How To Walk, Part 1 (Revive the Family, Revive the Church, Awaken the Nation, O Lord #273)
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.
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:
32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
A.W. Tozer said, “I am convinced that many Christians are not truly and soundly converted. Among the evangelicals it is entirely possible to come into membership, to ooze in by osmosis, to leak through the cells of the church and never know what it means to be born of the Spirit and washed in the blood. A great deal that passes for the deeper life is nothing more or less than basic Christianity. There is nothing deeper about it, and it is where we should have been from the start.”
Leonard Ravenhill said, “The most important thing in the world while you’re on this side of eternity is that you learn to worship God. If you’re going to do it for ever and ever, you ought to practice it now.”
In their book, The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever, Elmer Towns and Douglas Porter share with us: “The First Great Awakening came to an end when Puritan theology was replaced with rationalistic and humanistic thinking. Since the colleges of America trained the clergy, it wasn’t surprising that the chilling effect of humanistic thinking eventually deadened the churches. Books promoting the philosophy of the Enlightenment were widely distributed. Thomas Paine’s Age of Reason, for example, which openly mocked biblical revelation, was sold to students for only a few pennies. When students didn’t buy them, copies were distributed free. Dr. Timothy Dwight, who became president of Yale College in 1795, described such literature as ‘the dregs of humanity, vomited’ on the youth.”
Now, as we move to the final verse of Ephesians 4, Paul flips the coin once again. He has shared with us things that we ought not to do in order that we might not grieve the Holy Spirit — bitterness, wrath, anger, clamour, evil speaking, and malice. Now, he gives us some things that we ought to do — being kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving. These things please God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
The Greek word translated as “kind” means fit for use, useful, virtuous, good, mild, pleasant, and benevolent. Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defines “kind” as “having or showing a gentle nature and a desire to help others; wanting and liking to do good things and to bring happiness to others.”
Throughout this entire passage, he has been talking about the difference between the old man and the new man. We all used to be old men. There are things that we used to do that we do not do anymore. There are lifestyles that we used to agree with and even be a part of that we disagree with and abstain from now. The key thing is change, transformation. We are to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The new mind (or the renewed mind) equals a new man or new woman in Christ.
John Piper said, “Transformation is not switching from the to-do list of the flesh to the to-do list of the law. When Paul replaces the list — the works — of the flesh, he does not replace it with the works of the law, but the fruit of the Spirit. The Christian alternative to immoral behaviors is not a new list of moral behaviors. It is the triumphant power and transformation of the Holy Spirit through faith in Jesus Christ — our Savior, our Lord, our Treasure. Transformation is a profound, blood-bought, Spirit-wrought change from the inside out.”
Our not grieving the Holy Spirit of God and doing those things which God commands and smiles upon ought to come, not out of a heart of legalism, expecting something in return, bu out of a spirit of love for God and for our fellow man.
Deborah Ann Belka wrote:
The old man
no longer lives in me
it is now the new man
that I choose to be.
For I have put off
the things I use to do
I have put on these things,
Lord Jesus, just for You…
Irritation for meekness,
dishonesty for truthfulness
quarreling for harmony
bitterness for forgiveness.
Bragging for humbleness,
idleness for service
cheating for honesty
emptiness for purpose.
Excess for restraint,
old ways for the new
following the world…
for following after You!