The Gifts God has Given to His Church, Part 19 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #243)
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 4:14-16:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
Thomas Watson said, “If we do not thirst here we shall thirst when it is too late. If we do not thirst as David did, ‘My soul thirsteth for God,’ we shall thirst as the rich man did for a drop of water hell.
Leonard Ravenhill said, “You can go to hell at the communion table or the gambling table if Jesus hasn’t saved you.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “A skeptical reporter with the Los Angeles Times heard about the Azusa Street meeting and attended. The next day, his report described ‘wild scenes’ and a ‘weird babble of tongues.’ He was the first of many to publish negative descriptions of the revival. But not all who investigated the story left as antagonistic. Before long, reports were being circulated in Pentecostal circles of those who “came to scorn and stayed to pray.””
In the midst of constant threats from those who peddle false doctrine, Paul says that believers should continue to make progress in their spiritual growth. He writes in verse 15, that we “may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ.”
Jesus Christ is the head of the church. When the church is described in the terms of a human body, we could say that Christ is the ‘brains of the operation.’ As such, we are reminded of Philippians 2:5 which says, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.” The progress that we make spiritually ought to bring our minds closer and closer to the state of mind of Jesus Christ. The evidence of increasing spiritual maturity is that we begin to think more like Christ. Paul told the Corinthian church that believers can understand Scripture because we have “the mind of Christ.”
That ought to be our goal — to have the mind of Christ. It is the best defense against the winds of false doctrine that blow frequently across the land.
Stewart Salmond said the term ‘grow up into him in all things’ means “more than that we are to grow into a resemblance to Him, or that our growth is to be according to His example. It means that as He is the source from which the grace or power comes that makes it possible for us to grow, He is also the object and goal to which our growth in its every stage must look and is to be directed.”
It is easy to put all our attention on those who are teaching false doctrine. We feel like we have to “do something” about it. But God wants us to keep our eyes on Christ and focus on growing in Him in all things.
Kate B. Wilkinson wrote:
May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
live in me from day to day,
by his love and power controlling
everything I do and say.
May the love of Jesus fill me
as the waters fill the sea.
Him exalting, self-abasing:
this alone is victory.
May we run the race before us,
strong and brave to face the foe,
looking only unto Jesus
as we upward, onward go.