Reconciled to God and to Each Other, Part 29 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #198)
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.
Samuel Chadwick said, “A religion of mere emotion and sensationalism is the most terrible of all curses that can come upon any people. The absence of reality is sad enough, but the aggravation of pretence is a deadly sin.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, ‘The world is waiting for a practical demonstration of the Gospel of the grace of God! It’s up to the church to give it to them.’
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The First Great Awakening did more than convert the masses. It allowed a new type of preacher to minister for God in both the separate and the traditional churches. The control of the established churches by the ministers was broken, allowing lay expression, lay ministry, and lay involvement. This development—opening the churches to democracy—did more than anything else to lay a foundation for the American Revolution. If Americans could be involved in governing their churches, why not their country? As is often the case, a spiritual awakening led to other kinds of awakening as well.”
As we have considered Paul’s request for the Ephesian believers (and for all believers) to be filled with all the fulness of God, we have mostly looked at what that means for us as we seek to obey God and serve others. But, having the fullness of God in your life is not without blessings that apply specifically to you.
To be filled with the fullness of God means to have those attributes which apply to God present in your life as well. God is love. You will have that love inside of you. God gives peace. You will have that peace inside of you. God takes away fear. You won’t have fear inside of you. God promises joy unspeakable. You will have that joy inside of you. God gives confidence no matter the circumstances. You will have that confidence inside of you if you place your faith in Him.
Most people go through life not thinking that any of this is possible. Some know that it is possible, but they look for it in themselves or in other places. But the only places you can find permanent lasting love, peace, joy, and confidence is in God — in God living inside of you.
God desires for all of His children to be filled with the fullness of Himself. One theological commentator used the word “dominate” to describe this fulness. God ought to dominate the life of the believer. A Christian who is filled with God has no room for anything else. If you were to fill a glass to the very brim with water, there would be no room to pour anything else without causing a disturbance. That is how a Christian ought to be filled with God — so full that he wants nor needs anything else, and if something else does try to make its way in, that something else — be it the world, the devil, or self — will have a fight on its hands.
The Christian ought to be empty of sin, empty of self, and filled with God.
John G. Whittier wrote:
Immortal love, forever full,
Forever flowing free,
Forever shared, forever whole,
A never ebbing sea!
We may not climb the heavenly steeps
To bring the Lord Christ down;
In vain we search the lowest deeps,
For Him no depths can drown.
O Lord and Master of us all,
Whate’er our name or sign,
We own Thy sway, we hear Thy call,
We test our lives by Thine.