God’s Chosen Instrument

On pp. 17-18 of Lectures on Revivals of Religion Sprague notes the first of three indications of a genuine revival of religion, viz., that genuine revival is brought about by Scriptural means. As God’s Word is the only rule of both faith and practice, those who seek to do God’s work in an unscriptural manner should not expect to receive God’s blessing. He applies to the subject of revivals thus:

“Suppose there were to be a powerful excitement on the subject of religion produced by means which are at war with the spirit of the gospel; — suppose doctrines were to be preached which the gospel does not recognize, and doctrines omitted which the gospel regards fundamental; — suppose that for the simple, and honest, and faithful use of the sword of the Spirit, there should be substituted a mass of machinery designed to produce its effect on the animal passions; — suppose the substance of religion, instead of being made to consist in repentance, and faith, and holiness, lould consist of falling, and groaning, and shouting; — we should say unhesitatingly that that could not be a genuine work of divine grace; or if there were some pure wheat, there must be a vast amount of chaff and stubble. It may be safe to admit even in the wildest scenes, the possibility of some genuine conversions; because there may be some truth preached, and some believing prayer offered, which God may regard and honor, notwithstanding all the error and delusion with which it may be mingled. But in general it is perfectly fair to conclude that when men become dissatisfied with plain Bible truth, and simple Bible measures, and undertake to substitute doctrines or devices of their own, any excitement which may be produced, however extensive, however powerful, is of an exceedingly dubious character. If the effect partake of the same character with the cause, it must be of the’ earth, earthy.”

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Author: Dan Greenfield

I am an undeserving sinner saved by God's grace through Jesus Christ, a happy husband, proud father of 6 great kids, pastor of Orwell Bible Church, Executive Secretary of the American Council of Christian Churches, and member of the Ohio Bible Fellowship .

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