Alive in Christ, Part 4 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #166)

spiritual-warfare

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 2:4-7:

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.

—-

Sammy Tippit said, “Revival is not the discovery of some new truth. It’s the rediscovery of the grand old truth of God’s power in and through the Cross.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “It is much easier to wear a cross than to bear a cross.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “In England, the beginnings of the ‘Evangelical Revival,’ as the First Great Awakening was called in England, are usually traced to a Moravian Watch Night Service at Fetter Lane on December 31, 1739. About three o’clock in the morning, the sixty young men who had gathered to pray experienced what George Whitefield later described as ‘a Pentecostal season.’ The Fetter Lane outpouring overwhelmed those who experienced it. They left the chapel that morning empowered by the Holy Spirit to change the world as they knew it.”

—-

In light of how Paul has emphasized where we have come from as sinners, he again turns his attention to where we now stand. The hope is that by holding up our past life in light of what God has done for us, we will realize and appreciate the mighty power of God as it has worked in us. There is a great contrast between where we have been and where we are now.

Previously, we were dead in trespasses and sins, the children of disobedience, and the children of wrath. Despite all this, God’s mercy, love, and grace is poured out on us. Verses 4-5 read, “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved).”

John Walvoord and Roy Zuck said, “God’s love has done three things: (a) made us alive with Christ, (b) raised us up with Christ, and (c) “seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus”. An unbeliever, spiritually dead, is “made … alive” by God “with Christ”. The “us” includes both Jews and Gentiles. The only way a spiritually dead person can communicate with God is to be made alive, and that must be done by the One who is Himself alive. He is the living God, “who gives life to the dead”.”

God is full of love, mercy, and grace. He is rich in it. He could have poured out that love, mercy, and grace on anyone. He could have poured it out on a select, deserving few. He could have poured it out on no one at all. But the Bible says that He poured it out on all of us. His love, mercy, and grace is what makes us alive though we were dead in our trespasses and sins. It makes us children of God bound for Heaven when before we were children of disobedience bound for wrath and hell.

If we are not careful some of us will begin to foolishy think of ourselves as deserving of God’s grace. This happens when we become pharisaical and legalistic in our Christian walk. We think that God loves us because we keep these rules and abide by these tenets, when that is not the case at all. God loved us when we were lawbreakers and enemies of His. We would do well to remember that, especially in light of our calling to evangelize those who are still lost.

Charles Wesley ascertained that this is indeed the goal of every believer when he wrote:

O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace.

My gracious Master and my God,
assist me to proclaim,
to spread thro’ all the earth abroad
the honors of your name.

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