Acts 27-28: Paul’s Faith When Shipwrecked

I would like to briefly talk about Acts 27-28. As your ready through the Book of Acts, we see the Apostle Paul knows that he is supposed to appear before Caesar at Rome. Paul has faced much opposition and persecution, yet he continues to fight the good fight of faith.
In Acts 27:1-8 we see the voyage begins to Italy from Adramyttium on a grain ship, a seaport of the Roman province of Asia. Luke was likely with them during this voyage since verse 2 says “we were put to sea”. As they start their journey, we see they face difficult winds. In verses, 9-12 Paul warns the crew of the ship that there would be danger ahead since they just finished the Day of Atonement Feast (September/October).
In Acts 27:13-38 we see a great tempest of wind arises and they face many difficulties. The crew realizes they are in trouble. Acts 27:21-26 (NKJV) says, “But after long abstinence from food, then Paul stood in the midst of them and said, “Men, you should have listened to me, and not have sailed from Crete and incurred this disaster and loss. And now I urge you to take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. For there stood by me this night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve, saying, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul; you must be brought before Caesar; and indeed God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ Therefore take heart, men, for I believe God that it will be just as it was told me. However, we must run aground on a certain island.”.
Paul explains to them the vision he had from an angel which told him they would make it to Italy so he could appear before Caesar. While the crew on the ship was worried about the present circumstance, Paul stood in faith for God’s promise. Paul could have questioned the angel about God’s promises with doubt based on the present circumstance, but he did not. He walked by faith and not by sight. Paul knew who the God he served was because Paul clearly had an intimate relationship with the Father like every believer should.
In Acts 27:38-44, we see they become shipwrecked in Malta, an island south of Sicily and Italy. Did Paul stop and say, “oh no, the angel of the Lord was wrong.”, no he continued on holding steadfast to God’s promise. We need to get to the place where we are not weighed down instantly by our circumstances. Paul could have easily been weight down and given up, but he did not.
In Acts 28:1-6 we see when they arrive at the island of Malta they are treated with “unusual kindness”. As they were on the island, we see Paul gets a viper on him and shakes it right off and it did not harm him at all. There was not any evidence he got attacked by this viper. Why is this the case? Jesus tells us in Mark 16:17-18 (NKJV), “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”. Then if we look at what Jesus said in Luke 10:19 (NKJV), “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”. This shows us that Paul knew his authority as a believer. Paul didn’t have authority because he was an apostle, he had it because he was a believer and he had revelation knowledge of his authority through the finished work of Jesus Christ.
Ephesians 1:19-20 (TPT) tells us clearly Paul had the revelation of his authority as a believer, “I pray that you will continually experience the immeasurable greatness of God’s power made available to you through faith. Then your lives will be an advertisement of this immense power as it works through you! This is the mighty power that was released when God raised Christ from the dead and exalted him to the place of highest honor and supreme authority in the heavenly realm! And now he is exalted as first above every ruler, authority, government, and realm of power in existence! He is gloriously enthroned over every name that is ever praised, not only in this age, but in the age that is coming!”.
The situation of the viper was not the only example of supernatural gifts flowing in the very last chapter of the Book of Acts. We see in Acts 28:7-10 that they came across a sick man named Publius. Paul laid hands on him, and he recovered. This is an example of Mark 16:17-18 being fulfilled in the early church. Divine healing still occurred in the very last chapter of the Book of Acts despite the fact Luke, the great physician was present. Many people like to say that the supernatural gifts of the Holy Spirit passed away with the Apostles. If these gifts were something that was fading away, why then in the very last chapter of the Book of Acts were there healings taking place? Hebrews 13:8 (TPT) tells us, “Jesus, the Anointed One, is always the same—yesterday, today, and forever.”. If the gifts of the Holy Spirit faded away then it would make Hebrews 13:8 invalid, and I know the God of the Bible is no liar.
Acts 28 ends with Paul finally arriving at Rome and he preaches the Gospel to Rome. This is when the Gospel message officially reaches the Gentiles. We see some people believed the message and some did not. Romans 11:11 (NKJV) tells us, “I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.”. Paul knew from the beginning that when he got to Rome, he would bring the Gospel message to the Gentiles. Could Paul have given up on his mission as an Apostle? Sure, but he did not. He pressed on to the reward. Hebrews 11:1 (NKJV) tells us, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”. Paul did not know how the whole path to Rome would go, he could not rely on what he saw in the natural he had to stand in faith for what he knew was promised.
The Book of Acts should encourage us to press on in faith. Paul did not waiver in doubt, he pressed on. Too many believers today want to throw in the towel when a small trial comes their way. We need to get away from looking at things with our worldly eyes and get ourselves in agreement with what the Word of God says and press on in faith.