Spirit of Revival
by Mariano Di Gangi
[Reformation Today (Montreal, Canada), 2.5 (March 1953): 10.]
From the warnings and exhortations of Holy Scripture, we learn that the Church is in peril of falling asleep. From what we see of the visible Church, we may conclude that the Church has actually fallen asleep. That is why the Church needs revival–re-awakening. The revival of the Church is most necessary, because unless the Church is revived the gospel cannot be preached. And unless the gospel is preached, Christ will be robbed of His glory in the salvation of sinners.
A Church that does not evangelize stands in need of revival. Christians who are not “fishers of men” ought to consider seriously if they are following Christ aright. If we are not witnessing to Christ, we cannot claim to be faithful disciples of the Lord.
But how shall the Church be revived? Shall it be by the use of “consecrated vaudeville”? Shall it be by the application of the pressure of the preacher? Shall it be by the introduction of music more appropriate for the dance-hall than the meeting place of God’s people? Shall it be by the abandonment of our glorious heritage as sons of the Reformation? The Word of God is clear : “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord of hosts . . . Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall shine upon thee. (Zech. 4:6; Eph. 5:14).
When the Church hears what the Spirit has to say, when the Church hears the Word of God, when the message of God’s judgment on sin and God’s mercy to sinners gets through to the Church, we shall see revival. It will be a revival marked by a sincere love for the reading and the teaching and the preaching of the Word of God. It will be a revival marked by renewed consecration to Jesus Christ for the doing of His sovereign will. It will be marked by renewed dedication to the Lord of the covenant of grace.
Unto the Church, God has given the gift of the Holy Spirit. Unto the Church has God committed the ministry of the Word and the work of reconciliation. Only as the Church is revived shall the gospel be proclaimed and sinners be reclaimed. As we are in living fellowship with our Saviour, we shall seek to persuade others and win them for the family of God. As we are in real obedience to Christ, we shall strive to bring others into captivity to the Lord. Constrained by the love of Christ, concerned for the salvation of sinners in a lost world, zealous for the glory of Christ, let us go forth as His witnesses.
M. di G.