The Foundations of All Spiritual Blessings, Part 7 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #148)
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 time 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.
Rick Warren said, “You were made by God and for God and until you understand that, life will never make sense.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Most people can’t enjoy their religion; they just endure it.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The Korean Pentecost was quickly recognized as a movement of God by Christian leaders around the world. The Edinburgh World Missionary Conference of 1910 declared, “The Korean Revival … has been a genuine Pentecost, for Korean church membership quadrupled in a decade.””
One of the benefits that we have as children of God is that we are given a glimpse into His ultimate plan for the future of the world. The secular man looks at the world around Him and wonders if there is a purpose or a point to it all. He views the vastness of the universe as a riddle that only the greatest philosophers can work out or as a riddle that cannot be worked out. He has no understanding of the purpose behind it all. But we, those who have been accepted into the beloved, do. As Raymond Sides wrote:
The wisdom of God is the greatest wisdom
that mankind will ever know,
And without the wisdom of God,
mankind will never spiritually grow.
Paul writes that as a result of our redemption, Jesus “hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will…” As part of our growth in the family of God, we are given wisdom and insight through the power of the Holy Spirit who is our teacher in all things. This allows us to see the world through a prudent lens.
We do not throw up our hands and declare that there is no point to existence in this world. We do not lose hope at the crime, violence, death, and suffering in the world. At the same time, we do not become indulged in the pleasures of this world because we know that they will not last. What we do have is wisdom which reminds us that God is in control, and that, in the end, everything will work out according to His plan and for His glory.
The impartation of wisdom and prudence provides us with a different perspective on the world. The “mystery of God’s will” (which we will talk more about as we proceed through this passage) is not so mysterious to us anymore. Because the glory of God is the end goal of all things, we no longer have to feel a sense of loss when we consider our purpose in the world. Because we have been accepted in the beloved, our goal is to bring glory to God.