The Gifts God has Given to His Church, Part 2 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #226)
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 4:7-8:
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
Watchman Nee said, “The flesh is too bad to be cleansed; it must be crucified.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “This world outside thinks it is finished with Jesus Christ, but they haven’t even started with Him yet.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “It was the Methodist preacher’s duty to disregard the usual orderly habits of the denomination, and the preacher passed along the aisle shouting and exhorting vehemently. The clamor and confusion were increased tenfold: the flame was blown to its height: screams for mercy were mingled with shouts of ecstasy, and a universal agitation pervaded the whole multitude, who were bowed before it as a field of grain waves before the wind. Such ‘agitation’ was to become a hallmark of the Cane Ridge Revival.”
Notice something about the spiritual gifts that God gives to His children. Paul says, “Unto every one of us is given grace.” The early Christians often referred to virtues or spiritual gifts as “graces.” We know that grace is God’s blessings upon us which we do not deserve and which we have done nothing to gain.
One commentator said, “This reference to grace is not so much the grace that saves but the grace that enables one to live the supernatural life and in context to exercise one’s spiritual gifts. Here grace is the ability to perform the task God has called us to perform.”
The spiritual gifts that God has imparted to believers are here described as graces. We do not deserve them and we have done nothing to gain them. Thus, they are not to be a source of pride in our lives. We ought not to be lording it over others because of what we can do through Christ. We also ought not to be trying to put gifts in a pecking order — saying that this one is more important than that one and other such foolishness. You cannot take pride in anything you have done nothing to gain.
We are saved by God’s grace, and we are given God’s grace to live as saved people in the church and in the world.
Someone once said:
Dear Lord, You’ve given new life to me —
A great and full salvation;
And may the life that others see
Display the transformation.