Walking Worthy of Our Calling, Part 21 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #223)
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.
J.C. Ryle said, “We have the truth and we need not be afraid to say so.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “I’d rather have ten people that want God than 10,000 people who want to play church. I want to see the glory of God come so our young people don’t have to be told to go to church, but they just long to get to the sanctuary where God’s presence resides.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “By the end of the Revolutionary War, only sixty Methodist chapels had been built, but the circuit-riding preachers used cabins, inns, schools—any place to preach the gospel. With time, each preaching point built a chapel, giving stability and influence to the Methodist movement. By the mid 1800s, it had become the largest Protestant denomination in America.”
We ought to strive to maintain unity in the body of Christ because we have one God who is the Father of us all. Someone once said, “Christians at war with each other cannot be at peace with their heavenly Father.” God being the Father of us all makes each of us brothers and sisters, and it is a terrible thing to see family members divided against each other.
The unity that the Father wishes for us to realize is shown in how the Father, the Son, and the Spirit are unified as the Trinity. They are three distinct persons, but they are one in heart, mind, and purpose. The church ought to be one with the Father and one with each other.
One definition of the Greek word that is translated “Father” reads as follows: “the author of a family or society of persons animated by the same spirit as himself; one who has infused his own spirit into others, who actuates and governs their minds.” This is what God has done to us through Jesus Christ. He has created the church as a new society of individuals forged together to be a reflection of Himself. He has filled us with His Spirit, and if we let the Spirit take control, He will govern our minds. And a mind governed by God the Father is one that will strive to keep unity among other believers.
Baseball Hall of Famer Willie Stargell was often called “Pops” by teammates and fans because of his leadership on and off the field. In 1979, when Stargell led the Pittsburgh Pirates to their second World Series title, the team was nicknamed “The Family” because of their close relationship. Stargell said, “We won, we lived, and we enjoyed as one. We molded together dozens of different individuals into one working force. We were products of different races, were raised in different income brackets, but in the clubhouse and on the field we were one.”
We should be able to say the same about the church, the family of God.