The Foundations of All Spiritual Blessings, Part 16 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #157)
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 1:15-19:
15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
Andrew Gih said, “God’s time for revival is the very darkest hour, when everything seems hopeless. It is always the Lord’s way to go to the very worst cases to manifest His glory.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “It doesn’t say in Scripture that you lose your first love, it says you leave it.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “In 1907, Jonathan Goforth made a tour of Korea, something he’d wanted to do ever since he’d heard the first reports of the Korean revival. While there, he was deeply moved by what he experienced. He realized the movement in Korea was “no wild gust of religious enthusiasm,” but rather a deep, moving work of the Holy Spirit. He was also challenged by the prayer life of the Korean missionaries and national church leaders. Believing God was “no respecter of persons,” Goforth began praying for a similar outpouring of the Holy Spirit in China.”
Regarding the verses we are studying in Ephesians 1, Warren Wiersbe wrote, “By making us His inheritance, God has shown His love. By promising us a wonderful future, He has encouraged our hope. Paul offered something to challenge our faith: ‘the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe.’ So tremendous is this truth that Paul enlisted many different words from the Greek vocabulary to get his point across: du-na-mis which means ‘power’ as in dynamo and dynamite; e-ner-geia which means ‘working’ as in energy; kra-tos which means ‘mighty’; and is-chus which means ‘power.’ Ephesians 1:19 can be translated, ‘What is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the operation of the might of His strength.’ He is talking about divine, dynamic, eternal energy, available to us!”
Yesterday, we talked about Paul’s prayer (which should be our prayer): that the ‘eyes of our understanding be enlightened’ that we might know God and Jesus better. Today, we are going to look at, specifically, what it is God wants to open our eyes to. The first thing we see is “the hope of his calling.”
“Hope” is always a positive word that implies that we are looking forward to something good in the future. The word “calling” refers, first, to the call of God that drew us to salvation through Jesus Christ. After we received Christ, the “call” took on new meaning as we are all called to sanctification in Christ. Part of this call was addressed when we looked at Ephesians 1:4, which reads, “He hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love.”
By extension, the “call” extends to what we do as believers — the ministry or service that God has called us to. And the hope that we have in this call is the guarantee that, because God is faithful, He will do everything that He has promised us as believers. This includes our future resurrection, eternal life, freedom from sin, and union with God himself in Heaven. All of that is wrapped up in our calling.
If we know that to which we are called, this knowledge fills us with hope while we are on this earth. We do not have to get discouraged by the things that are happening in this world. We have a higher calling that we are certain will be fulfilled — not because of who we are, but because of who God is.