Apostles & Saints, Part 5 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #138)
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.
Alexander Whyte said, “Grace, then, is grace, — that is to say, it is sovereign, it is free, it is sure, it is unconditional, and it is everlasting. Nothing can change, or alter, or turn away sovereign grace.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “People say, ‘We want another Pentecost.’ Well, Pentecost in the New Testament is tied in with persecution, poverty, and prison.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Although Korea was one of the last nations in the Far East to hear the gospel, a series of revivals early in the twentieth century quickly turned the Korean church into a powerful force for God. These awakenings transformed Korean culture and society and reached beyond its borders to other nations in Asia.”
Over the past four messages, we have looked at how believers should carry out their calling as apostles, saints, and faithful people. As we do this, there are two blessings that we receive from God — grace and peace. Writing to the Ephesians, Paul says, “Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Grace is God’s unmerited favor. We do not receive grace as a reward for our faithfulness. We receive grace simply because God loves us and has chosen to show favor to us because we are His children, brought into His family by the saving work of His Son. Every true believer has experienced the grace of God.
Another benefit of salvation through Jesus Christ is peace. The kind of peace Paul is referring to in this passage is peace between God and man. Because of Jesus Christ, we are no longer the enemies of God. Instead, we are at peace with Him — in fact, we are His friends.
This peace with God will serve as a platform of peace for everything else in our lives. Because we know that our relationship with God is intact, we can face anything that the world, the flesh, and the devil might throw our way.
God’s people are people of grace and peace, and it ought to be our goal to bring as many people as possible into a relationship with God that they might have His grace and peace as well.