23 April 2011

The Great Prerequisite to Revival

We are not aware of our impotence, we are not aware of our weakness, and of our need for power.

As long as we think we can organise [revival], there is no hope for us. The beginning of revival is to realise that without this manifestation of God's power we can do nothing. We have got to get back to that position, in which the apostle Paul so constantly found himself. I am never tired of quoting it. It is the text, more than any other, that needs to be held before every section of the Church today.

'And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.' (1 Cor. 2:3-5)
--Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Revival (Crossway, 1987), 182


Marty said...

Dear Dane,

I love the idea of revivals and reading about revivals. I love reading about Edwards in Northampton. I love Whitefield. But, is revival actually a biblical category or is it a category we have created out of church history and then theologized about?

I don't say this to rebuff your quotation. It's profound. It's more a reflection potential pitfalls about revival: a hope in a revival more than the new creation; or a hope in a revival rather than getting on with some difficult ministry that may in God's good providence be unfruitful (a la Heb. 11). Just thoughts.

Blessings to you,


Dane Ortlund said...

Hi Marty, thanks for this, brother.

Good point about Heb. 11. And there is certainly much weirdness in some discussions of and reports of revival.

As I pray for or blog on revival, I have in mind mainly Eph 1:15-23 and 3:14-21 (which is written to believers, mind you, those who are already new creations!).

All God's blessings.