Revival means new life; you can only revive that which is weak.
Revival is something which God does among His own people first; and the only
candidates for revival are those who are prepared to confess there is a declension in
The motto of the Welch Revival of many years ago was: Bend the Church and save the people. The world has lost its faith because the church has lost its fire.
Before God can give us a revival we must be possessed with dissatisfaction with the
state of the Church and with ourselves in particular... especially ourselves.
There must be a new honesty with regard to sin. It was when the King of Nineveh arose, repented, covered himself with sackcloth and ashes that God forgave and spared.
Among other things, revival will only come when we begin to heed the Word of God.
One of the great sins of Christians is indifference toward the Word of God... neglecting it, not receiving it as the authority in their lives, and failing to live by the Word of God.
In India, a native wrote to friend about a great revival in the area and he said, We are having a great rebible here!
I. THE HUMAN APPROACH: I Thess. 2:13 How do we receive the Word of God?
A. How did the early church receive the Word of God? :
1. Not as human ideas, not with human interpretation; not as a system of our own
2. Not as standing on human authority; not as some philosophy or human system
of ideals or teaching.
3. They looked through the speaker to the source... received as from God.
4. They felt not themselves as having the right or liberty to reject it or to reinterpret it,
but. only to receive it as truly God speaking to them.
5. There are those who look at the Scriptures as good literature; they are interested
primarily in it composition, in its style and care little for it as indeed the very Word of God.
6. We must receive it as indeed it is... Gods Word forever settled in heaven.
B. How did it effect those of the early church? effectually worketh...
1. They found it profitable; it converts the soul, it effects the life; it enlightens the
manner of life.
2. It works in the believers life... so how do we avail ourselves of the Word of God?
3. The difference was in HOW they received it! It became a power in their lives
because they embraced it as truly Gods speaking to them.
4. Are we spiritually dumb and deaf? Do hear and heed the Word of God as His
voice to us?
II. THE HOLY PURPOSE: (I Pet. 1:23; Eph. 5:26-27; Cf I Thess. 1:8-10)
A dirty bride is unthinkable... the purpose of Christ is to sanctify, to cleanse the church, the individual.... as the individual Christian is the church.
A. Gods Use of the Word.
1. It is His purpose that as we read the Word of God... we are cleansed of the defilements of life... defilements along the path of daily living.
2. As we study the Word of God we are convicted of sin. We become burdened about our sin and desire cleansing and victory over the power of sin in our members.
3. This purpose Christ has in the present tense... to be accomplished in the present,
that is a holy Bridegroom desires a holy bride. He His sacrificial death He saved her and by daily sanctifying of the life He keeps her.
4. Jh 17:17; Jh 17:3; The Word of God is the instrument of cleansing.
For by His Word He sanctifies ... and by His coming He will glorify her.
B. Our response to His Purpose:
1. In Christs day those who were married to monarchs were 12 months in preparation toward purification for such a wedding.
2. In Esther 2:12 we read of six months with myrrh, six months with odours, etc.
3. So the Christian is also to be preparing for Christ as a bride adorned for her
4. Outwardly there is the application of the picture of water --- the symbol of purity;
within the heart -- holiness. This is brought about by faithful application of the Word of God.
5. To be without wrinkle... flawlessness; blamelessness; not having spot or
slain, moral blemish; (Cf Jude 23; I Pet. 1:19; Heb. 9:14)
I Tim. 6:14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Jude 20-23 ... hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
II Pet. 3:14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent
that ye may be found in him in peace, without spot, and blameless.
III. THE HONEST APPLICATION: (James 1:21-25, especially verse 21)
Practical faith in the Word will show itself in practical obedience to the Word of God.
Faith and obedience good hand in hand.
It is the Word of God that will judge us... hence, we better take heed.
The Scriptures are the only standard for life, for living; its precepts dont take joy out of
living for His commands are not grievous. (I John 5: ) His Word makes life worth living.
The Word is to be the letter written upon the heart, which we love and sincerely follow.
A. Because of need, vs. 21
1. We have in our hearts an overflowing of wickedness. for we must say with Paul
I find in my flesh no good thing. (Rom. 7:18)
2. We must lay aside the overflowing of naughtiness... lay aside, put away, pull out by
the roots that which is the practice of sin in our members.
3. Here is the idea of wickedness, filthy sinful practices, thoughts, etc. every form of uncleanness to be rooted out of our lives.. the tawdry things of life that defile.
4. The Word of God has brought forth a standard which God requires of us.
5. We need to be saved from those things that are foul... degrading, defeating.
B. In a response of meekness, vs. 21
1. In meekness receive the Word of truth, we need to listen to, receive, accept the
Word with the right attitude.
2. Too often we are unwilling to surrender certain sins... selfish desires... our
human reasoning... humanistic ideas and philosophies... for too often we resist
proudly rather than to receive the Word with meekness of heart, and surrender of
3. It is only the meek that God will show His way. (Psa.
C. By receiving the engrafted Word: vs. 21
1. Implanted in the heart; united with the heart, rooted in us by faith; roots deeply
in us bring forth new life, godly living, unblamable living.
2. There can be no fruit of righteousness without the abiding Word in us. (Col. 3:16)
3. Developing new life.. revival... change of attitude, desires, purposes, yes, our
very life style. (II Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10)
D. Allowing the Word that is able to saved... vs. 21
1. This engrafted Word is able to save the soul -- from deadness, from unclean,
sinful practices, from defiling sin.
2. He is writing to those who are saved... so here he is not speaking of the salvation,
but rather of their souls being kept from the degradation and defilement of sin.
(See James 1:18, 1:1-3)
3. the unsaved are never asked to change their habits or their way of life --- but to
come in repentance unto salvation. Be born again!
E. Realizing mans tendency to self-delusion: vs. 22
1. Many a saved person may read the Word occasionally but live in self-delusion. They dont consider the Scriptures to be an authority in their lives.
2. We dont act upon its teaching; they listen, but dont heed.
3. We see themselves in the mirror, the Word, but then are deceived and deluded as we dont feel any specific need or neglect any change by application of the Word to our hearts and lives. Such are self-satisfied with their lives and just consider
themselves to be a-typical, and to them it does not matter.
4. We look in the mirror from time to time and then forget what we saw. There is
no desire for cleansing, for washing of the Water of the Word... no desire for
change, for victory -- and thus we are deceived and deluded.
5. We become guilty of a hasty glance at the Word and at ourselves. We must
examine our lives -- look at our hearts, examine our lives.. a careful gazing upon
with the intent to change.
6. We build readily a habit of inattention so we grow use to reading and not heeding.
F. Knowing this very word will judge us some day.
John 12:48; Jh 5:25-29
Sermon by Dr. Edward Watke Jr.