Walking Worthy of Our Calling, Part 14 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #216)
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 4:1-3:
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
George Whitefield said, “Unless your hearts are free from worldly hopes and worldly fears, you never will speak boldly as you ought to speak. The good old Puritans, I believe, never preached better than when in danger of being taken to prison as soon as they had finished their sermon. Ask yourselves again and again whether you would preach for Christ, if you were sure to lay down your lives for so doing?”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “I want to see the house of God open 24 hours a day so people can come. We don’t close the hospitals after eight hours a day or the police station. Why should the churches be locked up tonight?”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Why would the unsaved attend a prayer meeting for revival? Different people had different reasons. Some reported being drawn to the churches by dreams and visions. Others actually came intending to disrupt the meetings or to have a good laugh at Christians engaged in prayer. Regardless of why they came, God worked in their hearts when they arrived. Many came under intense conviction of sin and found themselves ‘thrown to the ground under the power of the Holy Spirit.’ Sometimes the conviction experienced by those attending services resulted in noise and confusion. More often, the meetings were overcome with a sense of stillness and solemnity.”
One of the important things to remember as we strive to walk worthy of our calling by endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace is that it is not our unity that we are seeking to establish. In fact, we are not seeking to establish unity at all. Instead, we are seeking to maintain unity that has already been established through the power of the Holy Spirit.
There is a lot of talk about Christians trying to forge unity in the church today. However, when Christians are divided — whether it be over doctrine, over race, over culture, over politics, over education, or over tradition — it is not because there is no unity; it is because certain people or groups of people are rebelling against the unity that already exists. Disunity ought to be an aberration, not the norm, for the body of Christ.
During the American Civil War, there were never really two countries. There was only one country, however, a certain group of people rebelled against the unity of the country. Abraham Lincoln did not go to war to create a Union; he went to war to maintain the Union.
As Christians, our job is to maintain the union of believers. We ought to seek to remove any obstacle from our hearts and lives that could hinder the union. Our real enemy is not fellow Christians who may happen to be different in some way. Our real enemy is the devil. Thomas Brooks rightly stated, “Discord and division become no Christian. For wolves to worry the lambs is no wonder, but for one lamb to worry another, this is unnatural and monstrous.”