Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 12 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #181)

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 3:1-6:

1 For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,

2 If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

3 How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

4 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

6 That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

—-

Lee Roberson said, “Revival begins in the individual’s heart. Let it begin with you on your face alone before God. Turn from every sin that might hinder. Renew yourself to a new devotion to the Savior.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “We Christians are debtors to all men at all times in all places, but we are so smug to the lostness of men. We’ve been ‘living in Laodicea,’ lax, loose, lustful, and lazy. Why is there this criminal indifference to the lostness of men? Our condemnation is that we know how to live better than we are living.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “In Northampton, Christians gathered together to express their newfound joy in the Lord. “Our public assemblies were then beautiful,” Jonathan Edwards recalled. “The congregation was alive in God’s service, every one earnestly intent on the public worship, every hearer eager to drink in the words of the minister as they came from his mouth.” As the Spirit of God worked through the preaching of the Scriptures, people responded in various ways. Some wept out of deep sorrow and distress as they became convinced of their sin. Others rejoiced in the joy of their salvation, overwhelmed with a new love for the brethren. Still others agonized in prayer for unconverted friends and loved ones. There was a deep sense of the presence of God in their midst.”

—-

We have already seen that the mystery which God revealed to Paul was God’s own intent to bring the Gospel to the Gentiles. Paul says that “in other ages (such as the Old Testament age), this was not made known unto the sons of men,” but “is now being revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit.” All over first century Christendom, more and more Jewish Christians were having their eyes opened to Jesus’ intent for the Great Commission to be fulfilled by reaching ALL the world, most of which was Gentile.

The Holy Spirit spoke to hundreds, thousands of Jews telling them that sharing the Gospel with the Gentiles was the right thing to do. Peter had one of the most dramatic of these events, as the Holy Spirit told Him to go to the house of a Gentile God-fearer. Peter went and received a vision from God telling him that the Gentiles were no longer to be considered ‘common or unclean’ by the largely Jewish church. Those days were over now.

Instead, as verse 6 says, Gentiles were to be ” fellowheirs, of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel.” Thank God, the early church obeyed the Holy Spirit in this matter. The religious, racial, and cultural barriers were broken down only by God and the obedience of God’s people. Imagine the problems the church today could solve if we had the same sensitivity and willingness to obey the Holy Spirit of God.

Edwin Hatch wrote:

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
fill me with life anew,
that I may love the way you love,
and do what you would do.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
until my heart is pure,
until my will is one with yours,
to do and to endure.

Breathe on me, Breath of God,
so shall I never die,
but live with you the perfect life
for all eternity.

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