Bible insights from your friends at La Jolla Lutheran Church

The Holy Spirit will help you witness

Jesus said the Holy Spirit will be like a river of life-giving water flowing out of the hearts of believers. (See John 7:37-39.) If you believe in Jesus, ask for the Holy Spirit to flow like life-giving water in your life. Be open to removing any obstacles blocking the stream.

God, let your life-giving water flow from our lives. Thank you. Amen. 

Charles Finney delivered 22 lectures on renewal of the church and society. What follows are highlights from the first lecture.

Excerpts from Lecture 1 – What a Revival of Religion is, by Charles Finney

Religion consists in obeying God.

People are so sluggish, there are so many things to lead their minds off from religion and to oppose the influence of the Gospel, that it is necessary to raise an excitement among them, till the tide rises so high as to sweep away the opposing obstacles.

Until there is sufficient religious principle in the world to try to put down irreligious excitements, it is in vain to try to promote religion, except by counteracting excitements.

I. A Revival is not a Miracle

A revival is the result of the right use of the appropriate means. But means will not produce a revival, we all know, without the blessing of God.

II. What a Revival is

It presupposes that the Church is sunk down in a backslidden state, and a revival consists in the return of the Church from her backslidings, and in the conversion of sinners.

1. A revival always includes conviction of sin on the part of the Church.

2. Backslidden Christians will be brought to repentance. A revival is nothing else than a new beginning of obedience to God. Just as in the case of a converted sinner, the first step is a deep repentance, a breaking down of heart, a getting down into the dust before God, with deep humility, and a forsaking of sin.

3. Christians will have their faith renewed. They will feel grieved that others do not love God. They will have a longing desire for the salvation of the whole world. They will be in an agony for individuals whom they want to have saved – their friends, relations, enemies.

4. A revival breaks the power of the world and of sin over Christians.

5. When the churches are thus awakened and reformed, the reformation and salvation of sinners will follow.

III. The Agencies Employed

The conversion of a sinner consists in the sinner’s obeying the truth.

If Christians themselves have deep feeling on the subject of religion, they will produce deep feeling wherever they go. And if they are cold, or light and trifling, they inevitably destroy all deep feeling, even in awakened sinners.

The whole drift of a revival, and everything about it, is designed to present the truth to your mind, for your obedience or resistance.


[Revivals come when people deeply care about salvation.]

The best things are always liable to abuses. The evils which are sometimes complained of, when they are real, are accidental and of small importance when compared with the amount of good produced by revivals.

It is not my design to preach so as to have you able to say at the close: “We understand all about revivals now,” while you do nothing. I want you as fast as you learn anything on the subject of revivals to put it in practice. We call on you to unite now in a solemn pledge to God, that you will do your duty as fast as you learn what it is, and to pray that God will pour out God’s Spirit upon this Church and upon all the city.

Reflection questions

Who do you know that does not have a good relationship with God?

What truths do they need to know?

What will you do on their behalf?