Summary: Revival and getting back to basics of the Methodist foundations of service to God.
This past week I have thought a lot about what our Superintendent said about getting back to the basics, and to the spiritual revival of our communities. So what is the base of our faith? What is the very foundation that our Church is built upon? Our most basic part should be the faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This is the main building block and we as followers of Christ, are to build upon this block. We are to always be in construction of our Church, His temple. In fact, we could think of ourselves as the quarrymen who cut out the large blocks at the Masters’ direction so that He can finish the product. You see at one time you too were or maybe you still are that unfinished stone block or keystone that He has to finish to be a part of the Great Temple.
One of the great points that Rev. Colorado stressed, at this charge conference was “Getting back to the basics,” and for us Methodists that means making ourselves personally responsible for evangelism and service in our communities. It means, believing that what is said in the Scriptures is real and that they do have authority. Finally we are to let God use us to bring about a revival like hasn’t been seen in this area for a long time. Moreover, we are to let Our High Priest, Christ Jesus, be the very center of our Revival.
This revival will not be an easy task.You may be asking yourselves what I mean by this. What I mean is, it will take work, and much more than just physical work. Moreover it will take spiritual work. It will require us all to move out of what we consider our beliefs. It will mean letting God lead your lives to places you may not really want to go.
It means basic things like, daily prayers, attending Sunday School, having Bible studies. Also, daily studying of the Word itself. Revival means thinking outside the box about God, while still getting back to the basics of worship.
Two weeks ago I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the Nemaha Adult Sunday School. Nemaha has a very nice Adult Sunday School class. There is no special Sunday School literature used, just the bible. During this class, we were looking at the book James.
During the reading of the book, we would stop every so often when someone had a question or a thought on what was being read. One of the stopping points occurred in the second chapter v. 17-26
In the same way faith, if good deeds do not go with it, is quite dead.
But someone may say: So you have faith and I have good deeds? Show me this faith of yours without deeds, then! It is by my deeds that I will show you my faith. You believe in the one God, that is creditable enough, but even the demons have the same belief, and they tremble with fear. Fool! Would you not like to know that faith without deeds is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by his deed, because he offered his son Isaac on the altar? So you can see that his faith was working together with his deeds; his faith became perfect by what he did.
In this way the scripture was fulfilled: Abraham put his faith in God, and this was considered as making him upright; and he received the name "friend of God". You see now that it is by deeds, and not only by believing, that someone is justified. There is another example of the same kind: Rahab the prostitute, was she not justified by her deeds because she welcomed the messengers and showed them a different way to leave? As a body without a spirit is dead, so is faith without deeds.
Several times during this passage, James says faith without deeds is dead. In the discussion, it was brought out that we are all called to bring people to Christ. I mentioned that Bishop Palmer said that we Christians/Methodists, even pastors have sold out to the idea that it is only the pastors that are responsible for church growth. This is backwards from how it is supposed to be. While it is true, the pastor does have several roles within the church, the people of the church also have Christian duties to uphold. This means that no one person can do everything. Everyone has a role to play in the ministry of the church.
If you try to bring about a revival through the efforts of one person, then your efforts are most likely going to fail. It is just that simple. The reason for this is that no one is perfect. There is only one perfect person who has ever lived through whom we can have a revival. Revival can only come through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and it can only be sustained through those within the church who are willing to go out and be disciples of Christ.