What is Revival?

For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy; I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.

Isa. 57:15 KJV

Spirit-empowered renewal is the manifested presence of the kingdom of God in and among his people actively bringing the lost to salvation and the lukewarm to renewed passionate devotion to Christ. Revival is personal heart change: confession, repentance, joy, Spirit-baptism, and gospel-driven evangelism. Revival begins with individuals freshly consecrating their lives to Christ: their renewed passion leads to a corporate restoration of the local church. In short, revival is the restoration of God’s glory to his church.

Revival is about Jesus receiving the glory that he deserves for his sacrifice and rising again. As the old Moravian slogan declares, “May the Lamb that was slain receive the reward of his suffering.” Renewal is the Spirit moving among all peoples: healing, restoring, and delivering. Revival is both a God working sovereignly and the church praying passionately for a fresh wind of the Spirit.

Revival is the sovereign work of God to awaken his people with fresh intensity to the truth and glory of God, the ugliness of sin, the horror of hell, the preciousness of Christ’s atoning work, the wonder of salvation by grace through faith, the urgency of holiness and witness, and the sweetness of worship with God’s people.

John Piper, A Godward Life: Savoring the Supremacy of God in All of Life (Sisters, OR: Multnomah Books, 1997), 111.

Revival, above everything else, is a glorification of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. It is the restoration of him to the center of the life of the Church. You find this warm devotion, personal devotion, to him.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival(Crossway Books, 1987), 47.

Revival is a 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 G. Finney

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