Saturday, February 16, 2019

Does Desire for Holiness Always Accompany Revival?

(Josh & Nicole's cat, Jax)

Does desire for holiness always accompany revival?


Read for yourself.

Acts 2:38-41.

John Arnott suggests reading the entire book of Romans. 

Read these:

God's Forever Family: The Jesus People Movement in America, by Larry Eskridge

A God-Sized Vision: Revival Stories that Stretch and Stir, by Collin Hansen and John Woodbridge

The Second Evangelical Awakening, by J. Edwin Orr (This is a classic text on revival and awakening)

God loves me already. Why am I to still desire holiness?

See this: 

Paul is writing the Letter to the Romans to Christians.

Romans 12:1-2.

Romans 6:1-2; 11-14:

What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?...  11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Galatians 4:19

Read these:

After You Believe: Why Christian Character Matters, by N. T. Wright

Wright writes:

"The aim of the Christian life in the present time—the goal you are meant to be aiming at once you have come to faith, the goal which is within reach even in the present life, anticipating the final life to come—is the life of fully formed, fully flourishing Christian character." (P. 32)

The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship, by Dallas Willard

Willard writes:

"As disciples (literally students) of Jesus, our goal is to learn to be like him. We begin by trusting him to receive us as we are. But our confidence in him leads us toward the same kind of faith he had, a faith that made it possible for him to act as he did." (P. 24)

Renovation of the Heart: Putting On the Character of Christ, by Dallas Willard

The Root of the Righteous, by A. W. Tozer

Tozer writes:

"Unsanctified desire will stop the growth of any Christian life. Wrong desire perverts the moral judgment so that we are unable to appraise the desired object at its real value. However we try, still a thing looks morally better because we want it. For that reason our heart is often our worst counselor, for if it is filled with desire it may give us bad advice, pleading the purity of something that is in itself anything but pure." 

The Fire of His Holiness, by Sergio Scataglini

And, I am still writing my book Transformation: How God Changes the Human Heart. (I have 900 pages of typed manuscript!)

Will the coming revival be a wave of holiness?

John Arnott and others believe so.

See Arnott, Preparing for the Glory: Getting Ready for the Next Wave of Holy Spirit Outpouring

Arnott writes:

“Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not!” (Rom. 6:1-2). And, “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?” Certainly not! (Rom. 6:15). 
But sometimes I still sin! I don’t want to, but I do. I still do things that miss the mark that I know I shouldn’t do. I still do things that I need to repent of—and be forgiven for. This is what we call “sanctification.” The Bible teaches that I have been saved, I am being saved, and I will be saved. In other words, my salvation was completed when I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. But according to Philippians 2:12, I am also to “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” You owe it to yourself to have a really good study of the book of Romans, especially chapters 6, 7, and 8. It teaches that by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, we can be overcomers and live victorious lives. 
Although my identity is secure in the fact that I am no longer a sinner, I still sin from time to time. I still need to come to the cross and once again confess my need for His cleansing and forgiveness. I still need to repent on an ongoing basis." (P. 140)


"This next wave of revival will be one of holiness, of purity, of being set apart. That’s what holiness means: “set apart.” In Romans 12:1, it says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.” That word holy means “dedicated to God.” It also means to be “morally and spiritually excellent.”" (P. 141) 

What are barriers to spiritual revival and awakening?


The Way of the Dragon or the Way of the Lamb: Searching for Jesus' Path of Power in a Church that Has Abandoned It, by Jamin Goggin and Kyle Strobel

Goggin and Strobel write:

"In a culture drunk on power and in need of an intervention, the church has too often become an enabler. In many places, churches openly affirm the way from below. Instead of being told how desperately I am in need of God, I am repeatedly told how much God needs me. Instead of being exhorted to pick up my cross and follow Christ, I am told that Jesus wants to be my partner in the plan I have to rid my life of all struggles and challenges. We hear gospels of moralism, centering on my power to become a better person, and we hear sermons offering up God as merely another resource along my journey for successful and happy living. Sermons become pep talks amid a quest for power and significance. Instead of worship being an invitation to come before God in humble awe and reverence, worship becomes an experience meant to lift us above the travails of everyday life and give us a sense of transcendence. Instead of hearing God’s vision of redeeming all things in Christ by the power of his Holy Spirit, we hear of the pastor’s vision to grow an even bigger church that does bigger things so that he can be powerful and we can be powerful with him. 
The church is called to rest in the grace of God, whose power is perfected in weakness (2 Cor. 12:9). Unfortunately, the church has often capitulated to the way from below. It has embraced the way of power to control." (Pp. 14-15)

Letters to the Church, by Francis Chan

Chan writes:

"The New Testament could not be clearer: we are not just to believe in His crucifixion; we are to be crucified with Christ. If you listened only to the voice of Jesus, read only the words that came out of His mouth, you would have a very clear understanding of what He requires of His followers. If you listened only to modern preachers and writers, you would have a completely different understanding of what it means to follow Jesus. Could there be a more catastrophic problem than this? 
There are millions of men and women who have been taught that they can become Christians and it will cost them nothing. And they believe it! There are even some who have the audacity to teach that life will get better once people pray a prayer and ask Jesus into their hearts. Jesus taught the exact opposite!" (P. 128)

Revolution In the Church: Challenging the Religious System with a Call for Radical Change, Michael Brown

Brown writes:

The "religious system" "exists wherever human ways take precedence over divine ways; wherever the will and wisdom of man are superimposed over the will and wisdom of God; wherever church traditions become more sacred than the clear teaching of God’s Word; wherever spiritual progress is thwarted by the flesh, however “religious” that flesh might appear to be."

Why Revival Tarries, by Leonard Ravenhill

Rut, Rot, or Revival: The Problem of Change and Breaking Out of the Status Quo, by A. W. Tozer