Apostles & Saints, Part 1 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #134)

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.

TEXT: Ephesians 1:1-2:

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

—-

Charles Hodge said, “When the great promise of the Spirit was fulfilled on the day of Pentecost, it was fulfilled not in reference to the twelve apostles only.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Without holiness, no one shall see the Lord. Jesus didn’t die to save us from hell. That’s a fringe benefit. He died to get total occupation of us. To be holy in speech, in actions, in everything. We want to give God our lousy sins. What do you think He does with them? He wants your will. He wants that career of yours. He wants that selfish heart not to live in selfishness.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “During the Welsh Revival, the emphasis of Evan Roberts’ message could be summarized in four principles. First, he insisted Christians must put away any unconfessed sin. Second, he called on them to renounce any doubtful habit. Third, he told them, ‘You must obey the Spirit promptly.’ Finally, he urged people to confess Christ publicly.”

—-

The epistle to the Ephesians is believed to be one of the more general letters written by the Apostle Paul. In this letter, he did not deal specifically with issues concerning the church at Ephesus, but he took the time to explain God’s plan for the church as a whole. Francis Foulkes said Paul used this letter to work out “the theme of the greatness and glory of Christ and to consider the place of the Church in the purpose of God.”

Some of the earliest manuscripts of this epistle include a blank where it says “at Ephesus”, indicating that at least a version of this letter was intended to be circulated among different churches. So, it is a good place for the church as a whole to pause and consider its place in God’s plan for the world.

Paul describes himself as an “apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ.” The word “apostle” means “a delegate, a messenger, or one sent forth with orders.” This word was specifically applied to the twelve disciples of Jesus, but Paul claims it for himself because he, too, was a messenger sent forth with orders to preach the Gospel to the Gentiles.

While we dare not compare ourselves to the apostles of old, in a sense, we, too, are apostles because we are delegates of God, messengers of Christ, sent forth to share the Gospel with the world. The question we must ask ourselves is whether or not we are living up to our calling as representatives of Heaven on Earth. Are we faithful in sharing the Gospel and showing forth Christ in our words and our deeds. The revival of the church can happen, but only when God’s people begin obeying their calling as sent ones — living like Christ among each other and representing Christ to the world.

Advertisements
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: