In whom you also trusted, after that you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that you believed…
Imagine a storm at sea. There is a ship tossed as the merest plaything on the maddened waves, while the tempest round about roars like a black spirit from the vast abyss, and the sky overhead is bent down with the rumbling vengeance of rolling thunder. The sails of the ship shiver; the planks give way; the men on board are pale with terror, for they are all conscious that they are in the utmost danger of being drowned. Their hearts beat; their bosoms heave; their lips quiver; their eyes stare. They think as they best can of their beloved friends, far, far away; and then they look at the foaming, boiling, billowy sea which is likely to become their grave; and for awhile all is deep, and dead, and significant, and solemn silence. At length silence can endure no longer; and now, mingling with the howling and raging of the storm, you hear cries and groans and prayers, such as none but persons who are conscious that they are perishing can utter. In this fearful crisis a boat appears, and approaching them it offers to rescue them, and promises to ensure their safety. How is the offer treated? One group of the drowning men believe that the boat is not a pirate, but a friend — that its pretensions are sincere, and that its flag is genuine; but they still stand and fear and hesitate. One says that the boat is for the better class of passengers, not for a poor, miserable, degraded wretch like him. Another is free from all fear such as that, and yet he hesitates to step into the boat. Why? He looks at the dashing waves; and he listens to the howling winds, and he thinks of the distance between him and the nearest shore; and, all things being thus considered, he fears that the boat is not strong enough to outride the storm; and hence, despite warning words and inviting looks, the poor timorous man in question, as well as the self-deprecating one already mentioned, neglects to rush into the boat, and so is lost. Here you have a representation of an immensely numerous class of persons in the Christian Church — persons who believe in Christ, and yet for various reasons fail to trust in Christ. How many believe in Christ as a Saviour, but dare not trust in Christ as their Saviour! They believe He waits to save others, but they dare not trust that He will save them. How many others, again, there are who, whilst they believe that Christ loved them and gave Himself for them, dare not trust in the simple means which Christ has prescribed (or sinners being saved! They dare not. Looking, on the one hand, at the badness of their hearts, and the guiltiness of their lives, and then, on the other hand, looking at the simple and easy method of salvation which Christ propounds, they dare not trust in its sufficiency. They fear the thing is too simple to be right, and they say they dare not trust for the welfare of their souls, in time and in eternity, merely on the merits of another. This may be quite sufficient, but they are afraid it may be otherwise. There they are, believing Christ, but not trusting Christ; and for want of trust they perish.
Parallel VersesKJV: In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,