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Sermon #RV03

Revival Sermon: The Modern Philistine

A Sermon on Genesis 26:17-18


Genesis 26:17-18 ESV KJV
So Isaac departed from there and encamped in the Valley of Gerar and settled there. And Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of Abraham his father, which the Philistines had stopped after the death of Abraham. And he gave them the names …

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Sermon Description

The condition of the church today suggests that her need is as urgent as it has ever been. In this sermon on Genesis 26:17–18 titled “Revival Sermon: The Modern Philistine,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones expands on the great and urgent need for revival and reawakening. To influence this, he says, the church must follow Isaac, who dug again the wells of his father Abraham: “The essence of wisdom for the church at a time like this is to look back into her own history.” When she does this, what will she find? She will find that no revival has ever been known in history that denied the fundamentals of the Christian faith or neglected such vital truths. These truths are constantly buried by “the rubbish of the Philistines.” Dr. Lloyd-Jones explains the vital truths and doctrines denied by the Philistines: the sovereignty of God, the authority of the Bible, the doctrine of sin, and the wrath of God. Revival cannot happen without the proclamation of these truths. It is with arrogance, pride, and the tendency to glorify oneself rather than God that stands between us and His mighty blessings of revival.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The church today is in a desperate state and urgently needs revival and awakening.
  2. Isaac needed water to live, just as the church needs revival to live. The problem is a matter of life or death.
  3. The situation is as dire as it's ever been. The church is fighting for its life.
  4. Isaac didn't waste time speculating or searching for answers. He went back to the wells dug in Abraham's day.
  5. The church should look to its history to see how God revived His people in the past.
  6. God and human sin don't change, so the solutions of the past still apply today.
  7. Concealing or neglecting vital truths always marks times of decline in the church.
  8. No revival has come to churches that deny essential truths. Unitarians and Catholics have never had revivals.
  9. Such churches always oppose revival and persecute those experiencing it. They see revival as devilish.
  10. Rediscovering vital truths has always led to revival. The Reformation came from rediscovering justification by faith.
  11. The 18th century revival came from rediscovering vital doctrines obscured by rationalism and deism.
  12. The 1859 revival came as the church rejected Arianism and rediscovered the deity of Christ.
  13. Vital doctrines must be believed for revival. Their denial prohibits revival.
  14. The first vital truth is the sovereign, living, transcendent God who acts in the world.
  15. God is not an abstraction or philosophical concept. He is life and the author of all being.
  16. The "God in all" view sees God as imminent but not transcendent. It denies God's sovereignty.
  17. Deism sees God as creator but not involved in the world. It cuts God off from acting in His universe.
  18. A deistic or philosophical view of God makes prayer meaningless and revival impossible.
  19. The second vital truth is the authority of Scripture. The Philistines deny revelation and inspiration.
  20. They rely on human reason, not God's revelation. They see man searching for God, not God for man.
  21. Apart from Scripture, we have no knowledge of God or how to find blessing. We must submit to its authority.
  22. The third vital truth is man's sin and God's wrath. Natural man hates these doctrines and calls them insulting.
  23. Sin is explained away psychologically. God's wrath is seen as incompatible with His love.
  24. But revival reveals man's sinfulness and God's wrath. Men see their vileness and fear God's wrath.
  25. Jesus and the New Testament also teach sin and wrath. God's wrath is terrifying, especially the wrath of the Lamb.
  26. Until we humble ourselves before God's holiness and wrath, there is no hope of revival. Our arrogance must go.
  27. We must start with a right view of God and Scripture before considering other doctrines.
  28. We must clear away the rubbish of the Philistines to find the water of life again.

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.