How Not to Walk, Part 4 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #250)

spiritual-warfare

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.

—-

David Smithers said, “A prayerless man is proud and independent, and any church that neglects corporate prayer is sadly no better. Only God’s humble and needy children take the time to pray. Everyone else is just going through the motions and naively trusting in their own strength!”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “What is Christianity? It’s not just giving up lousy sins; it’s not just confessing my sins. Sure I have to be cleansed before He comes, but Christianity is inviting Jesus to be the Master and Lord of my personality. It’s the life of God in the soul of man! That is the greatest definition of Christianity outside of the Bible.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Several major Pentecostal denominations, including the Assemblies of God in Springfield, Missouri, trace their historic roots to the impact of the Azusa Street Revival on their founders. Leaders of a black denomination who called themselves simply ‘the Church of God’ attended the Azusa Street church for several weeks in June 1907; they returned home to transform their entire denomination into what is still the largest black Pentecostal denomination in America, the Church of God in Christ.”

—-

In order to show us how we ought not to be living, Paul continues his contrast of the lifestyle of the saved and the lifestyle of the lost. He says the lost, “being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.”

The Greek word which is translated as the phrase “being past feeling” means “to cease to feel pain or grief; to become callous, insensible to pain, apathetic.” In the context of this verse, we take it to mean that those who repeatedly reject Christ will soon no longer feel the sting of their sins. They have, as the Bible says, seared their conscience with a hot iron. They are so much under Satan’s influence that they no longer feel that the way they are living is wrong. Their tender heart has become crusted over, and they are no longer able to discern right from wrong. It is a miracle indeed, and the result of the work of the Holy Spirit, when one of these comes to know Christ.

Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck explain further in their commentary, “Because of their lack of sensitivity these Gentiles gave themselves over (or “abandoned themselves”) to sensuality, a life without concern for personal standards or social sanctions. Their purpose was to practice every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more, indulging in self-gratification without regard for others. This is a horrible picture of sinful people’s selfish and perverted ways.”

It is easy for us to look down our noses at the unsaved when we hear them described in such terms. But, we must remember, as Paul wrote in Ephesians 2, that we used to walk in the way of the world too. We could very well be one of these hapless individuals, unable to discern right from wrong and unwilling to live according to what we know is right.

The message is for us not to walk according to the way of the world. Not to be insensitive to our conscience and to the Holy Spirit. We are changed people, and we ought to live a changed life.

Rufus Henry McDaniel wrote:

What a wonderful change in my life has been wrought
I have light in my soul for which long I had sought,
Floods of joy over my soul like the sea billows roll,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

I have ceased from my wand’ring and going astray,
And my sins which were many are all washed away,
I’m possessed of a hope that is steadfast and sure,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

There’s a light in the valley of death now for me,
And the gates of the City beyond I can see,
I shall go there to dwell in that City I know,
Since Jesus came into my heart!

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