Sermon #1393 Miscellaneous Sermons
Title: THE SOUL WINNER
Text: John 4:30
Subject: Lessons in Witnessing
Date: Sunday Morning – February 20, 2000
Tape # V-71a
Reading: Proverbs 11:1-31
My subject this morning is The Soul winner. It is written, “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life: and he that winneth souls is wise” (Pro. 11:30). In John 4 we are given a beautifully instructive picture of the soul winner. Actually, we see two great soul winners in the chapter. First, our Lord Jesus Christ came to Samaria as the great soul winner, seeking a lost soul. Then, the sinner to whom he revealed himself immediately became a soul winner herself.
Are you concerned about the souls of men? Are you interested in the salvation of sinners for the glory of God? Would you like to be used of God for the everlasting salvation of others?
If you have yourself experienced the grace of God in Chris, if you have tasted the love of God for yourself, I know that your answer to these questions is “yes”. You know that your family, friends, neighbors, and most implacable enemies need the Savior. “The one thing needful” is Christ; and you know it. You want to lead others to him. Is that not so? Who here would not count it his or her highest honor and most distinct privilege to bring a lost soul to the Son of God? Is there any believer who does not long for this? I am sure there are none.
The thing which hinders you is, perhaps, a great concern for the glory of God and the truth of God. You want to be useful to the souls of men, but you do not know how to go about the work in a manner that is consistent with the gospel of Christ. You do not want to say or do anything that would dishonor our God. And all you have ever heard about soul-winning has come from will worshippers who are soul destroyers, not soul winners. How many times have you asked yourself,…
· “How can I show the kid next door that he needs Christ?”
· “How can I get my friend interested in hearing the gospel?”
· “How can I minister to my mechanic?”
· “What words should I use to talk about Christ to my wife, husband, son or daughter?”
· “How can I minister to my neighbor?”
If these are questions which concern you, this message is for you. But it is not for you alone. It is also a message for you who re yet without Christ. While I try to tell God’s saints how to minister to others, I will not fail to minister to you, if you will give me your ear.
Proposition: It is the privilege and responsibility of every saved sinner to seek the salvation of other sinners.
I. Let’s begin in Proverbs 11. I want you to see at the outset that all who are born of God ought to be soul winners (Pro. 11:28, 30).
Some may think, “That is strange language for one who preaches election, predestination, limited atonement, and divine sovereignty.” If you have such thoughts, you do not yet understand the glorious gospel of God’s free and sovereign grace in Christ. Hear the words of Solomon.
In these two verses God’s saints are described as both “a flourishing branch” (a fruitful branch -- John 15) and “a tree of life”. In the whole course of his life, -- his prayers, his instruction, his example, and his influence, -- in the whole course of his life, the believer is “a tree of life”. What the tree of life was in the garden and is in glory, every child of God is in this wilderness…
· Fruitful (Rev. 22:2; Pro. 10:11,31,32).
· Nourishing (Rev. 2:7; Pro. 10:21).
· Healing (Pro. 12:18; 15:4).
Without question, none but Christ can win lost souls to himself. I am fully aware of that fact, and rejoice in it. “He only,” wrote Charles Bridges, “who purchased them by his blood, can win them to himself.” It is the Lord Jesus Christ himself, and himself alone, who calls dead sinners to life by the sovereign power and irresistible grace of his Holy Spirit. He gives eternal life to whom he will. Repentance is a gift only he can give.
Yet, he has chosen, in great grace and condescending mercy, to use saved sinners to draw lost sinners to himself! This is mercy, indeed!
If Christ is made of God unto us Wisdom, then he has made us wise; and the wise man here declares, “He that winneth souls is wise.”
A. This is our Lord’s great commission (Matt. 28:19-20).
The risen Christ has given each of us our marching orders. They are crystal clear. These orders are for every gospel church as a unit and for every believer as an individual.
The souls of men are our business. Let us ever be about our Savior’s business. The righteous wife must seek to win her lost husband, by living with him and before him in meekness and sobriety, reverencing him as her husband (1 Pet. 3:1-2). The believing neighbor seeks to win his unbelieving neighbor by the prayer of faith and work of love (Jas. 5:19-20).
No one in this world, and especially none in the kingdom of God, “liveth unto himself” (Rom 14:7). We all influence multitudes, either for good or for evil. If we are wise, we will seek by the grace of God to influence all around us for good, for the everlasting good of their immortal souls.
This is my prayer, every time I go into the home of another eternity bound sinner, or have a little time with another soul which I must soon meet before the bar of God: -- “Lord God, give me grace to influence this home, or this person for good, for eternal good.”
B. If we would indeed win souls to the Savior, we must have wisdom from above.
The fact is, souls are hard to be won. Their wills must be conquered. Their prejudices must be overcome. Their thoughts must be changed. In a word, the work is impossible, unless he who is Wisdom both makes us wise and uses us for the salvation of others. Our labor is never in vain in the Lord; but it is nothing but vanity without him!
Still, it is our responsibility, great honor, and high privilege to engage in this work of winning souls. No work is so great and no reward so glorious as that which belongs to the wise who win souls to the Savior (Dan. 12:3).
Every soul won is a jewel for the Savior’s crown, a polished stone in his temple, a cause for joy in heaven, and a satisfaction for his soul’s travail.
May God give us grace to give ourselves to this business. May God give us wisdom and make us winners of souls, for the glory of Christ. For us to neglect this great work would be the height of selfish ingratitude.
II. If you will turn back to John 4, you will see that the Lord Jesus Christ himself is held before us as the great, wise Soul winner.
We read in verse four, “And he must needs go through Samaria.” Why must he go through Samaria? The answer is given in verses 32 and 34.
Behold the Son of God! With skillful art, gracious patience, infinite love, and divine wisdom, seeking a single soul! In private, without any fanfare, without calling attention to himself in any way, he quietly, diligently went about his Father’s business, seeking a lost sinner.
“His disciples marveled that he talked with the woman.” – They seem to have forgotten who they were, what they were, and where they were when the Savior found them. Let us not be guilty of such forgetfulness (Isa. 51:1; 1 Cor. 6:9-11). We, too, marvel, O Lord, not that you talked with this sinner, but that you deign to speak in grace to any sinner, especially to us sinners. Oh, how we marvel that you came here to save sinners, such as we are, by…
· Your precious blood.
· Your perfect righteousness.
· Your matchless grace!
Yet, here is the Son of God, set before us as the model, exemplary soul winner. If we would win souls, let us learn the wisdom of the art from the Master Soul Winner. Let me show you five things our Master did as he sought the salvation of this needy sinner. I encourage you to jot them down and seek to follow his example.
A. He befriended a sinner.
He went to where she was, and treated her as a friend (vv. 4-6).
The Lord Jesus constantly showed himself the friend of sinners. He went to the lost, the lonely, the distressed, the fallen, the perishing, the needy, the desperate, and walked among them as a friend. More than that, the holy Son of God made the most unholy of men and women perfectly comfortable in his company. He was and is the Friend of sinners!
B. The Lord Jesus got this sinner engaged in a conversation by asking her questions, questions about something in which she had an obvious interest.
She had a water pitcher. She had come to the well. It might, therefore, be reasonably assumed that she was interested in water. So, the Master got her talking about water. He asked her for a drink of water.
Looking at this as an outside observer, it might seem a bit amusing. She was the one in need. He had come to her aid. But he asked her to do something for him. He humbled himself, that he might put himself in immediate contact with her and compel her to give him her attention.
1. He got her talking. – The voice most people like to hear best is their own. So the Lord got this woman in a talking mood.
2. He aroused her curiosity. No doubt, as they talked, the Samaritan woman must have begun to think, -- “What an interesting man this is. How polite. How genuine.”
C. The Savior talked about something relevant to the woman.
It is completely useless to try to talk to people about things about which they have absolutely no interest. Of course, our Master had something on his mind other than what she perceived, and was resolved to direct her attention by the conversation; but he talked to he about water.
1. Nicodemus asked him about the new birth. So the Savior talked to him about new life, a new beginning (John 3:3-7).
2. To the man who was born blind, he talked about light, and made himself known as the Light of the world (John 9:5).
3. To this Samaritan woman, he talked about water. He talked about her needs, needs which she (in some sense) knew she had – water (vv. 13-14).
D. Notice, also, that the Lord Jesus stressed the good news.
Yes, he dealt with sin. Yes, he taught her the truth about the character of God and the necessity of worshipping God in spirit and in truth. But he never got side tracked. He never got entangled with other issues. He never let her draw him into debate and argument about their different religious sects, doctrines, or practices. He had come to communicate to her the water of life. That is what he talked about – WATER.
· Refreshing Water.
· Cleansing Water.
· Thirst Quenching Water.
· Everlasting Water.
E. Then, the Master pressed this woman for a decision.
When she finally brought up the subject of the Messiah, whom she had been taught must come, the Master said, “I am he.” With those words, she was forced to make a decision, either to believe his claims or to deny them. Now, she must either bow to or rebel against the revelation of God (1 John 5:7-13).
What happened? The woman believed the testimony of God. She said, “Is not this the Christ?” And she became a witness to the people around her.
III. So, in the last place, I want to show you how this saved sinner went about the work of wisdom as a soul winner (John 4:28-30).
A. The saved sinner became a messenger of Christ.
She went to the men of the city. The Master had said to her, “Go call thy husband, and come again.” But he did not tell her which husband to call. So she called them all. Since they were all apparently mixed in the crowd, the crowd heard her. “Then went out the men of the city, and came unto him.”
B. She left her water pot.
She seems to have simply forgotten it, being absorbed with something more important – CHRIST and THE WATER OF LIFE THAT IS IN HIM!
C. She went to call sinners to the Savior.
· “Come, see A MAN.”
· “Come, see a man who told me all things that ever I did.”
· “Is not this the Christ?” – Come and see!
1. He has revealed me to myself.
2. He has revealed himself to me.
3. He has received me.
4. Her testimony was, by inference, this – Since he has received me, as I am, surely, he will receive you, too!
More than 150 years ago, there was a woman in England, who had heard the gospel all her life. She was raised in a godly home. Her brother was a preacher. But she had become an invalid before she was 33 years old; and she was angry. She was mad at God and hostile with her family, filled with anger.
One day, sitting in a church service, filled with mixed feelings of anger and despair, fightings and fears, she heard an old, old man preach the gospel. Right in the middle of the service, the preacher paused, seemed to point his finger directly at her, and said, “You, miss, sitting there in the back, you can be saved right now. You don’t need to do anything.”
His words were barbed arrows, shot from the bow of God to her heart. She believed the gospel. The peace of God flooded her soul. That night, Charlotte Elliott wrote these words.
“Just as I am, without one plea,
But that Thy blood was shed for me,
And that Thou bidst me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God I come.
Just as I am, and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God I come.
Just as I am, though tossed about,
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears, within, without,
Lamb of God, I come.
Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind, --
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yes, all I need in Thee to find, --
O Lamb of God I come.
Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God I come.”
 I do not know what the tree of life was in the garden; but the tree of life in glory is Christ himself; and it is Christ whom we are to imitate.