, He told them He was going to leave them, If they obeyed, He would give them the Holy Spirit:
John 14:15 “ If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. [the original Greek has “kai” before the next verse, which means “and”] 16 “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever . . .”
Note the connection between OBEDIENCE (if you keep My commandments) which is evidence of loving Jesus Christ, and receiving God’s power to do God’s works through God’s Holy Spirit!!
And they will do even greater works, BECAUSE Jesus is going to the Father:
John 14:12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.”
What happens when Jesus goes to the Father? He is glorified, and the Holy Spirit is given:
John 7:39 But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
That happened in Acts 2! And He is still filling those who obey Him (Acts 5:32)!
Then we go out in HIS power and do the works we see the Father doing, and catch people!
FOR THE CHURCH:
Beloved, we work very hard in our own power and our own training and expertise.
But we can only do what He has called us to do — catch people — when we obey Jesus’ commands and thereby show that we love Him. And most of the church is disobedient to the Lord.
This is disobedience — working in our own power! We disobey Jesus Christ when we rely on our own:
We disobey Him when we:
— use demographics to ensure success (that’s like using an electronic fish finder to make sure you get a catch!!!)
— do motorcycle and dog blessings to attract people
— hold carnivals to attract people
The result of such things is that people are attracted to a ministry or a man, and there is no conviction of sin and thus, no repentance, because these are natural works, not God’s works.
And that man or that ministry receives glory, not Jesus Christ.
We will catch nothing that way!
I tell you the truth, the church is a laughing stock to the world, because she is full of sin and acts like the world.
But when we cease from our natural works and do God’s works, our detractors will be silenced:
Acts 4:13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. 14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply [my emphasis].
We must be doing miracles, signs and wonders, so conviction of sinfulness results, and repentance comes. That’s why the newborn church prayed like this:
Acts 4:29 “And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, 30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”
THEN men and women are saved from the wrath of God.
Beloved, confess your sinfulness in disobeying Christ by working in your own power, with your own expertise and your own training.
Repent, have a change of heart!
Cease from your own labors, just as Simon and his companions did.
His promise to you, if you obey Him, is that you will catch many people, and they will no longer be under the wrath of God, but will believe and obey Jesus, and have eternal life!