The Foundations of All Spiritual Blessings, Part 6 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #147)
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 1:5-12:
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.
7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
12 That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
Albert Barnes said, “Think amid your plans and anticipations of future enjoyment what the redemption of your soul has cost, and how the dying Saviour would wish you to act. His wounds plead that you will live for better things. ”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Every day we live somebody around the world dies for Jesus Christ in Asia or in the Middle East. We just go about our business. Of course, we have our hardships. Sometimes we go to McDonald’s and don’t get a very good hamburger and that’s a grief; sometimes we get a flat tire and that’s terrible. We gripe over such things while others are in prison, tormented, suffering beyond anything we can understand.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “From the revival of 1905 to 1910, the Korean churches recorded 79,221 additions in membership. That was more than the total number of Japanese church members after fifty years of missionary effort. It was also twice the number of Chinese Protestants after eighty years of missionary labors. By 1912, there were about 300,000 Korean Protestant church members in a nation of twelve million people.”
As we continue considering the foundations of our spiritual blessings, we move into verse 7 of this chapter where talks about the redemption that we received through the blood of Christ Jesus. Grace has been shown to us, and that grace compels us to bring glory to God with our lives. But, we would not have that grace if it had not been for the redemptive work of Christ.
According to the Bible Knowledge Commentary, “Redemption denotes release or deliverance from a state of slavery. This redemption is from sin, and thus this work of Christ delivers believers from slavery to sin. This is further defined by the forgiveness of sins, which is the immediate result of a believer’s release from sin’s hold.”
Jesus blood being shed and His death on the cross were a price that had to be paid for us to be free from sin. Neither you nor I would have willingly paid that price. But Jesus did. As the saying goes, “Freedom is not free.” Jesus bought our freedom at a heavy price.
Not only are we redeemed — that is, free from sin — but we are “forgiven.” The word “forgiven” means that our sins are removed from us. Some people might forgive you of a debt that you owe, but they continue to hold that debt against you. God does not do that. When He forgives you, He places you in the standing of Jesus Christ who has never sinned, and sees you as such.
Again, in this verse, we are reminded that all of this is done “according to the riches of his grace.” There is no such thing as limited grace; God’s grace does not only stretch so far. God redeemed us and forgave us out of his abundant mercy and grace. There is no limit to the number of people Jesus can save. The fountain filled with blood is still overflowing; the river of life is still wide.