A series of homilies on Ephesians 5 & 6
A homily is “a short talk on a religious or moral topic; a usually short sermon; a lecture or discourse on or of a biblical theme.”
I am sharing a verse-by-verse series of short messages on Ephesians 5 & 6 (as well as other passages of Scripture) specifically targeted at reviving families and encouraging and exhorting husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and children to do what God has commanded them to do, for if the church is to be revived and the country is to be awakened, the family must be revived first.
10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Charles Spurgeon said, “I wish that saints would cling to Christ half as earnestly as sinners cling to the devil. If we were as willing to suffer for God as some are willing to suffer for their lusts, what perseverance and zeal would be seen on all sides!”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “The Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible is the religion of Christ’s church. The devil’s aim today is to keep people away from the Bible.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Out of these revivals grew Bible institutes and Bible colleges, and an intense movement to offer training in the English Bible to laypeople and those called into Christian service. The purpose was to equip people for lay service in the church and to educate candidates for church and missionary service.”
We have discussed at length what it means to be watchful throughout Scripture. We see in our main passage for this series that we are commanded to “watch thereunto with all perseverance.” The Greek word used here for “perseverance” only occurs once in Scripture. It means “persistence” — it is the watchword of someone who is going to keep on doing what he has been doing until he reaches his goal.
“Perseverance” carries several definitions. It means, “continuance in a state of grace to the end;” “steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success;” “determination, staying power, indefatigability, steadfastness, purposefulness;” “the effort required to do something and keep doing it till the end, even if it’s hard.” It also means, “steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.” God wants us to be persistent in our watching.
The admonition to be persistent and to practice perseverance in our work as watchmen is important because after any period of calm where there is no demonic attack, we are tempted to drop our guard and stop watching. So, God tells us to watch with “all perseverance” — to keep on watching, to not give up, to stay on guard.
Not only should we persist in being watchful because of the threat of Satanic attack, but we must also be on guard because opportunities for ministry will be presented to us at many different times. Have you ever been in a certain situation, and as soon as you were out of that situation you realized that it was a prime opportunity for ministry? Sometimes, we miss opportunities for evangelism, for prayer, or for service because we are not spiritually alert.
May God help us each be persistent in our watchfulness.