Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 6 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #175)

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 2:19-22:

19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

—-

Jerry Falwell said, “Revival is not just a feeling of excitement in the Lord. We get excited about many things, but excitement is not a revival if God is not the One who gets us excited. ”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The tragedy is that we have too many dead men in the pulpits giving out too many dead sermons to too many dead people.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Like many towns and cities in New England, Northhampton, Massachusetts, was settled by colonists with a deep commitment to the gospel and the Reformed tradition. For these settlers, being active in the life of the church was as much a social as a religious responsibility. The local church in any such town was the center of life in the community. Each colony’s founders were predominantly Christians committed to the practical expression of their faith in a new world.”

—-

As Paul begins to move toward the conclusion of the subject of unity in the church, he wants to make sure that Gentile believers are confident in their status as members of the body of Christ. He says, “Now therefore ye are no more strangers…” The word translated “strangers” is the Greek “xenos” from which we get our word “xenophobia.” The Gentile believers are no longer strangers, no longer those to be feared or hated by Jewish Christians. They are a part of the body now. The fact that they are Gentiles takes a back seat to the fact that they are Christians.

Next, Paul says, “Ye are no longer… foreigners.” This word refers to those who live in a place where they do not have citizenship. They are outsiders. The Gentiles were considered to be outsiders by the Jews, but, in Christ, they became citizens.

Paul calls them “fellowcitizens with the saints.” “Citizens” is one word, but “fellowcitizens” is a joint word found only here in all of Scripture. Gentiles are not just citizens of God’s family, but FELLOWcitizens. This means that they are seen the same in God’s sight as Jewish Christians are seen. There is no more division between us.

The Bible Exposition Commentary states, “Through faith in Christ, we enter into God’s family, and God becomes our Father. This wonderful family of God is found in two places, ‘in heaven and on earth.’ Living believers are on earth; believers who have died are in heaven. None of God’s children are ‘under the earth’ or in any other place in the universe. We are all brothers and sisters in one family, no matter what racial, national, or physical distinctions we may possess.”

That is what it means to be a member of “the household of God.” And, our mission as the church should be to set an example before the world of unity and harmony, as well as to invite others to join God’s family.

Dr. Robert J. Stamps wrote this hymn, not too long ago.

O, welcome all ye noble saints of old,
As now before your very eyes unfold
The wonders all so long ago foretold,
God and man at a table are sat down.

Who is this who spreads the victory feast?
Who is this who makes our warring cease?
Jesus, risen savior, prince of peace,
God and man at a table are sat down.

Beggars, lame, and harlots are here,
Repentant publicans are drawing near,
Wayward sons come home without a fear,
God and man at a table are sat down.

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