The Fellowship of Believers, Part 1 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #119)

spiritual-warfare

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.

Ephesians 6:10-24:

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;

19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

21 But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things:

22 Whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts.

23 Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.

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A.W. Tozer said, “Has it ever occurred to you that one hundred pianos all tuned to the same fork are automatically tuned to each other? They are of one accord by being tuned, not to each other, but to another standard to which each one must individually bow. So if one hundred worshipers met together, each one looking to Christ, they are in heart nearer to each other than they could possibly be were they to become ‘unity’ conscious and turn their eyes away from God to strive for closer fellowship.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “I want to see something that God builds. I want to find some people so hungry for God that every night they want to pray and make intercession. We’re not going to move America any other way.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “According to the Edinburgh World Missionary Conference, “more progress had been made in all Africa in the first decade of the twentieth century than experienced hitherto.” Between 1903 and 1910, the number of Protestants living in the African continent increased from 300,000 to 500,000. Still, the full impact of the Welsh Revival in Africa was yet to be manifest. As revived missionaries made their way to Africa, the growth rate of the African evangelical church continued to be twice that of the general population for the following half century.”

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Today, we begin looking at the closing of Paul’s letter to the Ephesians. In it, we learn an important lesson more by example than by instruction. Paul writes, “But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things…”

Paul wanted the believers at Ephesus to know how he was doing. In the same way, I believe the believers at Ephesus wanted to know how Paul was doing. Not in a gossipy, nosy kind of way, but in a manner of genuine concern and love for a brother in Christ who was truly suffering for Christ. Paul was willing and eager to tell them; he wanted them to know all his affairs. He recognized the value of community and being a part of a group of people who looked out for each other and the value of transparency.

We need more Christians in the church who realize that they don’t have to go it alone. Many Christian families come to church every week and act as if everything is alright in the home. They never share the real problems that are going on behind closed doors so that they can get help. The pastor and others in the church only find out about it when a huge problem erupts and it is too late to save the family.

By the same token, we need more Christians in the church who share the good things that God is doing in their lives. Their words will be an encouragement to others who are going through tough times. There is nothing more powerful than when a fellow believer can sit down beside you and say, ‘Brother, sister, I’ve been where you are. I know what you’re going through. Here’s how I got through. Here’s what God did for me.’

God put us in the body together, and he expects us to care for each other, to help each other, and to pray for each other.

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