How Not to Walk, Part 12 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #258)

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.”


Daniel Whyte III

Daniel Whyte III

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 4:28:

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.

—-

Robert E. Speer said, “The evangelization of the world in this generation depends first of all upon a revival of prayer. Deeper than the need for men; deeper, far, than the need for money; aye, deep down at the bottom of our spiritless life is the need for the forgotten secret of prevailing, world-wide prayer.”

Leonard Ravenhill said, “I want to so live that God doesn’t have to give me but one minute’s notice to step out of time into eternity.”

In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The Cane Ridge Revival introduced the element of shouting to revival meetings, so that many were called ‘shouting Methodists.’ So many of their new songs had the word ‘shout’ in the lyrics that it became a common religious expression. When someone died, for example, the Methodists said, ‘He went off shouting.’ Shouting was not simply noise, nor was it loud preaching; yet when a minister was preaching, some would shout from the audience. Shouting wasn’t exhorting, nor praying, nor was it a united cheer of many believers. Shouting was an individual response. Loud praying was ‘shouting,’ as when a congregation all prayed loudly at the same time, when, for example, they attempted to ‘pray down’ a sinner, so he would get converted.”

—-

In verse 28, we have another contrasting position between the actions of the new man and the old man. Paul writes, “Let him that stole steal no more.” Stealing is the action of the old man — action that a new man in Christ should not engage in.

Stealing was very rampant in Paul’s day, especially among the slaves and the poorer class. Many people felt it was okay to steal to survive. But Paul calls Christian slaves, no matter how impoverished, to a higher standard of living. The way of thievery is the way of the world and the proof of a lack of trust in God. It is a demonic way of thinking. When a person thinks: ‘I am going to get what I want even if I have to steal it is devilish. Christians are to abide by the way of trust in God to supply for all their needs.

Stealing has its roots in Satan. The Bible Exposition Commentary states, “Just as Satan is a liar and a murderer, he is also a thief. [Jesus said,] ‘The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.’ Satan turned Judas into a thief and he would do the same to us if he could. When he tempted Eve, he led her to become a thief, for she took the fruit that was forbidden. And she, in turn, made Adam a thief. The first Adam was a thief and was cast out of Paradise, but the Last Adam, Christ, turned to a thief and said, ‘Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.'”

Here we have a great contrast — Adam the old man and Christ the new man. Adam’s way failed. Only Jesus’ way will work in the end. All who are new men and women in Christ should leave the old ways — including stealing behind — and begin to walk in the new way of Christ.

The new man ought to live the new life, as expressed in this poem:

New Life in Christ, abundant and free!
What glories shine, what joys are mine,
What wondrous blessings I see!

My past with its sin, its searching and strife,
Are forever gone — there’s a brand new dawn!
For in Christ I have found new life.

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