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John 14:23 Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. 24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.’
mikehill4jesus “Fully understand that salvation involves loving and obeying Jesus”
Charles Finney taught: 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. It will sooner or later appear that supposed conversions to Christ are spurious where the preparatory law work has been omitted, and Christ has not been embraced as a Saviour from sin and condemnation.
Sinners of education and culture, 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, with no break through which they can escape; and, when thus dealt with, they are all the more sure to be converted in proportion to their real intelligence. I have found that a course of lectures addressed to lawyers, and adapted to their habits of thought and reasoning, is most sure to convert them.
To be successful in winning souls, we need to be observing–to study individual character, to press the facts of experience, observation, and revelation upon the consciences of all classes.
Be sure to explain the terms you use. Before I was converted, I failed to hear the terms repentance, faith, regeneration, and conversion intelligibly explained. Repentance was described as a feeling. Faith was represented as an intellectual act or state, and not as a voluntary act of trust. Regeneration was represented as some physical change in the nature, produced by the direct power of the Holy Ghost, instead of a voluntary change of the ultimate preference of the soul, produced by the spiritual illumination of the Holy Ghost. Even conversion was represented as being the work of the Holy Ghost in such a sense as to cover up the fact that it is the sinner’s own act, under the persuasions of the Holy Ghost.
Urge the fact that repentance involves the voluntary and actual renunciation of all sin; that it is a radical change of mind toward God.
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 sinner is required to put forth certain mental acts. What these are he needs to understand. Error in mental philosophy but embarrasses, and may fatally deceive the inquiring soul. Sinners are often put upon a wrong track. They are put upon a strain to feel instead of putting forth the required acts of will. Before my conversion I never received from man any intelligible idea of the mental acts that God required of me.
The deceitfulness of sin renders the inquiring soul exceedingly exposed to delusion; therefore it behooves teachers to beat about every bush, and to search out every nook and corner where a soul can find a false refuge. Be so thorough and discriminating as to render it as nearly impossible as the nature of the case will admit that the inquirer should entertain a false hope.
Do not fear to be thorough. Do not through false pity put on a plaster where the probe is needed. Do not fear that you shall discourage the convicted sinner, and turn him back, by searching him out to the bottom. 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.
If you would save the soul, do not spare a right hand, or right eye, or any darling idol; but see to it that every form of sin is given up. Insist upon full confession of wrong, to all that have a right to confession. Insist upon full restitution, so far as is possible, to all injured parties. Do not fall short of the express teachings of Christ on this subject. Whoever the sinner may be, let him distinctly understand that unless he forsakes all that he has he cannot be the disciple of Christ. Insist upon entire and universal consecration of all the powers of body and mind, and of all the property, possessions, character, and influence to God. Insist upon the total abandonment to God of all ownership of self, or anything else, as a condition of being accepted.
Understand yourself, and, if possible, make the sinner understand that nothing short of this is involved in true faith or true repentance, and that true consecration involves them all.
Keep constantly before the sinner’s mind that it is the personal Christ with whom he is dealing, that God in Christ is seeking his reconciliation to himself, and that the condition of his reconciliation is that he gives up his will and his whole being to God–that he leave not a hoof behind.
Assure him that “God has given to him eternal life, and this life is in his son”; that “Christ is made unto him wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption”; and that from first to last he is to find his whole salvation in Christ.
Only those people described by Jesus in John 14:23 can help those described by him in John 14:24.
The foolishness of Churchianity, Christless Christians, is that Sinners remain as described in John 14:24. They live out a version of Christianity that is devised by the selfish and unbelieving soul, aided by the Devil. But how can they be saved through the Gospel of Jesus if their Teachers are not saved through that same Gospel?
Do not study the Holy Bible without allowing the Holy Spirit of God to help you.
Jesus promises the Holy Spirit