The Fellowship of Believers, Part 14 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #132)
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.
John Henry Newman said, “What can this world offer comparable with that insight into spiritual things, that keen faith, that heavenly peace, that high sanctity, that everlasting righteousness, that hope of glory, which they have, who in sincerity love and follow our Lord Jesus Christ?”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a few men like Paul? He said, ‘I’m dead!’ Dead to self, dead to ambition, dead to feelings, dead to being offended, dead to being flattered. Just Dead! Paul died to everything.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “At the meeting, Evan Roberts urged that “any who were unwilling to submit to the Holy Spirit” should be free to leave the meeting. As a result, only seventeen remained to hear him. For almost three hours, the zealous evangelist led the group in worship and prayer, calling on God to break down any hardness of heart that might hinder revival. During the meeting, each of those present, including the evangelist’s brother and three sisters, experienced the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, confessed their sins, called on God for mercy, and magnified God in praise.”
We have looked at the biblical definition of the word “sincerity”. It means purity, genuineness, and incorruption.
When we look at the etymology of the word “sincerity,” it helps us understand a little better what it means to “love the Lord in sincerity.” The English word “sincere” comes from two Latin words, “sin-e” and “cere.” “Sin-e” means without, and “cere” means wax. Literally, the word means “without wax.”
In Paul’s day, pottery was big business. Everybody used clay vessels of various sizes to store water and food. However, some potters were dishonest. If a customer brought a broken or chipped clay vessel, they would fix the vessel with wax because it was easier and cheaper. Then they would paint the wax over so the unsuspecting customer would not know. However, after some time, the vessel would break again and the customer would discover what the potter had done.
In the Bible, we are told that we are like clay vessels in the hands of God, the almighty Potter. God intends to make us into sincere believers in Him. He is going to fix us without wax. It may be harder and take longer to be formed as true clay, but God will settle for nothing less, and we should settle for nothing less as well. We need to love the Lord in sincerity — without wax.