How Not to Walk, Part 24 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #270)
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 4:30-31:
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
J.C. Ryle said, “We have the truth and we need not be afraid to say so.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “Finney preached, and sometimes the whole congregation would get up and leave! That’s good preaching.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “At age nineteen Cartwright was preaching with great unction and power, and his sermons were attended by marvelous manifestations of the Holy Spirit. “Often people were stricken down under an overwhelming conviction of sin,” he observed. On one occasion, “the people fell in every direction, right and left, front and rear. It was supposed that not less than three hundred fell like dead men in mighty battle … loud wailings went up to heaven from sinners for mercy, and a general shout from Christians, so that noise was heard from afar off.” Despite these overwhelming emotional displays, Cartwright had no sympathy for fleshly excitements and always kept people in line with an iron hand. At the same time, however, he didn’t want to quench any genuine work or manifestations of the Holy Spirit.”
The fourth sin that Paul says a Christian should stay away from because it grieves the Holy Spirit is clamor. The Greek word used for clamor means a loud outcry. In the present context, it obviously refers to the shout or outcry of strife and reflects a public outburst that reveals loss of control. Think of an out-of-control crowd rioting in the street. It is a loud and confusing noise, especially of shouting.
Clamor is one of the outward manifestations of wrath and anger, and it should have no place in the life of the Christian. Proverbs 15:1 says, “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.” Clamor is seen in loud arguments and disputes that crop up between family members, church members, and neighbors. Normally, when a disagreement gets to the point of being described as clamor, neither side is listening to the other, and all parties are interested in only having their voice heard.
Another reason why clamor is unbefitting of Christians is because it is a manifestation of confusion — everyone talking at once with no order of speaking and no one willing to pause and listen to what others have to say. The Bible says, “God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints… Let all things be done decently and in order.” Arguments and loud angry disputes have no place in the church of God or in Christian homes. The root of such confusion is normally pride, wrath, anger, bitterness, and selfishness.
God’s people ought to be able to sit down at the table of brotherly love and work out solutions to our differences. And if we cannot come to an agreement, then we ought to be able to lovingly disagree and each go our seperate own way.
Connie C. Bratcher wrote:
Christian, walk with others peaceably,
And glorify God above;
Endeavor to keep the unity…
In the bond of peace and love.
Labor for things of eternity,
Love every family member;
Remember how God has set you free
and sweet fruit your life will render.
Let us love and live in harmony,
And follow our Shepherd’s lead;
As we walk in peace and unity…
and to the Lord’s word take heed.