The Gifts God has Given to His Church, Part 13 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #236)
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 4:12-13:
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
C.T. Studd said, “If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “The pastor who doesn’t weep for the lost shouldn’t expect people to come and weep for their sins.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “At William J. Seymour’s first meeting, Sister Julia W. Hutchins, pastor of the church, recognized significant differences between the preaching of Seymour and her own views of the second blessing. She considered Seymour extreme in his doctrine of the Holy Spirit, perhaps even heretical. It was clear the two could not continue to work together. When Seymour later arrived at the church to preach at an afternoon meeting, he found the church doors locked. He was no longer welcome in the little storefront church on Santa Fe Avenue. Undaunted, he agreed to preach in a home on Bonnie Brae Avenue.”
Today, we begin looking at the end result of every believer using their spiritual gifts “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Paul says that we do this “till we all come in the unity of the faith…” Here he returns to a theme which he previously emphasized — unity. When every believer is using his or her spiritual gifts in service to God and others, we will have a church that is unified in the faith.
The words “we all” indicate that the Christian journey to unity is not conducted in isolation. It involves every member of every local assembly growing together and making progress in their walk with Christ. Every believer ought to participate; it is not a job just for the leaders of the church or for certain “elite” Christians who may appear to be more spiritually inclined than others. Unity comes from one thing — adherence to “the faith,” the entire belief system that makes up Christianity. And that is something that every born again person can get behind.
John MacArthur said, “The ultimate spiritual target for the church begins with the unity of the faith. As in verse 5, faith does not here refer to the act of belief or of obedience but to the body of Christian truth, to Christian doctrine. The faith is the content of the gospel in its most complete form. As the church at Corinth so clearly illustrates, disunity in the church comes from doctrinal ignorance and spiritual immaturity. When believers are properly taught, when they faithfully do the work of service, and when the body is thereby built up in spiritual maturity, unity of the faith is an inevitable result. Oneness in fellowship is impossible unless it is built on the foundation of commonly believed truth.”
Carolyn Arends wrote:
We are one in the Spirit,
we are one in the Lord
And we pray that all unity
may one day be restored.
We will work with each other,
we will work side by side
We’ll guard each other’s hearts
and help rid each one’s pride.
We will walk with each other,
we will walk hand in hand
And together we’ll spread the news
that God is in our land.