The dictionary gives the following definition for “revival” …
“REVIVAL” … “a reawakening of religious fervor, especially by means of a series of evangelistic meetings. Renewed attention or interest in something.”
The Bible says that believers are “new creations” in Christ Jesus (II Corinthians 5:17). The very Spirit of God lives within every true believer. “For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one Body” (I Corinthians 12:13). In order to be a disciple of Christ you must be born again by the Spirit and the “new birth” is the gracious gift of the sovereign God.
We don’t hear much about “revival” today, except in the context of miraculous signs and wonders, healings, speaking in “tongues,” and other “events” often associated with “evangelistic” meetings and certain men (and some women) who claim to be “anointed.” What does the Bible say about “revival”? Very little … if anything!!
Some are looking for a mass “revival” that will bring many to faith in Jesus Christ during the Great Tribulation, but once again, the Bible says nothing about such an “end-time revival.” Rather, God identifies the need for spiritual growth, throughout the New Testament in particular, after the outpouring of the Spirit at Pentecost. As such, true “revival” is a personal matter, not a “mass conversion” of some who had not previously believed. It is the work of the Spirit within a believer that produces a heartfelt desire to turn from sin and to pursue righteousness.
In Ephesians 4:17-19, Paul writes, “Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.”
Then he goes on in verses 20-24, to say, “But that is not the way YOU (believers) learned Christ! – assuming that you have heard about Him and were taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”
THAT is the closest the Bible comes to talking about spiritual “revival.” It is a personal spiritual renewal produced through the work of the Spirit as the believer “seeks first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).
Paul instructed his young friend, Timothy, to “fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you …” (II Timothy 1:6). For Timothy that “gift” was the call to preach and teach God’s Word. We know that “grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift” (Ephesians 4:7). And we know that there are different gifts “according to the grace given to us” (Romans 12:6). Spiritual “revival,” spiritual growth, leads to spiritual maturity through the knowledge of God and His kingdom and through service to Christ and His Body.
For the next eleven weeks, you will receive instruction from the Spirit of God through His inspired Word, pointing out how to “grow up,” to mature in your relationship with Christ and your service to Him in every area of your life. May our Father use His Word to accomplish in us and through us what is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, our Savior, and Lord!
UPCOMING SERMON DATES & TITLES:
September 13th: “Return to Me and I Will Return to You!” – Hosea 6:1-3, 10:12, 14:1-2
September 20th: “Prayer: Seeking God and Preparing the Heart for Revival” – Psalm 63:1-5, 139:23-24; John 14:12-14
September 27th: “Humility and Brokenness: Prerequisites for Revival” – James 4:6-10; II Chronicles 7:14; Psalm 51:10-17
October 4th: “Honesty Is Its Own Reward” – Psalm 32:1-11; I John 1:5-10
October 11th: “Repentance: The Fuel of Revival” – Ezekiel 18:30-32; Luke 13:1-5
October 18th: “God’s Invitation: Come to Me!” – Hebrews 4:15-16, 10:19-23; Matthew 11:28-30; John 6:35-40
October 25th: “The Beauty of the Bride” – Revelation 19:6-9; Ephesians 5:25-27, 31-32
November 1st: “The Freedom of Purity” – I Thessalonians 4:1-8; I Corinthians 6:12-20; Ephesians 5:1-7
November 8th: “Forgiving As You Have Been Forgiven” – Matthew 6:9-15, 18:21-25; Ephesians 4:29-32
November 15th: “Living the Spirit-filled Life In the Power Of the Spirit” – Galatians 5:16-26; Romans 8:1-17
November 22nd: “Stoking the Fire and Keeping It Burning!” – Philippians 3:7-16; II Timothy 3:14-17