The RenewalThe renewal is a term that is used to describe a worldwide movement to see the normal Christian lifestyle of first century Christians become the normal Christian lifestyle of today. Every year I take a group of people to the remote jungle islands of the Philippines. Every day we see hundreds respond to make Jesus Lord of their lives followed by a time of incredible miracles of healing and deliverance. Usually, about the third day of the meetings the people on their first trip walk up to me and say “Pastor Eric, I feel like I am living in the New Testament.” I just smile and nod because I know that this is the way the Christian life is supposed to be. This is what the normal Christian life is supposed to be. This is the way that I want to live every day.Protestant Renewal
About 500 years after the time of Christ the world began to slip into what is known as the “Dark Ages.” God was still God during this time but the church had lost much of its power. Christians had traded a vibrant personal relationship with Jesus and a lifestyle filled with intimacy with God and miracles for religion. Religion is defined as a system of beliefs and doctrines. What God intended for us was a lifestyle of relationship with God and of miracles, signs, wonders, and healings.
I believe that the first renewal occurred on October 31st in the year 1517. A man named Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg starting the Protestant Reformation (Renewal). This was the renewal that salvation came through faith in God and not by joining a specific religion or holding to a set of beliefs and doctrines agreed upon by men. The scripture for this renewal is Romans 1:17 “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."Holiness Renewal:
The Holiness renewal was a renewal of the truth that we must be holy. The scripture for this renewal is I peter 1:16 quoting Leviticus 19:2 “for it is written: "Be holy, because I am holy." One great example of this renewal is the Cane Ridge Revival. I have found some quotes from 1806 which I have placed below. Out of this renewal came the Disciples of Christ, the Christian Church, and the Church of Christ.
library in York, Nebraska called "The Cane Ridge
Reader" by B.W. Stone, Hoke S. Dickinson Editor, put
together, I think, in 1972
"Two or three of my particular acquaintances from a
distance were struck down. I sat patiently by one of
them, whom I knew to be a careless sinner, for hours,
and observed with critical attention every thing that
passed from the beginning to the end. I noticed the
momentary revivings as from death-- the humble
confession of sins-- the fervent prayer, and the
ultimate deliverance then the solemn thanks and praise
to God-- the affectionate exhortation to companions and
to the people around, to repent and come to Jesus. I
was astonished at the knowledge of gospel truth
displayed in the address. The effect was, that several
sunk down into the same appearance of death. After
attending to many such cases, my conviction was
complete that it was a good work-- the work of God; nor
has my mind wavered since on the subject (46 years
later-- my note, Keith). Much did I then see, and much
have I since seen, that I considered to be fanaticism;
but this should not condemn the work. The Devil has
always tried dot ape the works of God, to bring them
into disrepute. But that cannot be a Satanic work,
which brings men to humble confession and forsaking of
sin-- to solemn prayer-- fervent praise and
thanksgiving, and to sincere and affectionate
exhortations to sinners to repent and go to Jesus the
Pentecostal renewal The Pentecostal renewal began in April of 1906 in Los Angeles California. Obviously, Acts chapter 2 is a great scripture for this renewal. However, I like the following quote from Acts chapter 1.
Acts 1: 4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: "Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. 5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit."
In 1906 there were almost no Pentecostals. Today there are over 700 million. In Western Europe and America Pentecostals are in the minority. However, in most of the world the great majority of Christians are Pentecostal. The great truth of the Pentecostal renewal is the gift of speaking in tongues.Latter Rain Renewal
The Latter rain movement started in 1948 and saw the renewal of the 5 fold ministry gifts. The scripture for this renewal is Ephesians 4:11-13 “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.”
The charismatic renewal saw a renewal of the Charismata gifts and power to the body of Christ. A good scripture for this renewal is Romans 12:4-8. “Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”
Prophetic Apostolic Renewal
In the late 1980’s there was a renewal in the gifts of the apostle and the prophet back to the church. This in itself was a renewal of the latter reign movement. I use the same scripture for this renewal. Ephesians 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
In January of 1994 at the Toronto Airport Church in Toronto, Ontario Randy Clark lead meetings that saw a renewal of intimacy with God with a particular emphasis on the Love of the Father. This renewal was marked by a deep sense of closeness with God. A good scripture for this renewal is 1 John 3:1 “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
Since the renewals started in 1517 each renewal has brought back an important part of the normal Christian life. Today we are grateful for each renewal go God’s truth and embrace them all. It is imperative that we continue to seek God and to seek His truth. We should continue to always be listening to Him to hear His voice and to move forward towards that normal Christian life.
A key ingredient in this kind of life is slowing down, taking time to hear His voice. This desire to love God, to be loved by God, and to hear his voice has resulted in the practice of soaking. Soaking is the practice of taking time to quiet ourselves down and spend quality time with God listening to His voice. This practice combines listening to God, spending time with God, and praying.
This is not the end of the story on the renewal. We believe that God will continue to lead us into a deeper walk with him as we take time to commit our lives to spend time with Him, listen to Him, and to follow Him. We hope that you will join us as we seek to love the Lord with all our hearts, minds, and souls. The scripture for this is Luke 10:27 “He [Jesus] answered: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
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