Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 9 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #178)

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.

—-

J.I. Packer said, “Revival is the visitation of God which brings to life Christians who have been sleeping and restores a deep sense of God’s near presence and holiness. Thence springs a vivid sense of sin and a profound exercise of heart in repentance, praise, and love, with an evangelistic outflow.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “The church that is man-managed instead of God-governed is doomed to failure. A ministry that is college-trained but not Spirit-filled works no miracles.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Jonathan Edwards began to see the long-term problems associated with the HalfWay Covenant. He struggled with the decision to bring his church back to the place from which they had fallen. He thought that only those converted to Christ should be members of the church; personal moral uprightness was not enough. In the fall of 1734, Jonathan Edwards began preaching with a passion to convert the lost who were a part of his Northhampton church. It was not until late in December ‘that the Spirit of God began extraordinarily to set in and wonderfully to work amongst us,’ as he later wrote. Within a matter of days, half a dozen church members were converted. This was not a mass movement to Christ; rather, each individual was converted in a unique way, often not knowing what was happening in the lives of others.”

—-

When Jesus came to earth, He was the embodiment of God to a sinful world. Jesus established the church so that we might continue to be that embodiment of God. That is why Paul writes, “In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.”

When the world asks, ‘Where is God in the pain? In the suffering? In war? In disease? In poverty’ it ought to be able to look to the church for its answer. A “habitation” is a dwelling place. God inhabits, or lives inside the church. We are an extension of Him in a sinful and dark world. Just as Jesus was Emmanuel, God With Us, in first century Palestine, the church today is “God With Us” in the world. God is in us and we are in the world.

Warren Wiersbe said, “Jesus Christ died to make reconciliation possible. You and I must live to make reconciliation personal. God has ‘given to us the ministry of reconciliation.’ We are His ambassadors of peace.”

That is the purpose for which we were, as Paul says, “builded together” — to let God live in us and for us to live out His purposes in the world. God himself is the heartbeat of the church. We are His hands, His feet, His eyes, His ears, His mouth to reach out to a broken world. We are His habitation. He lives in us as we live out our lives for Him.

Centuries ago, Teresa of Avila wrote:

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassionately on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours.

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