Apostles & Saints, Part 2 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #135)

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.

—-

Johann Ferus said, “Let us never put confidence in man, or in any sanctity of position, office, or dress. If apostleship did not make Judas a saint, neither will position, office, or dress make thee a saint.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “There is one qualification that proves we’re filled with the Holy Ghost and that is that we Iive a holy life.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Historian J. Edwin Orr describes the Welsh Revival as “the farthest reaching of the movements of general awakening, for it affected the whole of the evangelical cause in India, Korea and China, renewed revival in Japan and South Africa, and sent a wave of awakenings over Africa, Latin America and the South Seas.” Visiting pastors from Norway, Japan, America, India, South Africa, and Korea were all deeply moved in the Welsh Revival and became carriers of revival to their nations as they returned home.”

John F. Walvoord and Roy B. Zuck said, “Paul’s extension of grace and peace is different from the normal Greek letters which had only “greetings” or “greeting” “Grace” expresses God’s steadfast love toward man and “peace” shows the relational state as a result of that grace.”

Warren Wiersbe said, “Nine times in this brief letter, Paul addresses his readers as saints. These saints were alive, not dead, though once they had been “dead in trespasses and sins”. And it is clear that they had never performed any miracles, though they had experienced a miracle by trusting Christ as Saviour. The word saint is simply one of the many terms used in the New Testament to describe “one who has trusted Jesus Christ as Saviour.” The person is “alive,” not only physically, but also spiritually.”
—-

Paul refers to the believers who are the recipients of his letter as “saints.”

Now, you have heard of certain Christians of years gone by being referred to with the title “Saint” in front of their name, such as Saint Thomas, Saint Gregory, or Saint Francis. These are people whom the Catholic Church has claimed to raise up to a level of “sainthood.” However, the idea that the church makes saints and that only certain Christians can be saints is bogus.

The church does not make people saints. Jesus makes people saints. The word translated saints in the Bible is the Greek word “hagios” which simply means “holy things.” Of course, we as believers are not holy through any doing of our own, but through the saving and purifying blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus washes us in His blood and makes us holy before God. It is His holiness that we put on, not any holiness of our own — and that is what makes us saints.

What we need to be most concerned about is not our standing, but our practice. Our standing is that of sainthood before God; we are holy because Jesus makes us holy. The question we must ask is: Is our practice consistent with our standing? Are we living holy lives? Are we shunning evil and embracing good? Revival will not happen until Christians begin living in a practical manner that is consistent with their standing of sainthood.

Let’s pray.

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