Thursday, June 18, 2009

Some Principles of Revival

I mentioned recently that I loved vol. 1 of Martyn Lloyd-Jones' biography by Iain H. Murray. Quoting from that post:

Chapter 10, "Revival," may have been the most riveting, eye-opening, informative chapter for me personally. The chapter narrates the revival at Lloyd-Jones' first church under his ministry in 1931; it also delivers much of Lloyd-Jones' understanding of what revival is and isn't as well as how pastors should and should not minister in the normal seasons of the church and in seasons of revival. The whole concept of revival to me has been little more than a foggy notion of which I could pinpoint few particulars. This chapter made great sense out of it all.

Here are some of the salient points I copied down after reading that chapter:

--Revival is conversion on a large scale; it's not different in nature from revival, only in numbers. [That truth alone helped to demystify revival quite a bit for me.]

--Revivals aren't worked up by men; it is God who brings revival.

--Revivals are special times in the life of the church; they are not the norm.

--God uses supremely preaching to bring about revival, and specifically, preaching that preaches carefully the Scriptures and that seeks first to convict men of sin.

--Emotionalism is to be avoided. [Again, man does not work up revival or conversion; God is the one who brings about conversion, and he is the one who brings about revival.]

True feeling must be the result of truth believed and understood, and he frequently gave warning against that type of service where attempts are made to induce emotion by 'working up' the meeting with music and choruses, or by telling of moving stories. 'Tears are a poor criterion for faith, being carried away in a meeting by eloquence or singing or excitement is not the same as committing oneself to Christ.' To aim at emotion is the surest way to produce counterfeit Christians.

--Public professions are not to be sought, but rather the preacher should point his hearers to the need of faith and repentance.

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