A Picture of Revival

Title: A Picture of Revival

Bible Book: Acts 2 : 40-47

Author: Mark Wood

Subject: Revival; Church Life



When taking a picture, you must take steps in a certain order.

#1. Set up and focus

#2. Click the trigger

#3. A flash goes off at just the right time

#4. The shutter opens and exposes the film

#5. The film is not any good until it is developed

#6. The film is then made into a negative

#7. A negative is not very pretty

#8. The negative is placed in an enlarger and printed on a piece of paper

#9. The paper is then developed into a permanent artifact

We can see a picture of revival and what developed in these passages for those people of the first church.

"And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, 'Be saved from this perverse generation.;'" Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. 43 Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. 44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. 46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved." Acts 2:40-47

Now lets look at steps to lasting personal revival.

I. The Focus

First, Peter caused the people to center their focus. He drew attention to their sinful ways. He did not pull any punches. Look at verse, "Be saved from this perverse generation." This is adjusting the lens until the focus is on our sins.

The problem with today's generation is we have got out of focus we actually will rewrite rule books in order to make things easier on us. We are looking to wrong things as a means of bring us happiness. We look to material things that will make us happy. Material possessions will only bring us a temporary happy status. Eventually the new car smell will wear off.

Today's society has developed an "It is all about me" mentality. There is a popular secular song that makes this point by saying, "It's all about me, it's all about I, its all about me, me, me." We may joke about this song but it's theme has certainly become the focus of today's generation.

The Adjective used here in verse 40 is "perverse." The Greek word is "skolios" - the meaning is a curved situation. This is the word from which we get the modern word scoliosis, or a curvature of the spine. Quite honestly, we are living in an age of Skolios morality, a bent toward the abnormal. Sadly, this way of thinking is rapidly approaching acceptance as being normal.

Paul addressed the Philippians concerning this matter as he built them up in their faith. Look at Philippians 2:12-18. These verses should give us hope that we too can face a world completely out of focus.

II. The Exposure

When a picture is taken, it is turned into a negative. A negative is not very pretty. My wife and I recently wanted to have a picture enlarged so that she could frame it. We searched through the negatives and found the right one. We both commented on how ugly the negative was but how good looking the picture turned out.

The picture of our lives is not very pretty. It is a negative when exposed to the light of God's word. Isaiah was exposed to the Holy Light of God as described in Isaiah. He found that his life was not very pretty. He shouted to God, "I am a man of unclean lips." God's holy light exposed Isaiah's sinful nature.

Exposure to the perfect light of God, December 10, 1973, made me realize that I was a sinner. He exposed my sins and I confessed them before God that brisk December day at Oak Grove Baptist Church in Carrollton, Georgia. I THANK GOD FOR THAT EXPOSURE!!!

Every translation of our text uses the word "Then" as found in verse 41. This is a conjunctive participle. This word is setting the stage for a scene change. It is the Greek word "men."

This exposure causes a change. Change comes by conviction. Conviction is similar to light entering the lens of a camera, passes through the shutter and exposing the film. That portion of film is forever changed.

Baptism is a beautiful picture of how the exposure to the Gospel changes a person. Baptism is symbolic of salvation. We see a person entering the water as a sinful person, convicted of sins. Being placed under the water is a symbol of death to that old life. The person being baptized has died to this died to this perverse generation. They are raised up out of the depth of water as a symbol of being purified by the death of Jesus. The immersion into the water is a symbol of death, and being brought up out of the water is a symbol of a new life that was given by Christ when the person trusted Him as Savior and Lord. The greatest part of the symbol or picture of baptism is that the Christian is risen with Christ and has a new life. The believer can face the perverse generation with the power and authority of the risen, living Savior. Friends, when you expose yourself Jesus Christ and ask Him to forgive your sins, "He is faithful and just to forgive you of your sins."

III. The Change Must Be Developed

I found some film when we moved. This film must have been 30 years old. It was the kind of film that was encased in plastic. It was the old 110 type film. This film had been exposed but it had never been developed. It was of no use to anyone. I am certain that there were several memories encased in that plastic. Chances are that due to the age, as well as several temperature changes, the film could no longer be developed. Let's think about old film and how we can apply it to our lives for the Lord.

Verse 42 in our text states that the new believers continued steadfastly. The word steadfast comes from the Greek Word "proskartereo," which means to give themselves. In this verse we see people being developed into people God could use. They no longer were encased in the shell of themselves. It is easy to be baptized, but far too many people have gone through the process of focus exposure but they never developed.

Note the apostle's doctrine. Where is the apostle's Doctrine found? It is found in the Bible and in Bible teaching. They did not have a Nelson New King James Bible. They had the Old Testament and the oral message of those who had been with Jesus, which would later become Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The apostle's doctrine is simple, it is the Gospel!

Martin Luther said, "The Bible is alive, it speaks to me; it has feet, it runs after me; it has hands, it lays hold on me."

The popular contemporary Christian song says: "Light of the world, you came into the darkness," and that Light exposes and develops in the lives of His people.

Another element to be developed is from the key word of verse 42 - fellowship; this word in Greek is the word koinonia. Here we see the set up for the communion services we celebrate today. They identified in perfect fellowship with each other and the Body of Christ. They all worked together. We could say that this fellowship was a beautifully taken picture of koinonia. Everything came together and worked with every part of the camera and the process made a beautiful print.

In Verse 43 is the word "fear." In Greek it is the word phobos, from which we get the word Phobia. The more we learn about God, the more reverential fear we have of God. The book of Proverbs reminds us that, "The beginning of knowledge is the fear of God." Keep this in mind, without the wrath of God there is no love of God. I loved my father with all my heart and wept at his departure from this world. I believe he would have given his life for me if it were necessary. There is one thing I will always remember, his belt and the fear it invoked.

Verse 44 states, "All things had come together." They developed into a people God could use. The Light could not stay in the lenses, the focus did not just remain in the eyepiece, all things came together.

Many Prints can be made from one negative.

Verse 41 states that, "three thousand souls were saved." When this exposure took place, God used Peter's sermon to change lives. This was only the beginning.

John Wesley wrote: "There is nothing more unchristian than a solitary Christian"

Verse 44 shares that they were all together and had all things in common. Can you imagine that? What if the Southern Baptist Convention came together under the apostles doctrine - All things working together - Koinonia - What if we were to focus on the exposure of God's word and developed more solid messengers instead of squabbling over issues within the convention? Even closer to home, what if we as a church focused, exposed and developed missionaries going through out the world.

Many of those present at Pentecost had traveled a long distance just to be there. The process they experienced would soon multiply as they got home and began to witness concerning the events of Pentecost. Then, in verse 47, we note the word, "daily." That did not just happen in Jerusalem - they went home and spread the Good News -The Gospel Christ. They sold their possessions, as recorded in verse 45. They gave up ownership of themselves and they deeded it to God. This is a picture of revival!

Posted in


Scroll to Top