Revival and Reformation

TED Response
to ‘God’s Promised Gift’ and ‘Initiatives of the GC R&R Committee’:

Spiritual Growth in Life and Godliness
TED Initiatives 2010 – 2015
Proposal to the TED Executive Committee 14th November, 2010

The apostle Peter, one of Christ’s disciples, said in his second letter:

‘Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness … For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (2 Peter 1:2-3, 5-8)

In the following section in verses 10-15 Peter underlines how extremely important the Christian disciplines are for the Christian life. This is not a way to earn salvation or God’s acceptance – those gifts are by faith and God’s grace – but, rather, it is a matter of strengthening our faith and growing in life and godliness, in order to live close to God and change into more and more Christ-like personalities.
As a special Messenger to the Seventh-day Adventist community of believers, Ellen White said that ‘A revival of true godliness among us is the greatest and most urgent of all our needs. To seek this should be our first work.¹
She also defines revival and reformation in the church as a work by the Holy Spirit:

‘A revival and a reformation must take place under the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Revival and reformation are two different things. Revival signifies a renewal of spiritual life, a quickening of the powers of mind and heart, a resurrection from the spiritual death. Reformation signifies a reorganisation, a change in ideas and theories, habits and practices. Reformation will not bring forth the good fruit of righteousness unless it is connected with the revival of the Spirit. Revival and reformation are to do their appointed work, and in doing this work they must blend.’²

In the light of (a) the teachings of the Bible, (b) the counsel of Ellen White, (c) stimulated by the initiatives of the General Conference documents on ‘God’s Promised Gift’ and the ‘Initiatives of the GC Revival and Reformation Committee’, (d) the concept of ‘Stewardship in a Changing World’, and (e) as we enter a new five-year plan for mission, Tell the World, we commit ourselves and encourage all leaders, committees, pastors, members, youth and children to make spiritual revival and reformation our first work through the power of Christ – in his cross, resurrection, heavenly mediation and soon return.
May the Holy Spirit fill our lives and energise us all to take every opportunity to help, heal and save that which has been lost.
We commit ourselves to support and promote the following initiatives to encourage our churches and organisations to make spiritual growth in life and godliness our first work:

1. Making prayer a fundamental part of our daily life (1 Tim. 2:1)

  • Praying alone
  • Praying in groups of two and three (Matthew 18:20)
  • Praying in our families
  • Praying in church fellowships
  • Praying in chains via the Internet
  • Participating in the worldwide Adventist days of prayer and fasting

2. Making Bible reading a fundamental part of our daily life (Ps 119:105)

  • Following a Bible reading plan
  • Using a pocket Bible during the day
  • Apply the book as a whole principle to the reading of verses
  • Use Bible Study Guides and other study tools to enhance the reading
  • Engage in a Bible study group either for nurture or outreach
  • Learning how to give Bible studies to seekers

3. Study and apply the biblical disciplines for spiritual growth

  • Understanding the biblical disciplines by a handbook to be produced by the TED
  • Practising a multitude of spiritual disciplines
  • Apply biblical disciplines as a means of strengthen coping skills (peace of mind, stress management, etc.) 
  • Apply biblical disciplines as a means to enhance relationships

4. Being available and engaged in at least one outreach or mission project where I lead one person to Christ

  • Small group
  • Sabbath School Class
  • Bible study at home
  • Assisting the Bible Correspondence School by visiting students
  • Church planting project
  • Bring a friend to church
  • One-to-one

5. Participating in spiritual worship, celebration and fellowship

  • Home congregation
  • Via TV, Internet or Radio
  • Small group or Branch Sabbath School
  • Church Plant

¹ Review and Herald, March 22, 1887.
² Review and Herald, Feb. 25, 1902.