The Path to Personal Revival
Carole J. Keller
The door to personal revival begins when we recognize that we are eternally lost and in need of a Savior. God had a plan from the foundation of the world to save mankind. It began with Adam.
Adam was told if he ate of the fruit from the tree of good and evil, he would die (Gen 2:17), and spiritually he did when he was separated from the presence of God. Sin brought a loss of liberty as Adam became subject to another landlord who exacted hard labor and through fear ruled his every thought and action. As a result, death passed unto all men: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin: and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
We were born eternally lost. All need a Savior. The Bible is clear on this issue:
* “… all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
* We are “… all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away ” (Isaiah 64:6). Compared to God’s holiness, at our best we are only like filthy rags.
* No one is righteous. No one seeks after God: As it is written, “There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips.” (Romans 3:10-13).
God promised one day to restore liberty by destroying the power of the devil through the seed of a woman:
“And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:14-15).
This verse demonstrates that, while Satan would always be present to tempt us, his power and authority over us to control our lives would be broken. The woman also represents the Church as Christ’s vehicle to confront wickedness in the world. God looks to the Church to bring down the strongholds of Satan so people can be saved and reconciled with God.
The Error of Multi-Faithism
A great lie is being perpetrated by some Christian organizations seeking tolerance and common ground with non-Christian religions. Seeking peace and unity, the multi-faith movement is an avenue to further the one-world religion that will persecute Jesus Christ and His Church. True Christians need to separate themselves from this movement and be wise before establishing an alliance with any organization that dilutes the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for such an association may become a snare unto them (Galatians 1:8). Many indeed have opened themselves up to spiritual and political views from Islam, Wicca, secular humanism and eastern religions, which teach that all religions are valid pathways to God. According to the catechism of a mainline denomination,
“The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day.” [Irvin Baxter, Jr., Understanding the End Time Prophecy Home Bible Study: Endtime, Inc. (2002), p.219.1
This philosophy hides the identity of the One True God. There is only one way to God. Jesus said:
“He that enters not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber” (Mark 10:1).
Jesus said He is the door:
“I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture” (John 10:9).
People who follow astrology and read tarot cards for direction will have no one to call upon on that Day of Judgment their gods will not be able to save them:
“Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. Thus shall they be unto thee with whom thou hast laboured, even thy merchants, from thy youth: they shall wander every one to his quarter; none shall save thee” (Isaiah 47:13-15).
There is only one mediator between God and men:
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:4-6).
Seekers entering another way cannot be saved.
What Do We Need to Do to Be Saved?
1. We must hear the Gospel:
It takes faith to believe. Faith comes from hearing the Word of God (Romans 10:17). If we do not hear the Gospel, we cannot believe it.
“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost. In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them” (2 Corinthians 4:3-4).
That is why Jesus said that the end will not come until the gospel has been brought to all the nations. He said:
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).
2. We must believe the Gospel.
We must believe the Gospel is for now, not for another time.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16-17).
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
3. We must obey the Gospel.
Obedience follows faith:
“He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:16).
“And being made perfect, he became the author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:9).
What is the Gospel?
The Gospel is the good news of the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4).
* Death represents repentance/dying out to sin.
* Burial represents baptism/sins buried/the old passing away.
* Resurrection represents new life through the Holy Spirit/born anew.
The Gospel is the “good news” a spiritual rebirth.
The New Birth
Nicodemus came to Jesus at night to avoid persecution by the Jews. He perceived that Jesus came from God and he wanted to question Him. Jesus told him about the New Birth:
“The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, 1 say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit” (John 3:2-8).
This scripture compares a spirit birth to a natural birth and we learn several important spiritual concepts here:
1. When we were born of the flesh, there was blood and water. When we are born of God, there is blood and water also. The blood is applied in the waters of baptism when the name of Jesus is pronounced over us.
2. When we are born of the Holy Spirit, we are filled with the spirit of God. It is the token of our inheritance. Jesus explained that, when we are born of the Spirit, we hear a sound, like the wind, but do not know where it comes from or where it is going.
It is important to follow the plan of God. When God gave the Tabernacle Plan to Moses, He told him to follow the pattern (Hebrews 8:5 and Exodus 25:40). The Tabernacle Plan foreshadowed the New Birth.
“Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God. But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the errors of the people: The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing: Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation. But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building; Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us. For if the blood of bulls and of goats, and the ashes of an heifer sprinkling the unclean, sanctifieth to the purifying of the flesh” (Hebrews 9:6-13).
Therefore, we need to follow the “new birth” plan as Jesus and the Apostles taught it. The Apostle Paul preached that the Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets: “And built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together growth unto a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:20-21).
Notice the following similarities between the Tabernacle Plan in the Old Testament and the “New Birth” in the New Testament:
* Sacrifices were offered on a brazen altar. Sacrifices typify DEATH & REPENTANCE, that is, we die to our sins.
* Under penalty of death, the priests washed (Exodus 40:30). This cleansing typifies BURIAL or baptism. Physically, after death, there is a burial of the flesh; spiritually, after the death brought about by repentance, our sins must be buried.
* Then the priest could enter into the Tabernacle and the Holies of Holies, which contained the holy presence of God. The Holies of Holies typifies the RESURRECTION or Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:8-10). The Holy Ghost is our resurrection from the dead! “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:4-5).
When we are born again, we enter into Christ, who tabernacles with us. Jesus becomes our High Priest to offer atonement to God for our sins.
Commission to Apostles:
Jesus gave the plan of salvation to His Apostles:
“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matthew 28:19-20).
What did the Apostles tell the people to do?
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call” (Acts 2:38-39).
This article The Path to Personal Revival was taken from Stand Up, America by Carole J. Keller and may be used for study & research purposes only.