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Sermon #RV01

Revival Sermon: Diagnosing the Need

A Sermon on the Need for Revival


Mark 9:28-29 ESV KJV
And when he had entered the house, his disciples asked him privately, “Why could we not cast it out?” And he said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” (ESV)

Sermon Description

For anyone burdened by the condition of this world and concerned with the present problems of this age, Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones introduces a sermon series on revival where he discusses some common misconceptions about apologetics and evangelism in today’s age. In this sermon on Mark 9:28–29 titled “Revival Sermon: Diagnosing the Need,” he acknowledges that there are indeed different times which require different means of action. The church and its members often rush to fix a problem before properly diagnosing the issue. Just as Jesus did in Mark, Christians need to be reminded that they must have understanding in their approach. When they are confronted by the way certain people live, they should be mindful that each case is different. In speaking about apologetics, Dr. Lloyd-Jones discusses a common error of the church trying to make the faith relevant in today’s culture. Some say that newer Bible translations or better church advertising would cause revival. However, are those targeting the root of the modern problem? Revival comes only by the power from God. Anyone who feels burdened or pressed by the condition of this world needs to be in constant prayer for power and guidance for the Lord.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The passage under consideration is Mark 9:28-29 - the disciples asked Jesus why they could not cast out a demon from a boy, and Jesus replied that "this kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting."
  2. The sermon will consider the subject of revival and the need for revival in the church. Interrupting the study in Ephesians to address this urgent matter.
  3. Revival is a matter for the whole church, not just leaders. Every member has a responsibility. There is a tendency today for members to rely on others to do the work.
  4. The story in Mark 9 is a picture of the modern church's failure and need for power to deal with the situation. The disciples represent the church, unable to deal with the demon (the problem), while Jesus represents the power of God that is needed.
  5. The first thing to consider is diagnosis - recognizing the nature of the problem. The church today fails to understand the depth of the problem. Need subtlety and understanding.
  6. Illustration: A man lying unconscious on the road. Need to determine why he is unconscious to determine proper treatment. Could be asleep, ill, poisoned, etc. Similarly, the church needs to determine the precise cause of the problem to properly address it.
  7. The problem today is not just apathy but denial of the spiritual, unbelief in God and the Bible, immorality and amorality. Society dismisses Christianity and is impatient with it.
  8. Jesus said "this kind" can only come out by prayer and fasting. Meaning the disciples' power was inadequate for this kind of problem. Similarly, much of what the church relies on today is proving inadequate.
  9. Examples of things proving inadequate: Apologetics (making faith reasonable), reconciling science and religion, archaeology, clutching at any scientist or philosopher who affirms God, new Bible translations, media, advertising, popular evangelism. Despite activity, the situation is not changing.
  10. The only thing adequate is the power of God through prayer. Need to realize human inadequacy and seek God's power. Need to pray urgently and concentratedly as the disciples should have.
  11. Nothing but a mighty outpouring of God's Spirit can deal with the current situation. Need to pray daily for revival - privately, in groups, in churches. When God's power comes, the devil is scattered and the problem is solved, as with the demon-possessed boy.
  12. We will not seek revival until we recognize the need, the futility of human efforts, and the absolute need for God's power through prayer.

Revival Sermons

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.