Walking Worthy of Our Calling, Part 16 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #218)
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 4:3-6:
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Thomas Brooks said, “A humble soul sees that he can stay no more from sin than the heart can from panting and the pulse from beating. He sees his heart and life to be fuller of sin than the firmament is of stars; and this keeps him low. He sees that sin is so bred in the bone, that till his bones, as Joseph’s, be carried out of the Egypt of this world, he will not be rid of sin. Though sin and grace were never born together, and though they shall not die together, yet while the believer lives, these two must live together; and this keeps him humble.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “I believe every church is either supernatural or superficial. I don’t believe there’s any middle ground.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The Second Great Awakening was spread as much by Methodist circuit-riding preachers as by anyone in America. There were fewer than a thousand Methodists in the new nation in 1782; thirty years later, there were a quarter million. At the end of the Revolutionary War, the Congregationalists were the largest church in the United States, yet thirty years later the Methodists were ten times larger than that denomination.”
The fact that Paul describes the church as a body reminds us that our unity is a functional unity. We are not unified to sit around and sing Kumbaya; we are unified to do something — to take action just like a physical body does. The comparison of a physical body also reminds us that the body of believers is organic. Our unity does not in any way depend on denominations or other man-made church structures coming together. Our unity is in the Spirit. If we are all filled with the Holy Spirit, we will all be unified with other believers.
Charles Hodge said Paul’s statement that ‘there is one body, and one Spirit’ “is not an exhortation, but a declaration. All believers are in Christ; they are all his members; they constitute not many, much less conflicting bodies, but one. As all true believers are members of this body, and as all are not included in any one external organization, it is obvious that the one body of which the apostle speaks, is not one outward visible society, but a spiritual body of which Christ is the head and all the redeemed are members.”
Are you a born-again Christian? Have you been saved by the blood of the Lamb? Are you therefore filled with the Holy Spirit of God? Then endeavour to keep the unity of the bond of peace with your brothers and sisters in Christ, even though there be differences.
Henry L. Lambdin wrote:
As members of Christ’s body,
hold fast to Christ your Head;
become Christ’s open letter,
by others to be read;
Bear witness as Christ’s temple,
Himself the cornerstone,
and be Christ’s living altar
whereon His love is shown.