The Gifts God has Given to His Church, Part 15 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #239)
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:
Robert Speer said, “There is nothing in the world or the Church — except the church’s disobedience — to render the evangelization of the world in this generation an impossibility.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “I’m convinced that the greatest thing about the Puritan preachers is that they lived in eternity six days a week and came down to earth on the seventh. Our preachers, today, are golfing on Saturday and goofing around the other five days. Preaching is a profession to most of them when it should be an obsession with them!”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “As William J. Seymour was preparing to go to the meeting on April 9, 1906, an acquaintance named Edward Lee told him he’d received a vision. He claimed the apostles had come to him and told him how to receive the gift of tongues. Together the men prayed, then made their way to the meeting. That night, “the power fell” on those assembled and several, including William Joseph Seymour himself, began praising God in “unknown tongues.””
Today, we continue looking at the end result of every believer using their spiritual gifts “for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
Paul says that we ought to use our gifts “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…”
God wants his children to grow into ‘perfect’ men and women. The word translated ‘perfect’ is the Greek word “te-la-os.” It means something that is brought to its end and finished; lacking nothing necessary to completeness. It is used to describe human integrity and virtue. Speaking of human beings, it means those who are full grown, adult, of full age, or mature. In other words, God wants us to grow up.
But, growing up here does not simply mean getting older in the faith; it means becoming all that we are meant to be in Christ. We must remember that when God made man, He made him in His own image. He made us to fellowship with Himself. When sin came into the picture, we fell short of that ideal. So, God sent Jesus to restore the relationship between us and Him, and it is as we grow more like Jesus that we grow more into what God wants us to be — the perfect, mature man of integrity and virtue.
The Bible tells us in Romans 8:29 that God’s ultimate goal is that we “be conformed to the image of Christ.” Jesus Christ is, if you will, the perfect man. He is the second Adam who did what the first Adam failed to do. He is perfect and we are in Him. He has imparted spiritual gifts to us that we might utilize them in our spiritual growth and in the assisting of others in their spiritual growth. David Guzik said, “The gifted offices and equipping of the saints bring the saints to maturity, according to the measure of Jesus Himself. As years pass by, we should not only grow old in Jesus, but more mature in Him as well, as individuals and as the church as a whole.”
Johann Lavater wrote:
O Jesus Christ, grow Thou in me,
And all things else recede;
My heart be daily nearer Thee,
From sin be daily freed.
Fill me with gladness from above,
Hold me by strength divine;
Lord, let the glow of Thy great love
Through all my being shine.
Make this poor self grow less and less,
Be Thou my life and aim;
Oh, make me daily through Thy grace
More meet to bear Thy name.