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Sermon #5790

Revival of a Backslidden Church

A Sermon for the Backslidden church from Exodus 33:1-23


Exodus 33:1-23 ESV KJV
The LORD said to Moses, “Depart; go up from here, you and the people whom you have brought up out of the land of Egypt, to the land of which I swore to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, saying, ‘To your offspring I will give it.’ I will send an angel …

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Sermon Description

What should the church do when it is compromised and apathetic? Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones argues effectively that the answer is revival. In this sermon on the backslidden church from Exodus 33:1–23 titled “Revival of a Backslidden Church,” Dr. Lloyd-Jones gives four essential steps to revival: 1) the church must identify with the state of the people; 2) it must separate to meet with God; 3) it must be urgent in prayer; and 4) it must want more of God. First, Moses saw the state of the people and reacted by standing in the gap and preached truth to the people, even if people did not react favorably. Today’s church must do the same. Second, he moved the camp out from the people, and those who are spiritually alive, says Dr. Lloyd-Jones, must do the same. He notes the examples in church history such as the Wesley brothers, George Whitefield’s “Holy Club,” and others. Next, Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues, “Orthodoxy alone will not win the battle” but Christians must urgently pray with faithful expectation. They must pray with “holy boldness.” Lastly, Dr. Lloyd-Jones urges the Christian not to settle, but to desire more of God. Moses desired more of God than he was given (lest Moses die), but the result was still a powerful manifestation of God.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. Moses identifies with the sinful condition of the people and intercedes on their behalf. He takes responsibility and delivers God's message to them, calling them to repentance.
  2. Moses removes the tabernacle from the camp and sets it up outside the camp. Those who seek the Lord go out to the tabernacle. Moses meets with God there.
  3. Moses is not satisfied and prays urgently for God's presence and power to go with them, for God's glory, and for the honor of God's people. He pleads with boldness, reasoning, and orderliness.
  4. God agrees to do as Moses asks, but says Moses cannot see God's face and live. God allows Moses to see His back as He passes by, and proclaims His name and attributes.
  5. Moses worships in humility. Revival brings a glimpse of God's glory and power, humbling us and exalting Him.
  6. We must feel the burden of the times, come together, seek God's face, and wait on Him. We must desire to know God and see His glory.

Itinerant Preaching

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.