Summary: This sermon seeks to communicate the truth of how revival can become a reality for the person who realizes that hope rests inside of you through Christ.
My question today is, “What is the hope of revival?” In all honesty the answer is, it’s a mystery. It’s a mystery in the biblical sense of that word. I believe the hope of revival is in the mystery that has now been made known verses 26-27, “the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints. . . of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. ”The hope of revival is the hope of glory. The hope of revival is Christ living anew in you. The hope of revival is you living like God intended for you to live. The hope of revival is you living the life of Christ. The hope of revival is the mystery of Christ living His life through you. The hope of revival is you living above sin. The hope of revival is you living free from the power of the world, the flesh and the devil. The hope of revival is Christ “life-ing out” His life in your daily existence.
This is the gospel for the Christian. What I’m sharing with you today, I would consider the most important body of truth I could ever share with you! This is the kind of stuff that you should be sitting on the edge of your seat, like the 4th quarter of a ball game and the last few seconds on the clock with a chance to win. You’ve got a chance to win the game of life. Revival gives you that hope. You can live above sin. You can win over Satan. You will see as I share with you “The Hope of Revival.”
If you want to win you can. If you want revival you can have it. Why live a defeated, down trodden, disillusioned, depressed, destructive, demeaning life? I’ll tell you why - most Christians are trying to do their best with God’s help. The only problem is, God never intended we try to live the Christian life. And certainly not try with His help. He doesn’t need our help. He intended Christ it live the Christian life through us. The biblical method is for us to trust in Christ to do it all through us. The one hope of revival is “Christ in you, the hope of glory! Christ is always the missing ingredient when we face the need of revival. It’s simply a matter of understanding how to cooperate with Him so He can freely work through us. The Hope of Revival rests on choosing between:
I. Two Roads, Not Three
There are only 2 ways a Christian can operate or function – the Bible calls it walking: you can walk “in the Spirit,” or you can walk “after the flesh.” Unfortunately, some of us have assumed that there are 3 ways to live and we’ve defined our alternatives something like this:
•“in the Spirit” meant teaching Sunday School and helping little ladies cross street
•“after the flesh” meant lusting after the opposite sex or after various other worldly attractions
•“My way” is our idea of a third option. This involves my work-a-day world. My eating, sleeping, playing with the kids, watching ball games, etc. – all of which we consider neither sinful nor spiritual. The problem is, the Bible says nothing about a 3rd way. It speaks only of 2 ways.
Now the Bible’s definitions of our alternatives are quite different from ours.
•”in the Spirit” means trusting in the “Spirit of Christ,” the Holy Spirit to express His obedient, agape life through us.
• “after the flesh” means trusting in our own strength, talent, skills, resources, patterns for living, street smarts and whatever else we can come up with to carry us through the day. Philippians 3:3-9 describes Paul’s flesh patterns.
You see, Satan, the deceiver, wants Christians to live lives which bring dishonor to the reputation of Jesus Christ. God’s plan for us, on the other hand, is that our lives bring honor to Christ. The Christian who allows Christ to live through him is going to bring honor to Him. The one who trusts in his own flesh is not going to experience victory over the world, the flesh, the devil and will dishonor Christ. The responsibility for making moment-by-moment choices between the two alternatives rests squarely on the shoulders of each believer. And that 3rd way, “my way,” is no different than the 2nd; it’s the way of the flesh too, in that, it’s not a faith walk. To make matters worse, sometimes even when we think we’re walking in the Spirit, we’re actually walking after the flesh. And this is true simply because our so-called spiritual lives are really being lived in our own strength, on flesh-power. The Hope of Revival is dependent upon our realizing: