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As God Grants Life
By Dr. Mary Craig
Grace is the power of revival, as God grants that grace. Repentance is the path to revival. Revelation of truth is the faith of revival, for in believing the truth as revealed by God, we revive. But . . . What is the purpose of revival?
Revival is about life, a life that was lost coming back again. Life is the purpose of revival. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly. In Him is life, and the life is the light of all people. (John 1)
Life was lost when Adam sinned. By turning his heart to hear and to heed another word, Adam perverted the ways of God, the way of life and blessing. In doing so he cut off from the Source and Sustainer of life himself and all of his posterity. In Adam all die. God breathed on Adam and he became a living soul, but with sin corrupting the system, Adam plunged humanity into sin and misery. Paul says in Ephesians that we are dead in trespasses and sins, walking according to the way or pattern of this world, according to the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience. This first Adam humanity conducts itself in the lusts of the flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. All to say that we are by nature the children of wrath, justly deserving Godís displeasure.
In Adam all die, all are dead. Unbelievers look like they are alive, but they are really dead. They are spiritually dead, having within them no spiritual life, and they will be physically dead and suffer what the scriptures call the second death. Left in that condition, they will one day resurrect only to find themselves forever separated from life, from the life of God, condemned. And why?
John 3 gives us the answer.
In Adam all die. (1 Corinthians 15.22) The law of sin and death operates as surely as does the law of gravity. It is spiritual law. The soul that sins will surely die. (Ezekiel 18.4) Corruption is in the system, perversion is in the heart. Things are upside down, inside out, turned away from the truth. Adam swallowed a lie, and weíve been following his lead ever since. We left divine wisdom, the wisdom of God, and sought out another wisdom, another word, another way. But it is a way of death.
Psalm 14.1-3 says:
We come into this life perverted, corrupted, twisted, blind to the truth, with evil in our hearts and a bent toward it. We donít want God, and we donít see our true condition. We think weíre alive. Revival? Who needs it?
The spiritually dead, the zombies, those who are asleep deep down where they are supposed to be alive are the walking dead. We are sown a natural/physical body. Thatís why, Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, that Adam became a living being or a living soul. He was of the earth, of dust, and bears the image of dust. We are sown in corruption, in dishonor, in weakness. As to the natural body, it is ashes to ashes and dust to dust.
But life is the purpose of revival. The first step toward life is to see our true condition in relationship to God. He is the living God, the God of the living. Sin has separated us from the life that is in God. God has nothing to do with dead things, with dead works, with things unclean, perverted, corrupt, evil. It is foreign to Him, and His immune system kicks in to keep sin out.
But life is the purpose of revival, and God provided a way for life to come to us. That way is the way of resurrection from out among the dead.
God who is rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ. Now this is grace, and we talked about grace being the power of revival. God moved in grace, giving us and doing for us what we were unable and could not and had not the power to do for ourselves. God sent Jesus, His Son, from heaven to earth on a mission. Jesus came as the Word made flesh. Because we are flesh and blood, Jesus took on our nature. He is a divine person with a divine nature who came and took on a human nature. He had a truly human body, but without sin. The Holy Ghost is His father and Mary was His mother. (Luke 1, 2)
Jesus became sin for us. After living a life of perfect, personal, perpetual obedience, Jesus fulfilled all righteousness, all that God required. He was born under the Law, born of a woman. In addition to this active obedience, Jesus also took the curse of sin, satisfying the divine penalty for sin. In taking our sins, He died, but death did not hold Him. In fact, through death Jesus destroyed him who had the rule or kratos of death, i.e., the devil. (Hebrews 2.14) Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil. And Jesus will judge what is living and what is dead. He will judge works as to whether they are born out of God from a pure heart and alive or whether they have their seed and root in the intent of an evil heart and therefore must be destroyed.
The works of satan are destined for destruction. The works of the flesh are destined for destruction. Neither will stand, and resurrection involves standing. It is a position of right standing before the Creator/Savior. It is a place in the presence of the Creator / Savior.
Now God offers us a way of revival. This path is repentance. It is when we agree with God as to the truth of our condition and tell Him that we have perverted His ways and it has not profited us. (Job 33.27) In fact we are being eaten up, devoured, and coming to poverty.
Repentance comes as God reveals truth to us. With the revealing of the truth, we are granted that repentance that we might acknowledge the truth and recover ourselves from the snare of the devil who is holding us captive to do his will. (2 Timothy 2.25, 26)
Jesus Christ died the death and was raised from the dead. He resurrected out from among the dead. He took the keys of death and hades and the devil lost the kratos, the rule of death, the governing of death.
Faith in Jesus Christ is acknowledging the truth about our sinful condition and the fact that the soul that sins will surely die, but God can quicken the dead and make alive. By faith in Jesus we are born out of God into a lively hope [assurance]. We are made alive together with Christ. We are raised up together with Christ. We are made to sit together with Christ in the heavenly places in Christ. It is by grace, and it is the gift of God. It is not by our doing, for our works are corrupted, stemming from an evil and impure heart. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.
We must be born again. We are born again as the Holy Spirit regenerates us and grants us life, reviving us, raising us from death unto life, granting us repentance from dead works unto life and good works. That which is dead is dead because of sin. But that which is alive is alive because of God who is good. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus sets us free from the law of sin and death.
Jesus is alive. He is the first born from out among the dead. His resurrection ensures your resurrection. The first you are aware of this rising again is when the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you, regenerating you, giving you the life Jesus has procured for you. Have faith in Christ. Have faith in God. Have faith in the Blood of Christ that does away with sin. Have faith in the working power of God who raises the dead.
This revival from death to life
Life is the purpose of revival. It comes as God grants life through faith in Christ and repentance of sins leading to death. As we die to sin, we rise to life. It is by grace through faith. It is by the energy of God, by a bond of love, by a bond of Blood.
John the apostle saw the risen Savior, but later on he was blessed to have a further revelation of Jesus Christ. John was on Patmos, exiled for his faith, when he heard a voice. "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty." The voice kept coming behind him. Then he turned to see the voice that spoke with him and saw one like the Son of Man clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire. His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters. He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength.
When John saw Him, he fell at His feet as dead. Jesus laid His right hand on John and said, "Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives and was dead and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death."
Jesus Christ is alive and sits on the throne. Those who know Him give Him glory and honor and thanks. He has all dominion now and every knee will surely bow before Him. He came to give you life.
The call of the Father is: Look and live. Look away from those things and people that you think are the source of life and look to the true source of all life and blessing. Be regenerated into life in God. Repent of all idolatry and believe Jesus. Embrace the rest that is salvation.
The call of the Son is: Come and die. Be separated from all that separates you from the life of God in Christ Jesus. Be crucified with Christ and yet live, nevertheless, by the faith of Him who loved you and gave Himself for you. Embrace the rest that is submission.
The call of the Holy Spirit is: Rise and reign. Be empowered to walk as one whose life is hidden in Christ with God, as one holy. Embrace the rest that is resurrection.
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