The Foundations of All Spiritual Blessings, Part 19 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #160)
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 1:18-23:
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,
20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:
22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.
Del Fehsenfeld Jr. said, “Revival awakens in our hearts an increased awareness of the presence of God, a new love for God, a new hatred for sin, and a hunger for His Word.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “The church should have more vision than anyone in the world; but she’s blind and crippled and helpless in her present state.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “In 1906, ten dedicated young Christians gathered a group of Christians every night to pray for revival. After a week of intense prayer, nothing had happened. “Perhaps God would not send revival after all,” they reasoned. It was easy to assume God would withhold revival blessings because of the widespread paganism in their region. Nevertheless, as the Mizo Christians were saying farewell to three friends, revival came. According to one observer, while the group sang the hymn ‘God Be With You Till We Meet Again,’ ‘the Spirit was poured upon them in a remarkable manner.’ Others living nearby joined them as they continued in a time of prayer and praise. God had not abandoned them. Revival had come!”
Today, we are going to continue looking at how God wants us to have our eyes opened to the ‘exceeding greatness of His power.’ We saw yesterday that this mighty power was shown in the resurrection and saving work of Jesus Christ. But, not only has Christ saved us by His mighty power, He has so transformed us that we have a completely new standing in Him.
Verses 20-21 of our passage tell us that God, through His mighty power, “set Jesus at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.” Many men throughout history have tried to dominate the world through military and political power. Some have even claimed that they were gods and were worshipped as such. But no one, except Jesus, is a true world ruler.
Being the incarnate Word, He is the creator of the world, and He is its rightful ruler. Although for a time, it seemed as if Satan had taken over the world, Jesus broke his usurpation through His death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus showed that He is the true ruler of the world, not because He came with armies to conquer it and to enslave mankind, but because He alone loved the world enough to die for it. Now, He sits in Heavenly places, “far above” all other forms of power, authority, or rule not only in this world, but in the world to come.
Handley Moule said, “Think of the paradox. The Apostle is speaking of a Personage of history, of recent, almost contemporary, history. He had worked with His hands, He had walked from place to place like other men, and man could no doubt accurately describe His look and manner when He talked. He is now ‘seated at the right hand of’ Almighty God, on His very throne.”
Most people who saw Jesus as a man on this earth could not imagine Him as God, seated in Heaven, the supreme potentate of the universe. By the same token, we here on this earth who believe in Christ as our Savior have a similarly dramatic transformation. By God’s mighty power, we are transformed from sinners destined for Hell into saints already seated in Heavenly places with Christ Jesus. It cannot be emphasized enough that the mighty power of God is available to and is working in us today.