The Foundations of All Spiritual Blessings, Part 9 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #150)
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.
David Platt said, “Radical obedience to Christ is not easy… It’s not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “If I’m not known in hell, I’m not worth a hill of beans. In Acts, the demon said, ‘Jesus I know and Paul I know…’ Is there any better compliment than this?”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Although the Korean church represented only about 1 percent of the entire population in Korea, its influence in daily life was far greater because of two unique conditions imposed upon new converts. First, missionaries required illiterate Korean adult converts to learn to read Korean in a simple phonetic alphabet before they could be admitted to membership. Second, Korean patriots viewed Christians as Japanese collaborators because they cut their hair as the missionaries and Japanese did rather than in the traditional Korean style. To distinguish between collaborators and Christians, the patriots required Christians to recite chapters from the Bible to prove they were Christians. The result was a 100 percent literacy rate among Christians in a largely illiterate nation. Their ability to read made Christians the natural leaders of the Korean society.”
God’s ultimate plan for the world, as we saw yesterday, is to bring everything under the headship of Jesus Christ. The Bible says that, eventually, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. However, for those of us who bow and confess now, there are extra blessings that we will receive. Paul tells us that it is this same Jesus “in whom also we have obtained an inheritance.”
The word inheritance means ‘a heritage or private possession that is passed down.’ The term is most often used when speaking of how an adult child might receive money, a house, land, or other property from his parents who received it from his grandparents. As members of God’s family, we also have an inheritance — a set of blessings that are passed down to us from God the Father through His Son, Jesus Christ.
Some commentators believe that this verse can also be taken to mean that not only are we to receive an inheritance from Christ, but we ARE an inheritance FOR Christ. Dr. Warren Wiersbe explains: “Both are true and the one includes the other. In Christ we have a wonderful inheritance, and in Christ we are an inheritance. We are valuable to Him. Think of the price God paid to purchase us and make us part of His inheritance! God the Son is the Father’s love gift to us; and we are the Father’s love gift to His Son. Read John 17 and note how many times Christ calls us ‘those whom Thou hast given Me.’ The church is Christ’s body, building, and bride; Christ’s future inheritance is wrapped up in His church. We are ‘joint-heirs with Christ’, which means that He cannot claim His inheritance apart from us!”
Paul also tells us that this inheritance is “predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” There is nothing mysterious about this predestination. As we have learned before, it simply means that the inheritance spoken of is something that has been a part of God’s plan for the redeemed for a very long time — since before the foundation of the world. It is a great encouragement for us in our spiritual walk to know that God already has rewards and blessings set aside for those who believe on His Son and place their faith and trust in Him.