Sunday, May 15, 2011


Whenever people think of great soul winners, names like Annie Armstrong, Lottie Moon, Dwight L. Moody, Charles Spurgeon, Billy Sunday, and Billy Graham immediately come to mind. Through crusades and missionary work, they led millions of people to faith in Jesus Christ, and as a result, they are considered evangelistic giants. But there is one small problem; their efforts did not save one single soul. Let me explain. A key verse in Scripture tells us how souls are won to the Lord. Proverbs 11:30 says, "The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise." The writer seems to be suggesting that the "fruit" manifested by a born-again Christian gives us the ability to reproduce. But before we jump to conclusions, there are a few things in that statement which need to be defined.

For one thing, Romans 3:10 says, "As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one." So for a person to be considered righteous, he must have received his righteousness from Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21).

Also, only a born-again Christian can manifest the "fruit of the Spirit" because only genuine believers are indwelt by the Holy Spirit (Jn. 14:17; Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 3:16; Gal. 5:22-23; Eph. 5:9). And because the verse is speaking of winning souls, the life that is being discussed is spiritual life; the life which can only be produced by Holy Spirit (Jn. 3:3-8).

While the Son gives us His righteousness, and the Holy Spirit manifests "fruit" through us, the Father is doing His part in the salvation of men. The Apostle John wrote, "Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God" (Jn. 1:13). Later in his Gospel, he wrote, "No man can come to Me, except the Father which hath sent Me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day" (Jn. 6:44).

The Scripture does not specify which member of the Trinity provides the faith to believe in Christ, but the faith we have in Him is a gift of grace. The Apostle Paul wrote, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Eph. 2:8). That is why the Apostle Paul refused to take credit for winning souls when he wrote, "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase" (1 Cor 3:6-7).

Conclusion: If you want to be wise, let the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit work through you. That, my brothers and sisters, is true wisdom.

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