Summary: The Book of Acts gives the model of what an on-fire N.T. church should look like. Philip's revival at Samaria has four distinct signs of what should drive and characterize an awakening. If you want revival, then have a look at the real deal!
4 THINGS A CHURCH IN REVIVAL WILL HAVE
A. HUMOR: Having the Right Perspective
1. I heard recently about a lady (I won't speculate as to what color her hair was) who went into a Napa auto parts store. She asked for a seven-ten cap.
2. The employees all looked at each other and say, "What's a seven-ten cap?" She says, "You know, it's right on the engine. Mine got lost somehow and I need a new one."
3. "What kind of a car is it on," they ask. “Perhaps it was an old Datsun 710;” but no, she says, "It's a Buick."
4. "OK, lady, how big is it?" She makes a circle with her hands about 3 1/2 inches in diameter. "What does it do?" they ask. She says, "I don't know, but it’s always been there."
5. She grabbed a sheet of scratch paper and drew a picture of it. The guys behind the counter are looking at it upside down as she writes it...and they just fall down behind the counter because they are laughing so hard.
6. One guy finally says, "I think you want an oil cap." She says, "Seven-ten cap, oil cap, I don't care what you call it, I just need one, and I don't see what is so funny about it." (the word "OIL" upside down looks like "710").
5Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed Christ there. 6When the crowds heard Philip and saw the miraculous signs he did, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7With shrieks, evil spirits came out of many, and many paralytics and cripples were healed. 8So there was great joy in that city.
9Now for some time a man named Simon had practiced sorcery in the city and amazed all the people of Samaria. He boasted that he was someone great, 10and all the people, both high and low, gave him their attention and exclaimed, "This man is the divine power known as the
Great Power." 11They followed him because he had amazed them for a long time with his magic.
12But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women. 13Simon himself believed and was baptized. And he followed Philip everywhere, astonished by the great signs and miracles he saw.
14When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them. 15When they arrived, they prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit, 16because the Holy Spirit had not yet come [Gr. “fallen”] upon any of them; they had simply been baptized into the name of the Lord Jesus. 17Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.
18When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles' hands, he offered them money 19and said, "Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit." 20Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!
1. Notice first, that the persecution that was designed to exterminate the church was turned by God into the vehicle for its revival and enlargement! Tell me who’s bad!
2. The scattered Christians went everywhere, preaching the Word. They didn't hide-out in fear. They went everywhere -- even to those they’d been forbidden to go to before (Mt. 10:5).
3. Philip chose the metropolis of Samaria, the former rival capital of the northern 10 tribes where 14 Kings reigned over 200 years. And God sent great revival.
4. We’re going to look at the “4 Things a Church in Revival Will Have.”
I. CHRIST IS PREACHED
A. WHAT ARE YOU LIFTING UP?
1. Many preach themselves, some manmade doctrine, or the wrong thing as the answer to people’s problems. Philip pointed them to Christ.
2. He didn’t beat around the bush. He didn’t get caught up in theology. He didn’t get sidetracked attacking certain sins. Instead, he lead the people straight to the answer – to Jesus!
3. It’s only the preaching of Christ that can set men free; it is only the preaching of Christ that can revolutionize a person’s life and change their base nature, making them desire to live for God.
B. WHAT DO WE SAY ABOUT CHRIST?
1. Philip “proclaimed” Christ. He determined to know nothing but Christ, and Him crucified (1 Cor. 2:2).
2. The Word “proclaim” (vs. 5; kerusso) isn’t the word for evangelize, but “to be a herald,” to announce the Kingship of Christ! He’s King of Kings and Lord of Lords!