Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 27 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #196)
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.
A.W. Pink said, “O that we were more deeply moved by the languishing state of Christ’s cause upon the earth today, by the inroads of the enemy and the awful desolation he has wrought in Zion. Alas that a spirit of indifference, or at least of fatalistic stoicism, is freezing so many of us.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “We live in a day of itching ears, but I have no commission from God to scratch them.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “As profound as was the impact of the First Great Awakening on the church, it had an even greater impact on the societies touched by it. It was the First Great Awakening in New England that shaped the moral character of the thirteen colonies that were to become the United States of America. When a French sociologist later toured America to determine the secret of her strength, he concluded, “America is great because America is good.” But America had not been so good prior to the awakening.”
Today, we move on to the fourth of Paul’s requests for the Ephesian believers (and for all believers today). First, he prayed that they would be strengthened by God’s might through His Spirit. Second, he prayed that Christ would dwell in their hearts through faith. Third, he prayed that they would be able to comprehend the love of Jesus.
Now, he prays, as a result of all of the above, “that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” Some scholars believe that means “that ye might be filled unto all the fulness of God.” The reason for this is simply that our finite human bodies and our faulty human souls cannot contain ALL the fulness of God, but we can desire to contain as much of HIm as possible.
But, what is the fulness of God?
Well, the fulness of God is simply Christ living in us through the Holy Spirit. When you examine yourself spiritually, you ought to ask, “How full am I of God?” Has God taken over every part of my life or am I still holding some parts back from Him? Is Christ’s love being expressed in all of my interactions with others or are there some people I still interact with on a flesh and blood basis? Am I so full of the Holy Spirit that He is overflowing into everything I do, think, and say throughout the day, or am I filled with myself and still trying to do some things my way?
The Bible Exposition Commentary said, “We like to measure ourselves by the weakest Christians that we know, and then boast, ‘Well, I’m better than they are.’ Paul tell us that the measure is Christ, and that we cannot boast about anything (nor should we). When we have reached His fullness, then we have reached the limit.”
Are you full of Christ today? Are you full of God and the Holy Spirit? Or are you still trying to do some things your way? Each of us ought to pray along with Paul, “Lord, fill me with all the fulness of Yourself.”
Frances Havergal wrote this hymn, which expresses the heart’s desire of a person who is filled with all the fulness of God:
Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise.
Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee.
Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee.
Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne.