The Fellowship of Believers, Part 7 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #125)
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;
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.
Charles H. Brent said, “To be able to look into God’s face, and know with the knowledge of faith that there is nothing between the soul and Him, is to experience the fullest peace the soul can know. Whatever else pardon may be, it is above all things admission into full fellowship with God.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “When you go out of a church service and say, ‘I didn’t get much out of that meeting,’ that’s not the point. How much did God get out of it? Did He get worshipped? Did He get adoration? Our only business on earth is to glorify God.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Jenkins’ New Quay Church was among the first stirred by a touch of revival. The pastor had organized a special conference in January 1904, in which many in his church had begun experiencing personal revival. The spirit of revival continued under the preaching of Seth Joshua. Later that year, Joshua preached in the town of Blaenannerch. During his meetings there, students from the nearby Methodist Academy attended.”
We are continuing to look at the power of peace which should be present in the lives of all believers. We have already seen how it should be apparent in a Christian’s personal life, in Christian families, and in the local church.
Today, we are going to look at the virtue of peace as it should be evident in how the Christian interacts with the world.
Christians should interact with the world from a foundation of peace. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Follow (or pursue) peace with all men…” Romans 12:18 says, “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”
In the latter verse, notice the words, ‘If it be possible…’ This indicates that it may not always be possible to live peaceably in the world or with the world. In fact, it appears to be getting harder and harder to do so. But living at peace ought to be our goal.
The main way in which we ought to share the peace and love of Christ with the world is by inviting others to come to Jesus for salvation. Ironically, this very act of sharing the Gospel is the one which may prove to be the one which causes conflict and disagreement. The Bible says that the Gospel is an offense to the world. People do not like to be told that they are sinners, that they are on the road to Hell, that they cannot save themselves, and that the only way they can be saved is through the blood of Jesus Christ. This offensiveness should not deter us from sharing the Gospel and inviting people to share in the peace of Christ.
There is much war and conflict in the world. The Bible tells us that true peace will not be realized until the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ, returns. God’s people can fulfill their role as ambassadors of peace by preaching the ‘glad tidings’ that Jesus came to make peace between God and man. That is the greatest thing that we as peacemakers can do for the world.