Revival Begins with Confession

“Both we and our fathers have sinned; we have committed iniquity; we have done wickedness.

Ps 106:6

Revival begins with confession. The psalmist confesses his sins along with the nation’s, repenting, not to seek his glory, but the Lord’s glory. 

Repentance is not easy, it is humbling, but if we want to accomplish our purpose in life, which is to glorify God, we must be willing to admit our sin.

Richard Lovelace in his book Dynamics of Spiritual Life says,

Luther was right: the root behind all other manifestations of sin is compulsive unbelief—our voluntary darkness concerning God, ourselves, his relationship to the fallen world and his redemptive purpose. For this reason the entrance and growth of new spiritual life involves the shattering of our sphere of darkness by repentant faith in redemptive truth. If the Fall occurred through the embracing of lies, the recovery process of salvation must center on faith in truth, reversing this condition.

Lovelace, Richard F., Dynamics of Spiritual Life: An Evangelical Theology of Renewal, Expanded Edition (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1979), p. 90

Those who are willing to humble themselves in repentance will not be forsaken by the Lord. The psalmist, in today’s Psalm, makes it clear that the Lord is not out to get us. Instead, His steadfast love endures forever.

“Praise the Lord! Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!

Ps 106:1

John also makes it clear that those who repent will experience healing when he says,

“If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 Jn 1:8–10

Because of the gospel, we can turn to the Lord. We can admit our sin. That is exactly what we must do if we want to experience revival. We must turn to the Lord in repentance.

When we turn to the Lord in repentance, we are seeking His glory over our own. We accomplish our purpose in life when we seek God’s glory because we were created to glorify God. When we seek to align ourselves with His will by humbly admitting our failures, our sin, and turning from sin towards God, we glorify Him.

Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God and experience His steadfast love today! 

On the Disappearance of Theology

The Stats

What does it mean, for example, when 91 percent of evangelicals say that their beliefs are “very important” to them, when 93 percent say that they believe in divine judgment, when 96 percent say that they believe in miracles? It does not mean all that much.

Theology is Peripheral and Irrelevant

Even in churches that are active and among believers who are religiously observant, it is possible that theology (i.e., a set of beliefs that refers beyond the experiencing subject to the world “out there, “natural and supernatural) has become peripheral and remote.

Even “those who count themselves as believers, who subscribe to the tenets of a Church, and who attend services regularly, ” Bryan Wilson has observed, “nevertheless operate in a social space in which their beliefs about the supernatural are rendered in large part irrelevant.”

Wherever modernity has intruded upon the Church, there the social space even of believers who give assent to the full range of credal elements will be emptied of theology.

Even the beliefs of such individuals will have been pushed to the margins of life, the central and integrating role they once had commandeered by other interests.

Theology on the Periphery Can’t Define Evangelical Life

It is in this sense that it is proper to speak of the disappearance of theology. It is not that the elements of the evangelical credo have vanished; they have not. The fact that they are professed, however, does not necessarily mean that the structure of the historic Protestant faith is still intact.

The reason, quite simply, is that while these items of belief are professed, they are increasingly being removed from the center of evangelical life where they defined what that life was, and they are now being relegated to the periphery where their power to define what evangelical life should be is lost.

Practice Reveals What Polling Can’t

This is not the sort of shift that typical polling will discover, for these items of belief are seldom denied or qualified, but that does not mean that the shift has not occurred. It is evangelical practice rather than evangelical profession that reveals the change.

Questions for Reflection

  1. What do you think of the state of the church? Has care for theology been moved to the periphery?
  2. If theology is moved to the periphery, what affects will that have on the church?

Resources

David Wells, No Place for Truth Or Whatever Happened to Evangelical Theology?, 107-108. (NOTE: Paragraphs are Wells; headings are mine)

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On Salvation

The mark of someone who is saved is that they maintain their confession of faith until the end of their lives.

Salvation is not a prayer you pray in a one-time ceremony and then move on from…

…salvation is a posture of repentance and faith that you begin in a moment and maintain for the rest of your life.

Question for Reflection

  1. Are you assured of your salvation because you prayed a prayer or because you are actively following Jesus?

Resources

J.D. Greear, Stop Asking Jesus Into Your Heart, 5.

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