Summary: Religion is the work of man. It is something for man to do. It consists in obeying God.
Revival (Section 3) WHAT A REVIVAL OF RELIGION IS (From Charles Finney’s Lectures)
Theme Scripture Habakkuk 3:1 -2 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet upon Shigionoth.
2 O LORD, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O LORD, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.
02421 chayh (khaw-yaw’) to live, have life, remain alive, be quickened
To revive, be quickened from sickness, discouragement, faintness, death
--- Religion is the work of man. It is something for man to do. It consists in obeying God.
--- Excitement is required. But as yet the state of the Christian world is such, that to expect to promote religion without excitements is unphilosophical and absurd.
--- Men being so reluctant to obey God, will not act until they are excited. For instance,
how many there are who know that they ought to be religious, but they are afraid
that if they become pious they will be laughed at by their companions.
I. REVIVAL IS NOT A MIRACLE
A. A miracle --- Divine interference, setting aside, or suspending the laws of nature.
All the laws of matter and mind remain in force.
B. A revival is not a miracle such as being above the powers of nature.
C. A revival is not a miracle. The miracle was one thing; the revival that followed it was quite another thing.
Acts 8:5 -17 (Read)
A revival is as naturally a result of the use of the appropriate means as a crop is of
the use of its appropriate means. Let a man tell farmers that God is a Sovereign, and will give them a crop only when He pleases. They would starve themselves and the world to death.
There is a natural law and a spiritual law of sowing and reaping.
Prov 22:8 He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity:
Mark 4:14 The sower soweth the word.
John 4:35 -38 (Read)
II Cor 9:4-7 Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me, and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye) should be ashamed in this same confident boasting. 5 Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren, that they would go before unto you, and make up beforehand your bounty, whereof ye had notice before, that the same might be ready, as a matter of bounty, and not as of covetousness. 6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. 7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
Galations 6:7-8 But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For every man shall bear his own burden. 6 Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things. 7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
II. WHAT A REVIVAL IS
A. A revival always includes conviction of sin on the part of the Church. In a true revival,
Christians are always brought under such conviction; they see their sins in such a light that often they find it impossible to maintain a hope of their acceptance with God.
I Peter 4:17-18 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
When God brings judgement upon whole nations, he generally begins with His own people. M. H.
Revival is renewed conviction of sin and repentance, followed by an intense desire to live in obedience to God. It is giving up one’s will to God in deep humility. Charles Finney
B. Christians will be brought to repentance. A revival is nothing else than a new beginning
of obedience to God.
God has enabled us to know that we may obey.
Romans 5:18 -19 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. 19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Romans 6:16 -19 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 19 I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.