Apostles & Saints, Part 8 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #141)

JJMessage

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 1:3-6:

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

—-

John R. Rice said, “It is true the saved are God’s elect, ‘chosen in him before the foundation of the world. But it is wrong to make this election a whim of God whereby He saves some, compels them to be saved, and damns some whom He has decided He does not wish to save. Election is not ‘unconditional.’ It is simply that God knows who will trust Him when they hear the Gospel and chooses them to be carried through till they be ‘conformed to the image of his Son.'”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Everything in your life is going to be judged by the cross — your eating, your drinking, your sleeping, your spending, your talking. Everything is cross-examined!”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Hundreds were converted during the Korean revival of 1905 and 1906, more than in any previous year in the history of the Korean mission. In the capitol of North Korea, 700 conversions were recorded in a two-week period. Still, the best was yet to come.”

—-

From the first three verses in this chapter, we have talked about the spiritual blessings that are enjoyed by believers. Verse 4 sheds further light on those of us who receive the blessings, as well as the One who gives us the blessings. The text reads, ‘According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.’

What does it mean to be chosen in God? Dr. Warren Wiersbe explains this phrase as follows: “This is the marvelous doctrine of election, a doctrine that has confused some and confounded others. That salvation begins with God, and not with man, all Christians will agree. The lost sinner, left to his own ways, does not seek God; God in His love seeks the sinner… Does the sinner respond to God’s grace against his own will? No, he responds because God’s grace makes him willing to respond. The mystery of divine sovereignty and human responsibility will never be solved in this life. Both are taught in the Bible. Both are true, and both are essential.”

John R. Rice said, “It is true the saved are God’s elect, ‘chosen in him before the foundation of the world. But it is wrong to make this election a whim of God whereby He saves some, compels them to be saved, and damns some whom He has decided He does not wish to save. Election is not ‘unconditional.’ It is simply that God knows who will trust Him when they hear the Gospel and chooses them to be carried through till they be ‘conformed to the image of his Son.'”

People today often talk about searching for God or finding God. But, in reality, it is God who calls us to Himself. He is the one who takes the initiative. And He has taken that initiative with every human being. However, some respond and some resist.

We ought to be even more grateful for the spiritual blessings that Paul spoke of previously as we consider that we receive them entirely by the will of God. Nothing we do or have done make us worthy to receive these blessings. He alone desired to give them to us, and He made it possible for us to receive them.

To be chosen in God is a wonderful thing. It reminds us that God is not eager to send judgment on anyone — even on a nation as wicked as ours. His first act was to call us to Himself, and if we, as the church, respond to that call ourselves and help others respond to that call, we can see the revival and great awakening that this nation so desperately needs.

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