Walking Worthy of Our Calling, Part 19 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #221)
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, “It may be that while we are complaining of the hardness of the hearts of those we are seeking to benefit, the hardness of our own hearts and our own feeble apprehension of the solemn reality of eternal things may be the true cause of our want of success.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “I’m astounded and baffled when people tell me there are 75 million people in America that are filled with the Holy Ghost and we’re the most rotten nation on earth.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Methodist preachers learned how to preach passionately by listening to passionate preaching. Yet it was not their oratory that won their audiences. It was their power. Francis Asbury told his Methodist preachers, ‘Feel for power, feel for power.’ Thomas Ware told them, “People love the preacher who makes them feel.’ No wonder they were called the “holy knock ‘em down” preachers.”
We ought to strive to maintain unity in the body of Christ because we have one faith. Faith in this context is not simply the ability to believe. It is the truth about Jesus Christ and the Gospel that every Christian ought to believe and defend. This is what Jude was talking about when he said, “Contend for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.” Ray Stedman said Paul “has in view that which is believed — the body of truth that has been revealed. There is only one body of truth revealed, one faith — the whole set of revealed facts about Jesus Christ.”
In our age of pluralism, there are some things that every Christian should believe — the core, the root of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the heart of the evangelistic message. We all ought to believe that Jesus Christ is the perfect Son of God, the God-Man, who came to Earth, died on the cross, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God. We all ought to believe that He is the one and only Way, Truth, and Life through which man can be saved. This one gospel unites Christians across all barriers of nationality, race, language, and anything else that divides humans from each other.
Down through the years, Christians have fought — and sometimes died — to uphold the core of Christianity. Yes, there is freedom in Christ, and different groups of believers are free to differ in matters of practice, but there are certain things that are foundational to the church, that every Christian must believe. When these beliefs are deviated from, the unity of the church is threatened.
S.J. Stone wrote:
The church’s one foundation is Jesus Christ, her Lord;
she is his new creation by water and the Word.
From heaven he came and sought her to be his holy bride;
with his own blood he bought her, and for her life he died.
Elect from every nation, yet one o’er all the earth;
her charter of salvation: one Lord, one faith, one birth.
One holy name she blesses, partakes one holy food,
and to one hope she presses, with every grace endued.