The Foundations of All Spiritual Blessings, Part 4 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #145)
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.
J.I. Packer said, “What is a Christian? The question can be answered in many ways, but the richest answer I know is that a Christian is one who has God as Father.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “I’ve had many accolades in my time about my books and preaching, but it doesn’t make any difference. I made up my mind fifty years ago that no one would flatter me and no one would flatten me. We’re all unprofitable servants.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The deep reviving of the Korean church leadership during the Korean revival of 1907 had an immediate impact on both the churches and the communities those churches sought to reach. The men returned to their homes as carriers of revival. When the story of the Bible conference revival was retold, a similar revival swept the churches. As the churches were revived, they were gripped by a burning passion to reach the lost in their community. Everywhere, revived churches began to see ‘drunkards, gamblers, adulterers, murderers, thieves, self-righteous, Confucianists and others’ transformed into new creatures in Christ.”
Today, we are going to look at the fact that believers are adopted into God’s family. We were lost orphans wandering in the world until we trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ. Because we placed our faith and trust in Him, God adopted us into His family through Christ “according to the good pleasure of his will.” By trusting Christ, we changed our mind about sin and salvation. Curtis Hutson said, “One cannot trust Christ as Saviour without repenting or changing his mind. The very fact that he trusts Christ for salvation shows that he has changed his mind regarding sin, salvation, and God.”
The Bible says it is not God’s will that any should perish; we see here that it is God’s will for all to be adopted into his family. God does not begrudgingly bring us in out of the cold, dark world of sin. God is pleased and happy to make us his children. This is what He has wanted all along. As soon as we believe in His Son, He snatches us from the devil and Hell and makes us a part of the beloved.
The Roman world that Paul was writing to had a very distinct view of adoption. At birth, a father could decide that he didn’t want a child and abandon it in the wilderness. Later on, parents could disown a child if they so pleased. But, with an adopted child, it was different. Once a child was adopted, the law stated that he could not be disowned. He gained all the rights and privileges of a member of that family.
F.F Bruce said, “The person who had been adopted had all the rights of a legitimate son in his new family and completely lost all rights in his old family. In the eyes of the law he was a new person. So new was he that even all debts and obligations connected with his previous family were abolished as if they had never existed.”
This is what it means to be adopted into God’s family by the good pleasure of his will. Our entire identity, our entire destiny is changed by God simply bringing us into His family and naming us as one of His own.