The Gifts God has Given to His Church, Part 20 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #244)
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, “How hard is it sometimes to get people’s hearts to seek God. Jesus Christ went more willingly to the cross than we do to the throne of grace.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “I don’t want to be saved just to make it into Heaven; I want to be saved from sin; I want to be a God-directed man that the life I have, I may live it for the glory of God. The devil has enough people to give glory to his rotten name. He has more people who have given every beat of their heart, every bit of their money, every thought of their mind, and every instinct they have to him.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “News of the Azusa Street Revival soon began drawing others from across America and around the world. Seymour himself began publishing an occasional paper describing the progress in the spread of his Pentecostal message. The Apostolic Faith attracted readers across America and beyond. In it, Seymour described the doctrines of the movement and published reports of tongue-speaking around the world.”
The ultimate goal of every believer, in using his or her spiritual gifts, is to contribute to a church that is growing and that is effectively carrying out its mission. The growth and effective ministry of the church begins with Jesus Christ, the “Head.” Paul calls our Head the one “from whom the whole body is fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth…”
Some people see the church structure as a pyramid or a bus with the pastor at the top or in the driver’s seat. But, the Bible repeatedly shows us that the Church is a body — and everybody has an important role to play. Individual believers represent the parts of the body that are “fitly joined together,” that are “compacted.” The word translated as “compacted” means “to cause to coalesce, to join together, to put together, to unite or knit together in affection.” Paul is taking us back to the theme of unity. We are a unified body — many members all working for the same goal.
Dr. Warren Wiersbe said, “One more evidence of maturity is cooperation. We realize that, as members of the one body and the local body, we belong to each other, we affect each other, and we need each other. Each believer, no matter how insignificant he may appear, has a ministry to other believers. The body grows as the individual members grow, and they grow as they feed on the Word and minister to each other.”
Ask yourself, today, Am I contributing to the growth and increasing spiritual maturity of the body of Christ — both the whole body and my local assembly? If you are not, you are like a body part that has become paralyzed and is not carrying out its function. And you are depriving other believers of the service that you could be carrying out in the body of Christ.
Albert B. Simpson wrote:
Saving and serving our watch-word shall be;
Living for others and living for Thee;
Help us, dear Lord, to be true to our trust,
Serving the master and saving the lost.
Serving a Master so good and so true;
Finding some service in all that we do;
Seeking His glory and doing His will;
Waiting or working but serving Him still.
Saving and serving, oh, blessed employ!
Heaven itself has no holier joy;
Thus we shall win heaven’s richest reward —
Saving the lost ones and serving the Lord.