Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 23 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #192)

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 3:14-19:

14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,

15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,

16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;

17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,

18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;

19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.

—-

Shelton Smith said, “We need a sweeping revival where people confess their sins and get right with God, where folks turn out in bigger crowds at the church house than they do at the sports venue, and where the old-time religion still gets top priority.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “Lord, strengthen me where I am too weak and weaken me where I am too strong!”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Peter Bohler was part of God’s answer to John Wesley’s question: I went to America to convert the heathen. But who will convert my own soul? During the transatlantic voyage, a vicious storm arose at sea. Wesley was terrified, but he heard Bohler and the Moravian families on board singing hymns. Wesley was impressed with their composure and ability to continue praying and worshiping God in the face of imminent disaster. That experience drew the Anglican pastor into a relationship with this group that lasted several years. Indeed, it was in a Moravian chapel on Aldersgate Street in London, just seven months before that fateful Watch Night service, that Wesley heard, understood, and applied the message of the gospel to his own life and received personal salvation. He later wrote about his conversion that night, claiming that as he had listened to the public reading of the introduction to Luther’s Commentary on Romans, he had felt his heart ‘strangely warmed.’”

—-

Now, we come to the third part of Paul’s four-fold request for the Ephesian believers (and for believers today). His first request was for God to strengthen them by His Spirit. His second request was for Christ to take up permanent residence in their hearts. His third request is found in verses 18 & 19 which read, “That ye… may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge…” But there is a prerequisite to this request found in the latter part of verse 17: It reads, “…that ye, being rooted and grounded in love…” Before these believers could know and comprehend the love of Christ, they first must be rooted and grounded in love. What does that mean?

The word “rooted” is from the Greek word “rhizoo.” It is an agricultural term used to describe how a plant takes root in the earth. Figuratively, for the believer, it means to be firmly planted, to be stable, to be firm, to be fixed.

The word “grounded” is from the Greek word “the-me-li-oo.” It is an architectural term used to describe the foundations of a building. A well-grounded building — one on a firm, solid foundation — can withstand adverse conditions such as flooding, earthquakes, or fierce winds.

Both of these words — rooted and grounded — are in the perfect passive tense. The perfect tense indicates that these are things that have been done once for all time. The passive tense indicates that it is not the believers taking these actions; rather, it is Someone else acting on the believers, rooting and grounding them so that they cannot be moved.

Believers are rooted in the soil of Christ’s love giving us the ability to grow and flourish for Christ. We are also grounded in the bedrock of Christ’s love giving us the strength to stand firm against the attacks of Satan, the temptations of the world, and the whims of the flesh. William MacDonald said, “To be rooted and grounded in love is to be established in love as a way of life. The life of love is a life of kindness, selflessness, brokenness, and meekness. It is the life of Christ finding expression in the believer.”

David W. Whittle wrote:

Moment by moment I’m kept in His love;
Moment by moment I’ve life from above;
Looking to Jesus till glory doth shine;
Moment by moment, O Lord, I am Thine.

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