Summary: A sermon on biblical soul-winning from Matthew 9:35-38

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A Closer Walk with Thee

Meditations on Christian Doctrine

Biblical Soul Winning

Matthew 9:35-38

JBC 4/10/05

Pro 11:30 The fruit of the righteous [is] a tree of life; and he that wins souls [is] wise.

The fruit of the righteous is righteousness itself without which we can never be salt or light in our communities. Jesus said, “Accept your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Now we know that the Scribes and Pharisees were righteous in the “Letter of the Law” but not the “Spirit of the law”. Jesus pointed this out in His first encounter with the Pharisees while seated at the table of publicans and sinners:

Mat 9:13 But go ye and learn what [that] means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

The Scribes and Pharisees lacked mercy because they were self-righteous. Unable to clean the inner vessel of the heart they were literally “All show and no go” when it came to bearing righteous fruit.

They were men circumcised in the flesh only - possessing hearts of stone. We as believers in Christ Jesus are the opposite – we are circumcised in the heart:

Rom 2:28,29 - for he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither [is that] circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he [is] a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision [is that] of the heart, in the spirit, [and] not in the letter; whose praise [is] not of men, but of God.

The righteousness that we aspire to is for God’s pleasure – not man’s. This is a heart of mercy and compassion, and a true soul-winners heart. One that recognizes the absolute depravity of sinners, and strives to see people made whole, restored to God, just as they are whole and restored to God. This is spirit filled, merciful, righteousness.

The second part of Proverbs 11:30 says, “…and he that wins souls is wise.” To win souls here is “To take, or to snatch away,” and is followed by an adjective meaning “Skillful, shrewd, wise.” A person who wins souls for Christ is snatching them from Satan and hell by skill and shrewdness, fulfilling Jude 21.

Jud 1:21-23 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. And of some have compassion, making a difference: and others save (Sodezo) with fear (terror), pulling [them] out of the fire (snatching with earnestness); hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

Last week I spoke of three persons to whom Jesus ministered:

1. Jairus’ daughter who is a picture of one not conscious of her need for Christ or salvation, dead in trespasses and sins, but loved by her Father who intercedes on her behalf that she not simply be raised from the dead – but made whole and saved FOREVER from death and it’s great sting.

2. The woman with the issue of blood who is scared to make known her desires for being made whole. An outcast who fears God – but knows she needs God, and dares not do anything but touch the hem of His garment. She dared not approach Christ openly for fear of retribution, but Christ in His compassion says: Daughter be of good cheer your faith has made you whole.

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