Summary: A sermon on biblical soul-winning from Matthew 9:35-38
A Closer Walk with Thee
Meditations on Christian Doctrine
Biblical Soul Winning
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.
3. Thirdly, we have two blind men spending their lives in darkness. A picture of all humankind whose ears can hear their master but desiring to gaze upon Him in a better way, desiring to “Walk in the light” seek rescue from the darkness and absolute fellowship in light for the scripture says:
1Jo 1:5-9 This then is the message, which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
There is a fourth person whom we did not discuss as I felt that ample time had been spent in teaching God’s sovereignty over “Principalities and Powers” when we were in Matthew 8:28, the account of the “Gergasene" Demoniac”. Matthew 9:32-33 says:
As they went out, behold, they brought to him a dumb man possessed with a devil. And when the devil was cast out, the dumb spoke…