How Not to Walk, Part 3 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #249)
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 4:17-19:
17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,
18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
19 Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.
Oswald J. Smith said, “Oh, to realize that souls, precious, never dying souls, are perishing all around us, going out into the blackness of darkness and despair, eternally lost, and yet to feel no anguish, shed no tears, know no travail! How little we know of the compassion of Jesus!”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “You have no right to sin. If you have sin in your life, you’ve got something which is illegal in the sight of God and you’re giving the devil a hand in your life.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Unfortunately, Charles Parham wasn’t the only white Holiness preacher sympathetic to the Pentecostal message who was unable to break from the cultural values of the day. Soon after the revival began, Pentecostal denominations began to be formed along racial lines. Yet even though they broke with Wliiam J. Seymour and his vision of the social outworking of Pentecostalism, they didn’t abandon the Pentecostal experience of speaking in tongues they had seen at Azusa Street.”
This passage continues to emphasize the differences between the Christian and the unsaved person. Because the unsaved person has a vain mind, the Bible says their ‘understanding has been darkened’ and they have been ‘alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart.’
The world tells us that enlightenment comes through science or philosophy. But, because worldly philosophies are devoid of true spiritual light, they only end up bringing a darkness of understanding to those who remain in the world. J. Vernon McGee said this phrase “means that the lost man has lost his perception of moral values. That is exactly what is being promoted in our day — a loss of perception of moral values.” The simple fact of the matter is that many of those who are in darkness have no semblance of right and wrong. Their philosophy is, “If it feels good, do it.”
The darkness that inhabits the minds of the unsaved is a result of constant, repeated rejection of the truth.
Christians, however, have embraced the truth and the light. Our minds have been truly enlightened by Jesus Christ who is the light of the world. We know what is right and wrong. We have (or ought to have) a keen perception of moral values. In turn, by the grace of God, Christians ought to be the little lights of the world — using our enlightened minds to help enlighten the darkness of the world.
Dallas Holm wrote:
Let my light shine in the night time
Let it shine all the day through,
Let it shine, shine for Jesus,
May it shine, shine on you.
I was walking along in darkness,
I didn’t know which way to go,
Then the Lord, He turned the light on,
Changed my life, saved my soul.
Now I live for just one purpose,
To let the Lord shine through me,
Because if His love can shine on others,
Then His Spirit will set them free.