The Gifts God has Given to His Church, Part 4 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #228)
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.
Mary Warburton Booth said, “How we have prayed for a revival — we did not care whether it was old-fashioned or not — what we asked for was that it should be such that would cleanse and revive His children and set them on fire to win others.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “I read through Hebrews 11. These staggering men and women through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained the promises, stopped the lions; women received their dead raised to life again. All the devilish things they endured and not one ever had a Bible! Well, in God’s Name, what are you and I going to do when we stand before Him? When I get there, I’ll have to face up to having the whole revelation of God. Finney didn’t have a bigger Bible, Wesley didn’t have a bigger Bible, but somehow they got nearer to the heart of God. They got a revelation from God. They got convictions of the Spirit and they laid their lives on the line.”
In the Gospels, Jesus Christ told His disciples on several occasions that when He returned to Heaven, He would send the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would fill them and empower them to carry on the work that Jesus had begun. In verse 8 of our passage, Paul refers to the fulfillment of this promise. The spiritual gifts that every believer has received are an outgrowth of the Holy Spirit coming to abide with us.
Paul says, “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.” Paul is using a psalm written by David and applying it to Christ. The idea here is that Jesus, once He conquered sin, death, and hell, returned to Heaven triumphantly. As He returned — at the head of a victory parade, if you can imagine — He shared the spoils of war with His supporters.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe explains it thusly: “Paul taught that Christ is the Giver of these gifts, through the Holy Spirit. He ascended to heaven as Victor forever-more. The picture here is of a military conqueror leading his captives and sharing the spoil with his followers. Only in this case, the ‘captives’ are not His enemies, but His own. Sinners who once were held captives by sin and Satan have now been taken captive by Christ.”
The conquering Jesus freed us from slavery to sin and hell. By virtue of the fact that He redeemed us, He, in a sense, “owns” us now. We are obligated to Him; we are His servants; our allegiance is to Him. We ought not to expect to lounge around enjoying the victory that Jesus has won; and neither does Jesus. He gave us gifts because He expects us to work as grateful citizens of His kingdom.
George Henry Thayer wrote:
By God’s design, there lies in wait for you
Important work that no one else can do.
Just as the planets find their paths through space,
You too must grow to fill your proper place.
Now, if you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior, please keep in mind that the Bible says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Just pray and ask Him to come into your heart and He will. I will be sharing more on the matter of salvation in the next segment of our service which starts in about 5 minutes.
Revival Prayer List
PRAY FOR SPECIFIC FAMILIES
Philippians 4:6 says, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
— Jordan in Sheridan, Indiana
provide Jordan Vira, Eleanor Vira, Kyle Jones, Kylen Vira, and Kayden Vira with a financial breakthrough to meet all obligations including rent, food and utilities;
give them emotional and spiritual healing, for doors to open for them to be able to move out of Las Vegas, Nevada to a place where You will lead and ordain them
— David in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania, Romania
deliver Elena Suciu Pop from all problems and be with her 11 children
provide for their charity ministry and church planting ministry
— Ann in Carson, California
give her a financial breakthrough
— Delores in Oklahoma
deliver her from alcohol
heal her body and mind, restore her soul
provide her a place to live of her own, bless her finances, and give her direction
have her children, Shaun, Amber, Julian and Zoe’ to be saved, and have their relationship to be restored
open doors for her ministry
PRAY FOR CHURCH LEADERS
Paul said in Ephesians 6:18, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
Leaders of the Pentecostal Church
PRAY FOR GOVERNMENTAL LEADERS
1 Timothy 2:1-2 says, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.”
WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE