Tuesday, March 22, 2011

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY REVIVAL?

WHAT DO WE MEAN BY REVIVAL?
T. Austin-Sparks


I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. (Galatians 1:12 ESV)

Those of us who have tasted of this world's springs have recognized the kinship between what is there and what is in religion so far as that soul-nature is concerned. It is only a matter of difference of realm, not of nature. What the music and drama of the world produce in one way—the soul-stirring, rousing, craving: the pathos, tears, contempt, hatred, anger, melancholy, pleasure, etc.—are all the same, only under different auspices and in a different setting, and the fact is that it passes and we are really no further on. A little better music, a change of preacher, a less familiar place, a few more thrills, will perhaps stimulate our souls, but where are we, after all? How Satan must laugh behind his mask! Oh, for reality, the reality of the eternal! Oh, that men might see that, while a highly cultured soul with a keen sense of the beautiful and sublime is immeasurably preferable to a sordid one so far as this world is concerned, it is not necessarily a criterion that such has a personal living knowledge of God—of God as a Person—and has really been born anew!

When we pray for "Revival" let us be careful as to what we are after and as to what means we use to promote it, or carry it on.... The Apostle Paul makes it very clear that the secret of everything in his life and service was the fact that he received his gospel "by revelation." We may even know the Bible most perfectly as a book, and yet be spiritually dead and ineffective. When the Scriptures say so much about the knowledge of God and of the truth as the basis of eternal life, resulting in being set free, doing exploits, etc., they also affirm that man cannot by searching find out God, and they make it abundantly clear that it is knowledge in the spirit, not in the natural mind. Thus, a rich knowledge of the Scriptures, an accurate technical grasp of Christian doctrine, a doing of Christian work by all the resources of men's natural wisdom or ability, a clever manipulation and interesting presentation of Bible content and themes, may get not one whit beyond the natural life of men, and still remain within the realm of spiritual death. Men cannot be argued, reasoned, fascinated, interested, "emotioned," willed, enthused, impassioned, into the kingdom of the heavens; they can only be born; and that is by spiritual quickening.

By T. Austin-Sparks from: All Things in Christ - Chapter 10

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2 comments:

  1. It is interesting... that the word revival is not found in the Bible. Neither is the hoopla that christians go through in an effort to bring some life back into their gatherings. How sad that we grew up accepting this practice as being normal and approved of by God, even looking forward to them. After the evangelist left, it didn't take long for the thrill to wear off and it was back to our normal dry-well. The closest thing I could find in the Word is found in...

    Rev 3:2 Rouse yourselves and keep awake, and strengthen and invigorate what remains and is on the point of dying; for I have not found a thing that you have done [any work of yours] meeting the requirements of My God or perfect in His sight.

    May we not seek to tintilate our flesh, but seek the face of God. May we submit to the cutting and pruning and shaping that must be done within US, to make us into vessels of honor, fit for the Masters use. God bless.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you, sister Cathy. Excellent point. Revival is a man-made concept, and revolves around us doing something. The life of Christ is worked by the power of God in us, and it is our simple, individual submission to that which let's God accomplish what He wants in us.
    Blessings.

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