GOD'S ESSENTIAL "R"S (4)
An Indonesian Pastor friend has written and asked me to give him a definition of the 2nd and 3rd “R”s, he felt I had made clear my definition on Repentance (4 aspects of change), so this is what I gave him.
RECONCILIATION: Being restored back to the intimate relationship with God that Adam and Eve had before the fall.
REVIVAL: When a believer moves from being mediocre or average to being on fire for God, living in victory and purity and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now we come the 4th of God’s essential “R”s. RENEWAL There are numerous aspects I could major on, but want to emphasis RENEWAL in the worldwide church. I have written previously that from the time God raised up men like Martin Luther and John Calvin He has been restoring truth to the Church that had been slowly lost over the centuries, until we came to the Dark Ages. I am sure God’s plan and desire was that as each truth was restored the church of the day would embrace that restored truth, but history confirms that the church of the day generally rejected the truth, and a whole new grouping of churches were raised up, and camped around that restored truth. Sadly, when God further restored truth, the last church just repeated history and rejected the truth.
Let me define then what I mean by RENEWAL in the context of this blog.
TO RESTORE TRUTH TO THE PRESENT WHOLE CHURCH SO THAT THEY CLEARLY EXPRESS AND REPRESENT WHAT THE FIRST CENTURY CHURCH STOOD FOR.
The greatest renewal that has taken place in Church history is what we call THE CHARISMATIC RENEWAL.
In the 18th century the Holy Spirit wonderfully restored the truths of Holiness and victorious living, which often was experienced as a crisis SECOND BLESSING. So when the Pentecostal expression began to break out at the start of the 20th century, it was simply added as a development and outworking of the second blessing teaching of 18th century. What complicated the issue in that day was that a teaching had developed called CESSATIONISM, meaning that the Gifts of the Holy Spirit had concluded with the death of the last Apostle. So for example if someone began to pray in tongues (in the 20th century) it must be “of the devil” so almost violently these people were removed from their established churches (and others simply left) and so a whole new bunch of churches (around the world developed) called Pentecostal Churches, some of which are still to this day the fastest growing movements in the world. But again the truth did not produce unity, but reaction and rejection.
In the early 1960’s Anglicans in North America began to impacted by the Charismatic/Pentecostal experience, this literally swept through North American Protestant churches, and in the late 1960’s Roman Catholics were also being impacted. Virtually every denomination initially in North America and now the church in the whole world have been influenced and effected by CHARISMATIC RENEWAL. Sadly it has produced in some places more “Independent” churches, but its influence and impact has touched every denomination, and at least Theologically is now accepted by virtually every denomination. This is what God wanted to do, when he gave the truth THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH to the Reformers.
Today, the largest component numerically in the Christian Church in the world today is Charismatic/Pentecostal. A mighty RENEWAL has taken place. Because it is led by human beings like you and me, it is far from perfect, but it is a genuine move and work of the Holy Spirit. and the 21st century church will never be the same again.
I am sure the Holy Spirit wants to continue to bring RENEWAL to the whole Church in the world, let us not be complacent, or proud, but let the Holy Spirit have His perfect work in us. remember Jesus is going to present to Himself, a Church, “that “IS WITHOUT SPOT, OR BLEMISH,OR WRINKLE OR ANY SUCH THING, BUT THAT SHE MAY BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH. Eph. 5:27.
JESUS IS COMING SOON LET THE HOLY SPIRIT DO HIS WORK IN US AMEN