Alive in Christ, Part 7 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #169)
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 2:8-10:
8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
Vance Havner said, “Revival is falling in love with Jesus all over again.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Revival is the Spirit’s passion within the believer to know and to obey the total will of God.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “No one could anticipate what would transpire in the next few hours as the small group of Moravian Christians gathered in Herrnhut, Germany, to observe the Lord’s Supper on Wednesday evening, August 13, 1727. Those present had a growing recognition that all was not right among them. Though they weren’t as openly critical of one another as they had been only weeks earlier, their leader challenged them to ‘quit judging each other.’ The Moravians in Herrnhut lived in harmony as a Christian community, but the sweetness of the faith seemed to be missing in their lives. When they assembled that summer evening, however, they experienced the presence of God. As a result, they were changed, ‘in a single moment into a happy people.’ The revival went on for a hundred years.”
Many people who get saved think that the conversion experience is all there is to living the Christian life. Many in the church have unfortunately given off the impression that the conversion experience is a magical end-all for new believers. However, after you get saved, you have a long journey before you.
Jesus did the work of salvation for us; now He is busy working in us to make us like Himself. Paul writes that “we are his workmanship.” The word “workmanship” means “that which is made, a manufactured product.” It takes time and care to make a product. Jesus is spending time and taking care to ensure that we become people who will do “good works” in His name.
Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck states, “The word ‘workmanship’ used only here and in Romans 1 denotes a work of art or a masterpiece. It differs from human ‘works.’ Believers are God’s workmanship because they have been created in Christ Jesus — a work only God can do. The purpose of this creation is that believers will do good works. God’s workmanship is not achieved by good works, but it is to result in good works.”
If you are a believer, even now, God is working in you to make you like His Son. This is the “good work” that Paul speaks of. It is not our own good work. It is God’s work in us that is good; it is Jesus’ work in us that is good. Their good work brings about our new nature. Any good works that we do flow out of this new nature which flow out of the good works of God and Jesus in our life. Thus, even the good works that we do after we are saved are not our own. It is God working through us. Every good work that we do is attributed to Him.
Today, we ought to commit ourselves to embracing the work that God is doing in each of our lives. We ought to submit ourselves to His authority that we may become salt and light that reflects Him in the world.