The Foundations of All Spiritual Blessings, Part 17 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #158)
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,
Brian Edwards said, “We often have a tinted view of revival as a time of glory and joy and swelling numbers queuing to enter the churches. That is only part of the story. Before the glory and joy, there is conviction; and that begins with the people of God. There are tears of godly sorrow. There are wrongs to put right, secret things… to be thrown out, and bad relationships, hidden for years, to be repaired openly. If we are not prepared for this, we had better not pray for revival.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “God is going to restore the power and authority in His church starting in the pulpit with brokenness and confession. If there’s no brokenness in the pulpit, why should there be brokenness in the pew?”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “When news of the Welsh Revival of the early nineteenth century reached India, many Christian missionaries began praying for a similar outpouring on their own field of service. As a result, a significant revival broke out in the Khasi Hills, which eventually brought an end to paganism in that region. It was news of that indigenous Indian revival that first stimulated interest in revival among the Mizo Christians in Lushai, India.”
What else is there that God wants us to know by enlightening our eyes of understanding? We saw yesterday that He wants us to know “the hope of his calling” — not only His calling us to salvation, but His calling us into ministry and service to Him, and, beyond that, His calling us to sanctification and glory.
Today, we see that we also ought to learn “what are the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.” It sounds like the riches of inheritance belong to us, the saints — and that is how some scholars interpret it. But, in fact, this verse is saying that WE ARE THE RICHES, and we belong to God.
Through salvation, God has made us rich in Himself. Without Christ, we are spiritually poor and destitute. But, with Christ, we are filled with all that He is in God the Father. As one commentator wrote, “God can make riches out of poor men and women because He invests so much in them. He has invested riches of love, riches of wisdom, riches of suffering, riches of glory. These things accrue to a rich inheritance in the saints.”
We who are rough hewn, useless rock become valuable jewels in God’s sight. He has picked us up out of the muck and mire of sin and worldliness and made us citizens fit for Heaven. We do not need the riches of this world. We are wealthy in God, wealthy in things that are eternal and that never fade away. May our eyes of understanding be enlightened that we may know and live according to this truth.
In the movie, the Lion King, young Simba ran away from his kingdom because his evil uncle, Scar, made him feel guilty about his father’s death. Simba ended up in the world living a life of no worries and no responsibilities. But one night, he had a vision of his father saying, “Remember who you are. You are my son, and the one true king!” Simba returned to his kingdom and took his rightful place. He began carrying out the responsibilities of his calling.
Even so, we are royalty because we are a part of the family of God. One day, we will reign with Christ. Even now, we are rich in Christ. Knowing that, we should live according to our standing in Him.