Saturday, 13 July, 2024

Contending for the truth

blue skies

There is freedom in the truth

“Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.” 1 Timothy 4:16.

The truth should be preached to everyone and personally applied in the sense that everyone feels that you mean him or her. As has been often saying of a certain preacher: “He does not preach, but explains what other people preach, and seems to be talking directly to me.”

Sometimes, hearers tend to lose attention in a sermon, if they feel no personal interest in what the preacher says. Thus it is essential to secure their individual interest in the sermon and by so awaken their desire. If we fail to interest them personally, it is either because we do not address them personally, or because we lack unction and earnestness, or because we lack clearness and force.

There are many things involved in soul-winning such as earnest piety, common sense, spiritual wisdom in adapting means to the end. Matter and manner and order and time and place all need to be wisely adjusted to the end we have in view. Without this sagacity and adaptation of means to this end a spiritual mind will fail to win souls to Christ.

Souls need instruction in accordance with the measure of their intelligence. A few simple truths, when wisely applied and illuminated by the Holy Ghost, will convert children to Christ. I say wisely applied, for they too are sinners, and need the application of the law, as a schoolmaster, to bring them to Christ, that they may be justified by faith.

Whereas philosophers and great thinkers, who are, after all, unconvicted and skeptical in their hearts, need a vastly more extended and thorough application of truth. Professional men need the gospel net to be thrown quite around them. Often series of lectures in proportion to their real intelligence addressed to professionals and adapted to their habits of thought and reasoning, are most sure to convert them.

Thus a successful soul winner needs to be observing to study individual character, to press the facts of experience, observation, and revelation upon the consciences of all classes. Terms used also need explanation because they are often not everyday used words so terms like repentance, faith, regeneration, and conversion should be intelligibly explained.

Repentance is not just a feeling but involves the voluntary and actual renunciation of all sin; that it is a radical change of mind toward God. Faith is a voluntary act of trust. Regeneration is a voluntary change of the ultimate preference of the soul, produced by the spiritual illumination of the Holy Ghost. Thus conversion is an act done by the sinners under the persuasions of the Holy Ghost.

Also the fact that saving faith is heart trust in Christ; that it works by love, it purifies the heart, and overcomes the world; that no faith is saving that has not these attributes.

The revelation of the truth to the sinner will require that he put forth certain mental acts. The seeking soul should understand that they are expected to put forth the required acts of will and not just a feeling.

The deceitfulness of sin renders the inquiring soul exceedingly exposed to delusion; therefore it is essentially necessary to search out every nook and corner where a soul can find a false refuge or a false hope. Do not be afraid to be thorough. If the Holy Spirit is dealing with him, the more you search and probe the more impossible it will be for the soul to turn back or rest in sin.

The real conversion of sinners entails giving up every form of sin and upon full confession of wrong to all that have a right to confession. Full restitution, so far as is possible, to all injured parties is the fruit of the conversion. According to the teaching of Christ, one must forsake all to be a disciple of Christ. Salvation entails an entire and universal consecration of all the powers of body and mind, and of all the property, possessions, character, and influence to God. This is a total abandonment to God of all ownership of self, or anything else, as a condition of being accepted.

error: The love of the father is awesome!
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