Walking Worthy of Our Calling, Part 17 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #219)
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.
William Law said, “If you will here stop and ask yourself why you are not as pious as the primitive Christians were, your own heart will tell you that it is neither through ignorance nor inability, but because you never thoroughly intended it.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “You hear people say in church, ‘Lord, You’re welcome!’, but they don’t really mean it. If the Holy Ghost came to some churches, there would be a stampede to the door.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Of the 550 Yale College students who graduated between 1702 and 1794, 71 percent were ordained into ministry for a particular local church and stayed in that location for life. The typical Methodist itinerant preacher, on the other hand, traveled 200 to 500 miles in a monthly circuit on horseback, had thirty to fifty preaching locations plus classes— and received only $64 a year. The circuit riders slept in homes, at inns, or in the open field. In time, they turned their preaching points into churches and planted their denomination everywhere in the United States.”
There is another aspect of our faith that Christians can and should be unified around — the second coming of Jesus Christ. This is what Paul is referring to when he says, “even as ye are called in one hope of your calling.” The blessed hope of our calling is our looking forward to Jesus’ return. This is one event which all Christians can look forward to no matter what divisions we face on Earth. When Jesus Christ returns, not only will believers be unified in Spirit, but we will be unified in body, as we all will be physically present at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb, when Jesus and His Church will be united forever.
Albert Barnes said, “Christians have the same hope, and they should therefore be one. They are looking forward to the same heaven; they hope for the same happiness beyond the grave. It is not as on earth among the people of the world, where there is a variety of hopes — where one hopes for pleasure, and another for honour, and another for gain; but there is the prospect of the same inexhaustible joy.”
Our calling is everything that we are and are meant to be in Christ. One day, we will fulfill our calling when we are in Heaven with Christ. However, until that time, we ought to walk worthy of our calling by maintaining unity between ourselves and our fellow believers.
J.R. Peacey wrote:
With the mind of Christ, Lord, set us on fire,
that unity may be our great desire.
Give joy and peace, give faith to hear your call,
and readiness in each to work for all.
Widen our love, Holy Spirit, to embrace
the people of all lands and every race.
Like wind and fire, with life among us move,
till we are known as Christ’s and Christians prove.