The Fellowship of Believers, Part 2 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #120)

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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N.T. Wright said, “The church exists primarily for two closely correlated purposes: to worship God and to work for his kingdom in the world … The church also exists for a third purpose, which serves the other two: to encourage one another, to build one another up in faith, to pray with and for one another, to learn from one another and teach one another, and to set one another examples to follow, challenges to take up, and urgent tasks to perform. This is all part of what is known loosely as fellowship.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “I stand before hundreds of preachers and I see them shrink and fall on the ground and cry because they have no prayer life. They’re so busy with all the affairs of the church and they’re not ministering to Him!”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “News of the Welsh Revival encouraged many in Southern California to pray to intensify their efforts. In 1907, a small church in Los Angeles saw the crowds grow at their meetings until the converted house in which they met collapsed. They moved into a vacated Methodist church on Asuza Street. During the revival that followed, people began speaking in tongues, a phenomenon that attracted international attention.”

—-

Yesterday, we considered how important it is for believers to function as part of the community, the body, that is the church. God did not make any of us to stand alone, and the more we stand together, the less effective Satan’s attacks will be.

But, there is another element of the fellowship of believers that we see as Paul begins to close out his letter to the Ephesians, and that is his relationship with Tychicus. Paul calls Tychicus “a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord.” He is an associate of Paul mentioned four other times in Scripture. Paul seems to have relied on him and entrusted him with some of his affairs.

In Acts, he was among those who accompanied Paul during his last missionary journey. Three times in Paul’s epistles, he is mentioned as a messenger to the churches. Paul trusted Tychicus to be a faithful mouthpiece to the local assemblies and to deliver his message and bring back any news or correspondence. In other words, Tychicus was a faithful friend who cared about Paul’s life and ministry just as he cared for his own. This was the case, of course, only because they both were committed to Jesus Christ.

The lesson for us is that each of us should ask God to give us faithful Christian friends. Normally, you will be able to count the number of people who fill this role in your life on one hand. But, if they are faithful and trustworthy like Tychicus, make sure you value them, thank God for them, and reciprocate Christ’s love to them. You both may need each other more than you think.

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