For I acknowledge my transgressions,
And my sin isalways before me.
Against You, You only, have I sinned,
And done thisevil in Your sight—
That You may be found just when You speak,
Andblameless when You judge. Psalm 51.3, 4
Ministers of Scotland: Lectures on Revival X
The Rev. Charles J. Brown, Minister of New North Kirk Parish, Edinburgh
“But a second fruit of Revival, inseparably connect with [the first], is hearty renunciation of sin, and dedication to God…It is not so much, however, the simple renunciation of sin that marks the work of God’s grace in the soul, as the surrender of the soul itself to God, which includes the other, and decisively stamps it with the seal of the Holy Spirit…It is not so much the ‘turning from idols’ simply, as turning ‘to God from idols, to serve the living and true God.’”
Paul mentioned two “turnings” of the believers in Thessalonica as they were awakened to the Gospel (1 Thess. 1.9). They turned “from idols” and turned “to serve the living and true God.” Merely to cast away our idols – whatever they may be – is but to leave a swept home empty and vulnerable. We need also to turn wholeheartedly to the Lord, furnishing our soul with all that conduces to His indwelling presence. When these two turnings are evident, the Spirit of God is truly at work. Grace brings new life in Christ, as the Spirit convicts us of our sins, setting them clearly before us. We know God’s Word to be true, and that He is just in condemning us. At the same time, grace quickens the desire for more of God, so that, along with renouncing our sins, we take up those disciplines and practices that enable us to grow in grace, and improve in Christ-likeness. Wherever you see these two turnings, you can know the Spirit is at work and revival is underway.
Would you say that your preaching and teaching present a consistently clear, inviting, and compelling vision of the new life we have in Jesus? Do you regularly call people to turn from idols and turn to God with all their heart?
The work of the Spirit
Pray for Revival
All quotations in this series are taken from Ministers of Scotland,Lectures on Revival, Richard Owen Roberts, ed. (Wheaton: Richard Owen Roberts, Publishers, 1980). Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.