Characteristics of Revival

August 27, 2021 // 2021 // Issue 3+Convention Herald

A. Skevington Wood

After citing well-documented evidence that the inception and spread of historic revivals has been independent of environment, organization, or leadership, Dr. A. Skevington Wood listed the following essential and constant characteristics of an authentic spiritual awakening: 

1. An intensified awareness of God, when unbelievers and skeptics are compelled to acknowledge the presence of God.

2. An acute sensitivity to sin is always a noticeable feature in revival.

3. A jealous concern for the truth—revival and reform are always closely associated and any authentic work of the Spirit will lead to a recovering of Biblical doctrine. 

4. An absorbing concentration on prayer—if prayer plays a vital part in the promotion of revival, it also remains a constant factor throughout its course; while its neglect is one of the major reasons for its decline.

5. An enhanced standard of conduct—the ethical effects of revival cannot be overlooked and this is the aspect which most impresses the world, i.e., changed lives and behavior is evidence for all to see.

6. A strengthened loyalty to the Church—a real manifestation of revival invariably builds up the Body of Christ, as an institution, and arouses the opposition of those who feel that traditional patterns are being threatened, but the true community of the Spirit is always strengthened by revival. Revival restores the sanctity of the Lord’s Day and devotion to the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.

7. An exciting realization of unity. In true revival all are one in Christ as the spirit Himself affects His own integration. Catholicity of spirit is the mark of revived Christianity.


8. An enriched passion for evangelism. Revival rekindles what our forefathers called the “passion for souls.” It stimulates zeal to win others for Christ and supplies evangelism with a cutting edge because the priesthood of all believers is no longer regarded merely as a privilege: it is seen as a responsibility.

Interchurch Holiness Convention

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