Pastor Piper


Mar 10, 2017 by Will Maule

John Piper Explains The True Meaning Of 'Revival'

The term revival is thrown around a lot in Christian ministry. Numerous reports have been written about modern-day revivals. Toronto blessing, Azusa Street, or even the Holy Spirit breaking out in a West Virginia high school. But what does it really mean? A lot of times, the results are fleeting and die out very quickly. Why? John Piper explains the true meaning of revival.

"The idea of revival originates in the reality that, on the one hand, God is the decisive giver of all spiritual life and, on the other hand, humans, even those who are born again and part of God’s covenant family, from time to time drift into a kind of lifelessness and lethargy and backsliding and indifference and weakness," writes Piper. 

"And when you put those two together — God as the giver of life and man as ever drifting towards lifelessness — what you get is the need for the hope of reviving, coming back to life — a fresh outpouring of God’s live-giving Spirit on his people. That is what revival is."

Revival has been seen at certain points throughout church history, and takes on a particular meaning. "In the history of the church, the term revival in its most biblical sense has meant a sovereign work of God in which the whole region of many churches, many Christians has been lifted out of spiritual indifference and worldliness into conviction of sin, earnest desires for more of Christ and his word, boldness in witness, purity of life, lots of conversions, joyful worship, renewed commitment to missions," writes Piper. 

"You feel God has moved here. And basically revival, then, is God doing among many Christians at the same time or in the same region, usually, what he is doing all the time in individual Christian’s lives as people get saved and individually renewed around the world."

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