In part three, we discussed matching the proper cure with the actual need. For those who have yet to receive eternal life, salvation is the cure. For those who need to know they have eternal life, assurance is the necessary remedy. For those who need to live the eternal life as the abundant life, the cure is revival.
Regarding salvation, we addressed the question, how can you have eternal life, and learned the choice of faith to believe in Jesus obtains the promise of receiving/having eternal life. Regarding assurance, an examination of how can you know that you have eternal life proved that a focus of faith looking at the record of God’s infallible Word obtains the promise of knowing you have eternal life. A third question still awaits our attention: how can you live the abundant life?
As was the case in addressing the previous questions, answering the present matter involves faith. This is what makes the gospel good news. If the demand placed on us is anything other than faith (which is not a work but rather dependence on Jesus, the one who does the work), then we cannot hope to successfully fulfill our responsibility. Faith affords us the opportunity to depend on the Savior who is able to accomplish the work we could never hope to achieve by ourselves. For us then, salvation calls for the choice of faith; assurance demands the focus of faith; and revival involves the walk of faith.
Revive means life again. On the individual level, revival is a restoration to spiritual life, to life in the Spirit (the life of God). Personal revival occurs when the divine life of Christ reanimates your personality. In essence, this is the Christ life or the Spirit-filled life (the Spirit filling you with the life of Christ). Yet, how do you, a believer, access the eternal life of Jesus in you as the abundant life of Jesus to you and through you?
Through inspiration, Paul provides a simple answer: “…your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith” (Col. 2:5b-7a).
How do you walk in Him/walk in the Spirit? The same way you received Christ—by faith. As you received Christ, so walk in Him. You received Him by faith, so walk in Him by faith.
Receiving Christ took place the moment you depended on Jesus to save you. Walking by faith, however, takes place as you reiterate steps of faith to depend on Jesus. This pathway of faith accesses the Jesus you received at salvation as the abundant life.
Walking by faith as a believer in need of revival involves two aspects.
First, walking in the light through the steps of confession and faith accesses a clean heart (1 John 1:7, 9). Confession depends on the light by agreeing with it. Faith then depends on the promise of cleansing by taking the clean heart. If you are in need of life again, look to Jesus, and the Spirit will reveal to you what has grieved Him. When you “own” your sin through simple honesty before the Lord, the blood of Jesus cleanses you. Take the clean heart and know you are clean—because the Bible says so! Brokenness is the way into blessing.
Second, walking in the Spirit through the steps of trusting to obey accesses a filled life (Gal. 5:16; Eph. 5:18). Since Jesus lives in you, take this amazing provision by faith and act on it. As you trust to obey, the Spirit will impart to you the life of Christ. Experiencing Jesus is life again.
The walk of faith, walking in the light and walking in the Spirit, is man’s responsibility. God’s promise is a clean heart and a filled life. Walking in the light is how to deal with sin. Walking in the Spirit is how to keep from sin.
John Van Gelderen