May 27, 2016
Isaiah 57:15; Ephesians 2:1
(All scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated.)
It seems a lot of people confuse revival and evangelism. For example, a church may hold revival services for the main purpose of bringing in new people – encouraging them to convert to Christianity. That’s holding evangelistic meetings, not revival services! There is a great difference. Is it Revival Or ‘Vival’? I know, vival is not a word – at least not one that I have heard, and it is not in the dictionary. ‘Vive’ (pronounced ‘veev’) is the closest word I could find in Webster’s New World Dictionary, and it is of French origin – part of an exclamation of acclaim, meaning, “Long live (person’s name)! ”
But if ‘revival’ is a word, meaning to bring to life again, then there should be a word, ‘vival’, meaning to bring to life the first time. And there are Scriptures to back up the both ideas. The first concerns revival, and is from Isaiah 57:15:
For thus says the High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose
name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has
a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to
revive the heart of the contrite ones.
This Scripture says a lot! How high and holy is this One who calls Himself “the High and Lofty One”? This is what God says about Himself in Isaiah 55:8 and 9:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My
ways,” says the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your
The Bible also describes Jesus Christ – the Son of God, equal with the Holy Spirit to the Father – as follows:
• Psalm 89:27 (Literal Translation of the Holy Bible) – “…My first-born, higher than the kings of the earth.”
• Hebrews 7:26 – “For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens….”
So powerful is God that it is written in Psalm 33:6 and 9:
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and all the host of
them by the breath of His mouth….For He spoke, and it was done; He
commanded, and it stood fast.
Hebrews 7:26 is also a great summary of His holiness: “[He] is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners….” In our featured Scripture, it even says His name is holy! And to think that this “…High and Lofty One who inhabits eternity…” also chooses to “…dwell…with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” How is this possible? He makes us a fit dwelling place for Himself by taking away our sins and giving us His own righteousness! Jesus bore our sins on the cross, and paid for them completely! And when we put our faith in Him – receiving Him as our Savior – He gives us His own perfect righteousness to wear as a robe! (See Isaiah 61:10; Zechariah 3:1-5; II Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 1:6).
God dwelling with one “…who has a contrite and humble spirit…” implies that this one already possesses life! But like anyone who has followed Christ for awhile, there are times when we are close to Him and times when we slip away from His Lordship to do our own thing! It is when we are in this backslidden condition that we need revival! We already possess life because Jesus has saved us. But we are not where we should be, which is following close to our Lord! Such a one does not need to get saved again. He or she already possesses life. But that spiritual life is not in the forefront where it belongs. It is buried underneath our own will – our own agenda. And it needs to be brought back to first place again – revival!
‘Vival,’ on the other hand, would be represented by Ephesians 2:1, our second featured Scripture: “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins….” Without Jesus Christ, and the life He purchased for us on Calvary’s cross, we are dead in trespasses and sins – separated from God and headed for hell! Being spiritually dead, we need life! As the Lord said in John 5:24 (God’s Word to the Nations):
I can guarantee this truth: Those who listen to what I say and believe in
the One who sent Me will have eternal life. They won’t be judged because
they have already passed from death to life.
That’s ‘vival’! Maybe we have invented a new word!