Summary: Revival comes by resting on God’s power alone
Resting on God’s Power
I. How Paul Came
2. Superior wisdom
B. For I resolved…
1. To know nothing
2. Except Jesus Christ and Him crucified
C. I came to you…
1. In weakness
2. In fear
3. With much trembling
II. Paul’s Message and Preaching
A. Not with…
1. Wise words
2. Persuasive words
B. But with…
1. A demonstration of the Spirit’s power
C. So that…
1. Your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom
2. But on God’s power
Prophetic statement: “The winds of revival have begun to blow. Mark this date on your calendars as the day when the winds of revival began to blow.”
How do I know? What are the signs? Where does my confidence to make such a statement come from? I’d like to mention two reasons why I believe that the winds of revival have begun to blow:
1. True revival always begins in the hearts of individuals. It begins as an individual flame and then grows to be an inferno as the flames of others are joined together. I have heard the wind with the ears of my spirit and I have begun to feel the fire of revival burning in my soul. Whenever the fire of God starts burning inside you, it comes with a purpose—to refine. I’ve shed many tears this week as the Spirit has been purging and refining me. I find that I am currently less aware of the shortcomings of others and more aware of the areas in which I am falling short of the glory of God. I praise God for His mercy and grace in my life. I praise Him that He is still at work conforming me to the image of His Son. I praise Him that He has not grown weary of my many shortcomings, but is diligent in disciplining me like a good father. And I cry out for His continued refining work in my life. I want to be holy, even as my Father in heaven is holy.
2. True revival always meets opposition from the enemy of revival. Satan would like nothing more than to see the Church remain ineffective and content with a mediocre spiritual fervor. He hates it when we begin to get in step with the Spirit, so he throws all kinds of things our way to discourage us or sidetrack us from moving deeper into the things of God. I have been under a tremendous amount of spiritual attack this week. Judy can testify that she has also felt the attacks of the enemy in her life and in our relationship. I’ve shared the struggles I’ve been experiencing this week with the elders Wednesday night when we gathered for prayer. At the time, I didn’t call it by name, but this has been a week of massive bombardments from Satan. Though I do not enjoy these assaults from the devil, I can consider it pure joy (as we read in the book of James) because it reinforces my belief that the winds of revival have begun to blow. Satan is afraid because a revived Church will do him much damage.
Because the winds have begun to blow and the embers are beginning to glow, I have a sense from the Lord that He wants me to preach some revival messages. I don’t have any idea how many there will be. I’m not entirely certain as to the direction these messages will take. But I’m confident that I am to preach messages focusing on revival.
So I begin this morning to bring you a message of revival. It is a message birthed out of my own experience with God’s refining work in my life. So the message is one that has first hit me right between the eyes, but it is one that I am confident has application to your lives as well. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches (Rev. 3:22).
Please turn with me to 1 Corinthians 2:1-5. (p. 848)
How Paul Came
Not with Eloquence or Superior Wisdom
“Eloquence is rational talk” (R&R, p. 390)
“Wisdom is wordy cleverness” (R&R, p. 390)
“Paul does not deny that he tried to present his message in as compelling a form as possible, merely that by the world’s standards he was at best ordinary” (NIVAC, 1 Corinthians, p. 54)
Does not mean that Paul did not employ reason or soundness of argument in his discourses, rather he placed no confidence in such methods to bring about life change. He clearly understood that in order to bring about spiritual ends, one must rely upon spiritual means and the Holy Spirit Himself.
Let’s contrast this with how we generally go about the task of exposing people to the gospel or how we go about conducting “church.”