Apostles & Saints, Part 4 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #137)
A series of homilies on Ephesians.
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 (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 Spurgeon said, “I know of nothing which I would choose to have as the subject of my ambition for life than to be kept faithful to my God till death, still to be a soul winner, still to be a true herald of the cross, and testify the name of Jesus to the last hour.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Holiness is not a Iuxury; it’s a necessity. If you’re not holy, you’ll never make it to heaven.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The spread of the Pentecostal message to South Africa also grew out of the Azusa Street Revival of 1906. John G. Lake visited the Azusa Street Mission prior to taking the Pentecostal message to South Africa in 1908. Within five years he’d established 500 black and 125 white Pentecostal churches in that nation. Others took the Pentecostal message to Europe and Asia…In this way the Azusa Street Revival, rippling out across the globe, continued for about three years.”
By way of introduction, allow me to share with you this information regarding the book of Ephesians from Warren Wiersbe’s commentary: “Onesimus, a slave, ran away from Philemon, his master, who lived at Colosse. While in Rome, Onesimus met Paul and was converted. Tychicus, one of the pastors of the church at Colossae, which may have met in Philemon’s house, was also in Rome to discuss some problems with Paul. So Paul took advantage of the presence of these two men to send three letters to his friends: the Epistle to the Ephesians, the Epistle to the Colossians, and the Epistle to Philemon. At the same time, he sent Onesimus back to his master. So, the letter was written from Rome about the year A.D. 62. Though Paul was on trial for his life, he was concerned about the spiritual needs of the churches he had founded. As an apostle, ‘one sent with a commission,’ he had an obligation to teach them the Word of God and to seek to build them up in the faith.”
In our last message, we looked at what it means to be “faithful in Christ Jesus” from a mental perspective. But, there is another aspect of faithfulness that is brought out in Scripture, and that is faithfulness in our actions.
This type of faithfulness is defined from the Greek as a person who is “trusty.” People who “show themselves faithful in the transaction of business, the execution of commands, or the discharge of official duties. A person who can be relied on.”
This definition of faithfulness tells us how Christians should carry out their daily lives — in matters of faith and in what could be called “worldly” affairs. We should be consistent in spiritual duties such as: prayer, Bible study, church attendance, soul-winning, tithing, and ministering to others. We should also be consistent in fulfilling our roles as husbands, wives, children, employees, students, or what have you.
Our ultimate examples are God and Jesus Christ. First Corinthians 1:9 says, “God is faithful…” Hebrews 3:1-2 says, “…the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus, was faithful to him that appointed him…” In fact, the book of Revelation tells us that Jesus’ name is “Faithful and True.”
We have no better example of faithfulness than the Son of God who was faithful unto death. We, too, should strive to be faithful in our dealings as citizens of Heaven and as residents of Earth until the day we die.