Walking Worthy of Our Calling, Part 18 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #220)
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.
Hudson Taylor said, “Would that God would make hell so real to us that we cannot rest; and Heaven so real that we must have men there.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “We’re blind to the fact that we have an obligation to billions people in the world. This generation of Christians is responsible for this generation of lost souls.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Francis Asbury, the first bishop of the Methodist Church in America and the human impetus for Methodist growth, crossed the Allegheny Mountains sixty times, visited every state, preached 17,000 sermons, and stayed in 10,000 homes. Methodist preachers were typically not college-educated, but they were called by God from occupations such as common laborers, farmers, shoemakers, carpenters, shopkeepers, or blacksmiths. (Asbury, in fact, had been a blacksmith before being called to ministry.) Because of their background, they had an affinity with their parishioners. They never read their sermons, as the Anglicans or Congregationalists did, but instead exhorted the people passionately from the Bible, using anecdotes, illustrations, and analogies from everyday life.”
The church of Jesus Christ ought to be unified because we have one Lord. We all have the same Savior. We all worship the same God. We all are supposed to obey the same Master. The word “lord” occurs over 700 times in the New Testament. It means one who has power or authority; one who is in charge. Jesus is Lord.
The church could easily be more unified if we all submitted to the fact that Jesus is in charge and if many of us stopped trying to take some power and authority for ourselves. We must remember Jesus’ teaching to His disciples who argued over who was the most important among them at least twice in Scripture. That kind of disputing causes division in the church. The only Lord we have in the body of Christ is Jesus Christ himself. When Paul told the Corinthian believers to follow him, he didn’t stop there. He said, “Follow me as I follow Christ.”
The greatest way that we can endeavour to keep the unity of the Spirit is to remind ourselves and each other that we all have the same Savior and Lord. On a football team you have three different squads: you have offense, you have defense, and you have special teams. These different sets of players operate differently from each other, but they play for the same coach and they have the same goal — to win. The goal of the church is to win as well. And, we can win when we begin playing as one team for one Lord.
An old German hymn says —
Fairest Lord Jesus!
Ruler of all nature!
O Thou of God and man the Son!
Thee will I cherish,
Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown!
All fairest beauty,
Heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer,
Fairer, or dearer,
Than Thou my Savior art to me.