How Not to Walk, Part 5 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #251)
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 4:20-22:
20 But ye have not so learned Christ;
21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:
22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
A.W. Tozer said, “We need a baptism of clear seeing. We desperately need seers who can see through the mist — Christian leaders with prophetic vision. Unless they come soon, it will be too late for this generation. And if they do come we will no doubt crucify a few of them in the name of our worldly orthodoxy.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Every day should be a period of exploring with God, getting again into His Word.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “Another Church of God denomination, this one white, became Pentecostal when G. B. Cashwell, an Azusa Street convert, described the Azusa Street Revival at the national convention of that denomination. During that meeting, the General Overseer of the group of churches, A.J. Tomlinson, listened attentively. Then, suddenly, Tomlinson fell out of his chair and began speaking in tongues at Cashwell’s feet. While a few churches left the movement, most embraced the Pentecostal message. By the end of the century, the Church of God of Prophecy was a fast growing white denomination in America.”
The main reason why Christians ought not to walk according to the world is because we have been taught to walk otherwise. We have been taught to walk according to Christ. After describing the lifestyle of those who are in the world, Paul tells his readers, “but ye have not so learned Christ.” In other words, this is not how you have been taught to behave as a follower of Jesus.
When you become a Christian, you do not automatically know how to act (just as a baby does not automatically know how to walk when he is born). But through a process of the Holy Spirit speaking to you and being discipled in the local church, you will learn how to act as a Christian. The disciples whom Jesus chose to follow Him went through this same process. There were numerous times when they thought they should do things one way, and Jesus had to correct their way of thinking.
That is why Paul refers to this as a learning process. He says that we have learned Christ, that we have heard Him, and that we have been taught by Him. (Obviously, he is speaking to those who have been saved for some time.) Once you have been a part of the body of Christ, you ought not to go back to the old ways of living in darkness. Imagine how foolish it would look if teenagers and adults suddenly started crawling around on the ground again as if they had forgotten how to walk. It is similarly foolish when people who know the truths of God continue to live in darkness.
Notice, again, the emphasis on the mind. Christianity is not just a head knowledge religion, but the mindset of the believer is very important. Dr. John Walvoord and Dr. Roy Zuck state that as believers, “Our minds are no longer darkened; our lives are no longer alienated from God; our hearts are no longer hardened and impure. Christ is the Subject and the Sphere of a believer’s learning. This teaching and learning is in accordance with the truth, because He is the Truth.”
Because we know the truth, we ought to live in light of the truth.
Ken Bible wrote:
Lord, flood my thoughts with Your reality,
With all that knowing You is meant to be,
With all the Truth that sets us fully free.
This Truth is Jesus!
Lord, take my words, and keep them kind and true,
A stream of love that flows forever new,
Forever from and through and unto You—
The words of Jesus!
Give me a life that sweetly sings the truth,
That proves Your love and always praises You,
A life that gives You all the glory due—
The life of Jesus!
Soon all but truth will fail and burn away
And all that’s hidden face the light of day.
Lord, shine that light throughout my life, I pray—
The light of Jesus!