By Dan L. Cox
Definition of revival: Function: noun
1: an act or instance of reviving : the state of being revived: as a: renewed attention to or interest in something b: a new presentation or publication of something old c (1): a period of renewed religious interest (2): an often highly emotional evangelistic meeting or series of meetings
2: restoration of force, validity, or effect (as to a contract)
When revival comes it will mean that the church is on fire of the Holy Spirit (Ghost), revived, a renewed interest in doing the purpose of the Great Commission that Jesus Christ ask the church to accomplish.
In dealing with the subject of revival, we must define Christianity in its most primitive terms. If we were to number all the denominations, all the sects, all the various movements within the Church over the last 2000 years, we would find that Christianity is indeed the most influential movement in history. From this broad perspective, the Christian movement could be defined as the world’s most successful religion. But when we speak of revival, we are dealing with something much more essential.
Revival is a return to a Book of Acts experience of Christianity. It is an emphasis more on the power of God than on the form of religion. It is more of an emphasis on the recovery of the Lord’s testimony among His people, than on the total number of Christians in any given movement.
Acts 1:8 describes the essence of revival: But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
We read of the fulfillment of the promise of the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:1-4, speaking of Jesus’ disciples: When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.
Let’s look at this experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit. The main result of this incredible event was twofold: the sudden appearance of the power of God; and the recovery of the Lord’s testimony (both had been missing among God’s people for centuries). The baptism in the Holy Spirit meant something much greater to the disciples than merely speaking in tongues. “Baptism” means overwhelming. “Baptism in the Holy Spirit” means immersion in the Holy Spirit, an overwhelming. The baptism in the Holy Spirit is the power of revivaL On the day of Pentecost the Lord’s testimony was proclaimed publicly and 3000 souls were added to the Church in one day.
Perhaps the best understanding of revival is: “Revival is ultimately Christ Himself, seen, felt, heard, and living, active, moving in and through His Body on earth.” True revival is not man-centered but Christ-centered. It is not about a type of music or special program, but a fresh revelation of Christ in the midst of His people–people often grown sleepy or slow-moving and desperately in need of a fresh awakening touch from their Savior.
When revival comes to the church and the communities that we live in, it will come when we have our own personal renewing in Jesus Christ.
Rev. Dan L. Cox is the Pastor of the United Pentecostal Church in Warsaw, Indiana, Presbyter of Section One, and Editor of the Indiana Apostolic Trumpet.
Indiana Apostolic Trumpet / August 2007 19