Revival Sermon: To Know Him
A Sermon on Genesis 26:17-18
17So Isaac departed from there and camped in the Valley of Gerar, and settled there.
Argument over the Wells
18Then Isaac dug again the wells of water which had been dug in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up after the death …
17¶ And Isaac departed thence, and pitched his tent in the valley of Gerar, and dwelt there. 18And Isaac digged again the wells of water, which they had digged in the days of Abraham his father; for the Philistines had stopped them after the death of Abraham: and …
Christians should pray Paul’s prayer in Ephesians 3:16–19 for themselves and for the church. In this sermon on Genesis 26:17–18 titled “Revival Sermon: To Know Him,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones explains how today’s church is like the Laodicean church, thinking they are rich when they are poor. All are blind to their true spiritual state. But, as Dr. Lloyd-Jones states, “we must have a true concern for the glory of God.” Preliminary to revival is a thirst for God. Dr. Lloyd-Jones reveals the church’s need for vital living water, much like the need of water Isaac had from the wells of Abraham. The church must be careful of serious hindrances to that flow of water such as dead orthodoxy, and the failure to seek God, to know God, and to apply the truth. Christians must also examine themselves in light of Scripture. There is a right and a wrong way of self-examination and one’s orthodoxy determines which way they will go. The Christian should never be depressed or miserable, but some Christians are because of a wrong self-examination. When a person truly knows Christ, their sins will drive them to Him, not further from Him. Dr. Lloyd-Jones concludes that this comes with a desperate need for prayer, for a person who is burdened is one who prays.
- The church today needs revival and the life of the spirit. We must face and remove hindrances to revival.
- A failure to believe essential Christian truths (lack of orthodoxy) hinders revival. Those God uses in revival believe cardinal Christian doctrines.
- Faulty or "dead" orthodoxy also hinders revival. Dead orthodoxy manifests in:
- General contentment and complacency.
- Fear and dislike of "enthusiasm" and quenching the Spirit.
- Failure to apply truth. We may listen to/read truth but never apply it. This is a great danger. We get superficial disturbances but never face the real situation.
- Failure to meditate on and think deeply about truth. We are too busy with activities. The test of depth and understanding is meditation.
- Lack of self-examination. We rarely examine ourselves in light of Scripture. Revivalists were astonished at themselves which led them to God.
- Wrong kind of self-examination (morbid introspection) can also hinder. We must examine ourselves according to Scripture which leads to good results.
- Failure to realize the glorious possibilities of the Christian life and our own poverty. We fail to realize what Paul describes in Ephesians 3 - the power of the Spirit, Christ dwelling in our hearts, being filled with the fullness of God. We are like the Laodiceans, thinking we are rich but are poor, blind and naked.
- Concern for our own happiness rather than knowing God. We want to be free of problems rather than know "the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings."
- Excluding experience and taking truth by faith alone. Faith is essential but should lead to experience of God. We are meant to know, not just believe, God.
- Lack of concern for God's glory. We are not grieved over how men fail to glorify God. The psalmists and revivalists were grieved over this.
- Lack of concern for lost souls. Do we have a "burden for souls"? If we believed people were dishonoring God and going to hell, it would burden us. But we are too busy to think about it.
- Lack of urgent, expectant prayer. True prayer comes from knowing God, zeal for His name, and compassion for souls. Whipped up or organized prayer is not real prayer.
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.