How Not to Walk, Part 9 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #255)
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 4:20-29:
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;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
25 Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
26 Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath:
27 Neither give place to the devil.
28 Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Gordon M. Guinness said, “We have lost the sacred art of spending time with God, and nothing else can ever take its place. No repentance however deep, no restitution however costly, no sorrow however complete, can do away with the necessity for a daily time of sacred quiet, alone with God.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “If you’re going to be a true Christian, I’ll tell you one thing among others: it will be a lonely life. It’s a narrow way, and it becomes narrower and narrower and narrower.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The Azusa awakening’s views of race relations proved to be too much even for revived Christians at the beginning of the twentieth century. The emphasis on the imminent end of the world also hindered its ability to endure. When William J. Seymour married Jenny Moore, a black leader in his church, some of his strongest supporters objected that marriage was unwise so close to the end of the world. They left to begin a rival group in Portland, Oregon. Seymour himself died in 1922. The Azusa Street church was closed a few years later, demolished to make way for a new plaza, but the influence of the Azusa Street Revival has been felt around the world now for almost a century.”
The next way in which a Christian puts on the new man is through not being controlled by anger. The Bible says, “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath.” Anger is an emotional reaction to something we find displeasing or wrong. There is no sin in getting angry; but there can be sin in what you do with that anger.
The Bible speaks of God’s righteous anger against the wicked. We, too, ought to be outraged by sin in our own lives and in the world around us. However, we cannot trust ourselves to act in anger. The new man is one who submits his anger, and all of his other emotions, to the authority of Christ. The new man does not allow his anger to drive him to sinful actions.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary says, “While believers may at times be legitimately angry, they are not to sin. The way to prevent such sin is to “keep short accounts,” dealing with the anger before the sun goes down. The reason is that the devil would like to intensify a Christian’s righteous anger against sin, causing it to become sin itself. This then gives the devil a foothold, an opportunity for leading that Christian into further sin. Then anger begins to control the believer rather than the believer controlling his anger.”
Horatio R. Palmer wrote:
Angry words! O let them never,
From the tongue unbridled slip,
May the heart’s best impulse ever,
Check them ere they soil the lip.
Love is much too pure and holy,
Friendship is too sacred far,
For a moment’s reckless folly,
Thus to desolate and mar.
Angry words are lightly spoken,
Bitterest thoughts are rashly stirred,
Brightest links of life are broken,
By a single angry word.