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Bible Helps:     The Christian Worker's Outfit     by Clarence Larkin

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The Christian Worker's Outfit
by Clarence Larkin

I   QUALIFICATIONS

1. Knowledge of the Scriptures

The Christian Workman is to win his Lord's approval by RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH (2 Tim. 2:15). The Word of God is a "HAMMER" to knock down and build up; a "FIRE" to consume and warm (Jer. 23:29); a "SEED" to furnish seed to the sower and bread to the eater (Luke 8:11, 1 Pet. 1:23); a "SWORD" for destruction and defense (Eph. 6:17). It is also a "LAMP", a "LIGHT", etc.

2. Enduement of the Holy Spirit

FOR SERVICE and is NECESSARY FOR WITNESSING AND WORK, (Acts 1:8). All do not receive the same gift, (1 Cor. 12:4-11). Some have the gift of song, others of speech, others of teaching, etc.

What promise are we to plead? (Luke 11:13).

Then we are to believe that we HAVE IT, (1 John 5:14,15), and GO TO WORK. It is given for service, not for display, and we need a fresh annointing for every service. We should WALK and LIVE IN THE SPIRIT, (Gal. 5: 16-18, 25).

3. Wisdom

We are to be as WISE as serpents and HARMLESS as doves. That is, we are to be patient, tactful and courteous. Again, every individual case requires different treatment. How are we to GET this wisdom? (James 1:5).

II   TOOLS

1. A Bible

It should be a SELF-PRONOUNCING Teacher's or Student's REFERENCE Bible, with HELPS. Do not buy rice paper if you wish to mark the Bible. By all means mark your Bible so as to readily turn to passages.

How To Mark Your Bible

1. Use markers, which make a transparent line, to draw over the lines of a verse of scripture. Use scarlet for the "promises", green for "condemnation", brown for death and resurrection", etc. Draw a red ellipse around the word BLOOD all through. the Bible and fill it with red.

2. Underscore, or draw a circle, ellipse, or rectangle around emphatic words, using liquid India Ink as it is black and will not show through the paper. Mark marginal notes and draw lines from them to the passage. Connect verses or words by lines, for neatness use a ruler. [f skilled in the use of a pen, draw in margin opposite Ex. 12:7, a doorway and make red ink marks on sides and lintel; Opposite Num. 21:8, a red serpent on a black pole; opposite Dan. 3:19 draw a fiery furnace. Draw a triangle for Trinity, a circle for Eternity, an anchor for Hope, a little b in large C (little believer in big Christ) for Assurance; a sun for Sonship, etc. These symbols, and others that will suggest themselves, will strike the eye and enable you to quickly find the passage.

3. Print in large black block letters over the different books their title. Over Exodus, "Book of Redemption"; over Leviticus, "Book of SACRIFICE"; over Ro mans, "JUSTIFICATION". Mark chapters. in the same way, Jeremiah 3, "Backslider's" chapter; John 6, "Bread" chapter; 1 John 3, "Love" chapter.

2. A Bible Concordance

Take some of the great words of Scripture as "Sin", "Faith", "Redemption", "Love", "Holy Spirit" and turn to the Concordance and look up the Bible reference, . making note of the most prominent. Cut the references out k of a cheap Bible, classify and arrange them into a Bible ,. Reading on the topic chosen. Then open your Bible at the first text and on the margin write the book, chapter, and verse of the second text. Turn to the second text and write . the location of the third text and so on through the whole Bible Reading. On a blank page at the end of your Bible, . write down a list of your topics and first reference used. By this plan you will have a complete chain of texts on the topics you have worked out, each verse referring to the next, and no loose slips of paper to embarrass you. You will thus never be at a loss for a Bible Reading. Young's Analytical Concordance is the best because it gives and pronounces the original word and enables you to trace it in different passages.

3. A Bible Dictionary

A Bible Dictionary will give you a knowledge of the geography, climate, animals, etc. of Bible lands and of the habits, customs, etc. of the people.

How To Treat Inquirers

I. How to Convict of Sin

Show them that ALL have sinned, (Rom. 3:23, Isa. 53:6); that there is no peace for thewicked, (Isa. 57: 21); that they are under the curse, (G-al. 3:10); condemned ALREADY, (John 3:18); that the wrath of God IS abiding on them, (John 3:36); and that the WAGES of sin is death, (Rom. 6:23). Or try another way and show them the LOVE of God, (John 3:16); that Jesus was wounded for THEIR transgressions (Isa. 53:5); and bore THEIR sins in His own body on the tree (1 Pet.. 2: 24); and that by rejecting him they are committing the most damning sin of all, (Heb. 10:28-29).

II. How to Lead to Christ

Turn to Isa. 53:6. There are TWO things that a sinner needs to KNOW, and ONE thing he needs to DO in order to be saved. He needs to KNOW, first, that he is a LOST sinner, and this verse tells him that; second, Christ is an all-sufficient Saviour and this verse tells him that. What he needs to DO is simply accept this all-sufficient Saviour whom God has provided. John 1 : 1 2 brings out this thought very clearly, also John 3:16 and John 5:24.

Show from Rom. 1:16 whom it is that the "Gospel" saves - "everyone that believeth". "Believeth what?" "The Gospel." "What is the Gospel?" Answer - 1 Cor. 15:1-4. "What is the promise if you believe?" Answer Rom. 10:9. "Do you believe?" Then let us kneel and tell God so.

III. I Do Believe But I Don't Feel Saved

Feeling is the "FRUIT", not the "ROOT" of Salvation, (Gal. 5:22, 1 Pet. 1:8). The Bible nowhere says we are to trust in our "feelings" for salvation but in the PROMISES" of God. It does not say he . that "FEELETH" shall be saved, but he that "BELIEVETH." 'What was it that made the slaves free?" "Was it their feeling?" No, it was the proclamation of President Lincoln.

It is AFTER we receive the testimony of God's Word that we are "SEALED with the Holy Spirit" (Eph. 1:13). The Natural order is:

  1. Resting on God's Word (John 20:30-31).
  2. Public Confession (Rom. 10:9-10).
  3. Witness of the Spirit (Rom. 8:16-17).

We cannot reasonably expect the "Witness of the Spirit" from the Father until we are confessed BEFORE the Father, and this Christ tells us he will not do until we have confessed Him BEFORE MEN (Matt. 10:32).

HOW does the Holy Spirit WITNESS? Just the same as others witness, by WORDS.

Can you conceive of a witness called to testify before a jury, stepping up to the jurors and shaking and hugging them in turn without speaking a word; and yet, when called upon to explain the strange action, declaring that he was trying to make them FEEL the prisoner at the bar was innocent? Then why do you imagine that the Holy Spirit witnesses in that manner - by making you FEEL? No, the Holy Spirit witnesses by WORDS, and his testimony is recorded in the Bible. Read his testimony there that you are a child of God and rejoice.

IV. Evidence of Conversion

A new creature, (2 Cot. 5:17); the presence of the Spirit, (Rom. 8:16, 1 John 3:24); Love of the brethren, (1 John 3:14); the peace of God, (Phil. 4:7); Righteousness of Life.

V. How to Give Assurance

Is it possible to KNOW that we are saved? Yes, (1 John 5:13). Turn to John 1 : 12. "What does it say they ARE who RECEIVE him?" "A SON OF GOD." "Have YOU received him?" "Yes." "Then what are YOU?! "A SON OF GOD." "What does 1 John 3:2 say?" "NOW are ye the SONS OF GOD? Turn to John 3 : 36. "Who does this verse say has everlasting Life?" "He that BELIEVETH on the Son". "Do you believe on the Son?" "Yes." "What have you then?" "EVERLASTING LIFE." Use John 5:24 and 1 John 5:12 in the same way. Turn to Acts 13:39. "What does this verse say that all who believe are?" "JUSTIFIED." "Do you believe?" "Yes." "What are you then?" "JUSTIFIED." "What does Rom. 5:1 say?" "They, who have been justified by faith, have PEACE with God." Notice it is not the peace OF God, (Phil. 4:7), but peace WITH God. That is we are NOW, reconciled to God. "Put that in black and white," says the merchant, when a good offer is made to him. God has put His offer in black and white, (1 John 5:1., John 20:31).

VI. What Will Become of Our Sins?

  1. REMITTED - Acts 10:43.
  2. CLEANSED -1 John 1:7-9.
  3. BLOTTED OUT - Isa. 44:22.
  4. CAST BEHIND GOD'S BACK - Isa. 38:17.
  5. CAST INTO THE SEA - Micah 7:19.
  6. REMOVED AS FAR AS EAST FROM WEST - Psa. 103:12.
  7. FORGOTTEN - Heb. 10:17.

VII. How to Treat Special Cases

1. The Moralist

Turn to Isa. 64:6 and show them all their righteousness is but filthy rags. If they say they have NO sin, they "deceive themselves", (1 John 1:8-10). If they keep the whole law and "offend in one point", they are guilty of ALL, (James 2:10). God "Knoweth their HEARTS", (Luke 16:15). They MUST be "born again", (John 3:5-6). The parable of the Pharisee and Publican (Luke 18:9-14) may be used with good effect.

2. Trusting to "Works"

Show them men are not saved BY works (Titus 3:5, Eph. 2:8-9, Rom. 4:5), nor JUSTIFIED by "the law" (Rom. 3:19-20). If they quote Phil. 2:12 and say God commands us to "Work OUT our own salvation", show them that that is addressed to Christians (Phil. 1:1) and we must first HAVE this salvation before we can work it out. [1 we can be saved BY works, then Christ's death was useless (Gal. 2:21).

3. Trusting to the "Mercy" of God

Show them in John 3 :18-36, that they are "ALREADY condemned"; that God has "no pleasure in the death of a sinner" (Ex. 33: 11); that they are "despis ins" God's goodness towards them (Rom. 2:4-5); that if they are finally lost it will be because they "WILL NOT come to Him" (John 5:40); and while God IS merciful He exercises that mercy through only one channel, JESUS CHRIST (Acts 4:12).

4. Those Who Doubt the Bible

Show them that to doubt the Bible does not alter the Fact (Rom. 3:3-4); that by doing so they make God a liar (1 John 5:10); that it proves they are not of God (John 8:47); that Satan has blinded their eyes (2 Cor. 4:3-4), and because they receive not the "love of the truth", they are given over to delusion and damnation (2 Thess. 1:10-12); that if the preaching of the cross is foolishness to them, it is because they are PERISHING (1 Cot. 1:18) and the NATURAL man cannot receive it (1 Cor. 2:14) and if they will "DO God's will" they shall know of the doctrine (John 7:17, 5:39; Acts 17: 11, 12).

5. Those Who Doubt Future Punishment

Show by Luke 16:23-24 that when the wicked die the soul goes to a place of CONSCIOUS torment; that the day is coming when the wicked as well as the "righteous" shall RISE FROM THE DEAD (John 5:28, 29). After this the JUDGMENT (Heb. 9:27, 2 Pet. 3:7). Their doom will be to be cast into the "Lake of Fire" (Rev. 20:12-15), where they will be tormented FOREVER AND EVER (Rev. 20:10, Matt. 25:41, 46, Mark 9:44).

6. Those Who Doubt the Divinity of Christ

Show by 1 John 2:22, that he who denies the 'Divinity o Christ" is a liar and an anti-christ and, if he continues to deny, he shall die in his sins (John 8:24). John wrote his Gospel to PROVE that Jesus was the Christ (John 20:30-31). Get them to read it carefully.

Jesus claimed that he was EQUAL WITH GOD (John 5:18, 10:30), and that he was the SON OF GOD (John 4:25-26, 9:35-37, Mark 14:61-62). He proved these claims by doing the WORKS OF GOD, as CREATION (John 2:6-11, Mark 6:41-44); HEALING (Matt. 4:24); RAISING THE DEAD (Mark 5:35-42, Luke 7:11-16, John 11:33.45). He professed FAULTLESSNESS (John 8:29,46). If he was not DIVINE, he was a trickster, imposter, blasphemer, and a BAD man, as well as the greatest EGOTIST that ever lived. There are Two ways of ending out about a person.

1. ASK HIS ENEMIES

  • Officers - John 7:46
  • Unclean Spirits - Mark 3:11, Luke 4:41
  • Pilate - Luke 23:4
  • Pilate's wife - Matt. 27:19
  • Judas - Matt. 27:4
  • Centurion - Mark 15:39

2. ASK HIS FRIENDS

  • JOHN THE BAPTIST -i John 1: 29
  • GOD - Matt. 3:17
  • NATHANAEL - John 1:49
  • PETER - Matt. 16:16
  • Multitude - Matt. 21:9 Thomas John 20:28

Every effect must have an ADEQUATE cause. IT WOULD TAKE A CHRIST TO FORGE A CHRIST.

7. "I am Too Great a Sinner"

Turn to 1 Tim. I : 15 and show them Jesus came to save the "CHIEF" of sinners; and though their sins "be as scarlet" (Isa. 1:18), that Jesus is able to save to the "uttermost" ( Heb, 7 : 2 ) and will not "cast t" any who comes t Him (John 6:37).

8. "I am Afraid I Can't Hold Out"

Show them that God will Not permit us to be tempted above what we are "able to bear" (1 Car. 10: 13). We are not to keep ourselves but are KEPT "by the POWER OF GOD (1 Pet. 1:5). Christ is "ABLE to keep us" (Jude 24) and no man CAN pluck us "out of His hand" (John 10:27-29). He who has begun a good work in us will continue it "un'o the END" (Phil. 1:6).

9. "I Will be Persecuted"

Yes, that is the path to glory. All who will live Godly shall suffer persecution (2 Tim. 3:12) and if, for Christ's sake, it is a blessed token (Matt. 5:10-12). Jesus suffered persecution for us (1 Pet. 2:20, 21) and we must not let even those of our own household keep us from Christ (Matt. 10:34.39). It is the "fear of Man" that bringeth a snare (Prov. 29:25.). Show them from Rom. 8:18 that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the Glory which shall be revealed in us.

10. "I am Seeking, but Cannot Find Him"

The reason is you do not search with "all your heart" (Jer. 29:13). As Christ is seeking you (Luke 19: 10), if you are really seeking Him, it won't take long for a seeking Saviour and a seeking sinner to find each other.

11. I am Trying to be a Christian"

It is not "trying" but "RECEIVING" (John 1: 12). Never instruct a sinner to pray, or continue to seek, or use the means of grace", or wait for mercy but press him to yield and trust Christ AT ONCE. When the Phillippian Jailor asked what he should DO to be saved, Paul did not say, "Get down and pray, "but, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved", and he believed and was baptized the same hour. (Acts 16:30-34). Zaccheus was converted between the bough of the tree and the ground (Luke 19:6). Conversion is no tedious process, but is INSTANTANEOUS.

12. "I've Tried Before"

Tried and failed!" Whose fault was it? Not God's, for He says "when ye search for me with ALL your heart ye shall find me". (Jer. 20:13) and "him that COMETH to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37).

13. I Can't Believe"

In most cases the reason is, an unforgiving spirit (Matt. 5:22 & 24, 6:15), some daring sin (Matt. 18:8), love of the world (1 john 2:15), business or social entanglements (Mark 8:36, 2 Cor. 6:14-17) being ashamed (Luke 9:26). Isa. 55:7 will show them what they must DO and Gal. 6:7-8 will show them the consequences if they don't. Show them how FAITH COMES (Rom. 10:17).

14. "I Haven't Conviction Enough"

The AMOUNT is not essential, if there be enough to make one feel his need o forgiveness. In fact conviction of sin comes largely AFTER conversion, As one's conscience becomes enlightened by the Holy Spirit) things which once were not thought sinful come to appear as sins. A man cannot have "godly sorrow" for sin (2 Cor. 7:10), until there is something "Godly" in him.

15. "It is Too Late"

If they mean they have sinned away "the day of grace", or fear they have committed the "Unpardonable Sin", show them what that is (Matt. 12:31, 32). If they have not blasphemed against the Holy Ghost (and one who has done that is indifferent to the gospel), then show them John 6:37 and 2 Pet. 3:9. If they mean that it is "too late" to think about it, use the 'Dying Thief" (Luke 23:39-43).

16. Inconsistencies of Christians

Christ says "What is that to Thee? Follow thou me". (John 21:22). Show them from 2 Cor. 10:12 that it is not WISE to compare ourselves with one another; that we are not to judge one another; that we are not to judge another man's servant (Rom. 14:4), for by so doing we judge ourselves (Rom. 2:1); that every one of us shall give a PERSONAL account to Christ (Rom. 14:10-12); that we should cast the beam out of our own eye FIRST (Matt. 7:1-5); and that Christ says "Let both grow together until the harvest" (Matt. 13:30). Show them that ONLY Christians can be inconsistent. They are trying to follow Christ and Satan is trying to prevent them ( Rom. 7:1825).

17. The "Halting" or Undecided

Show them that they cannot serve TWO masters (Matt. 6:24). They should serve either God or BaaI (1 Kings 18:21), and if they NEGLECT this salvation there is no escape (Heb. 2:3). If they say, "I neither accept Christ nor reject Him," use Matt, 12:30.

18. The Not Nows

Turn to Isa. 55:6 and ask "WHEN are we to seek the Lord?" "While he may be found."" When is that, tomorrow?" "Would it be safe to put it off for a year?" "Not" "Or six months?" "No". "Or six weeks?", etc. (Prov. 27:1, James 4: 1314) Show them the danger of postponement (Prov. 29:1) Dwell on the word "SUDDENLY"? Ask those who say "I am waiting God's time", if they will accept Him if you show them His time, and then turn to 2 Cor. 6:2.

19. Backsliders

Ask them "What INIQUITY they found in the Lord" (Jer. 2:5), that they forsook Him. Show them that they have forsaken "the fountain of LIVING WATERS" for broken cisterns (Jet. 2:13); that their own backslidings reprove them (Jer. 4 2:19); that they are NOT FIT for the kingdom of God (Luke 9:62) ; that God invites them to return to their "first Love" (Rev. 2:4-5); and that, if they will confess their sin, he will forgive them (1 John 1:9). The Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-24) may be used with effect.

20. Worldly Christians

Show them that the FRIENDSHIP OF THE WORLD is enmity with God (Jas. 4:4) ; that the LOVE OF THE WORLD is proof that the love of the Father is NOT IN THEM (1 John 2:15); that they ARE DEAD while they so live (1 Tim. 5:6); that we are NOT TO ENTANGLE ourselves (2 Tim. 2:4); but COME OUT and BE SEPARATE (2 Cor. 6:14.18), and BE TRANSFORMED (Rom. 12:12).

21. Spiritualists

Show them that intercourse with "Familiar Spirits" is FORBIDDEN in the Scriptures (Lev. 19:31); that they are to TRY the spirits (1 John 4:1, 3); that they are in danger of DELUSION (2 Thess. 2:9-12); that such a manifestation will NOT convert them (Luke 16:30-31) and will cause them to be CUT OFF (Lev. 20:6, 1 Chron. 10:13-44).

22. Roman Catholics

Turn to John 3:5-7 and show them the NECESSITY of the "new Birth". Many Roman Catholics understand the "new birth" to be baptism. Show them it is not. In 1 Cor. 4:15, Paul says to the Corinthian Christian, "I have begotten you though the gospel". If the "new birth" is baptism, he must have baptized them, but in 1 Cor. 1:14 he declares he did not. Show them from Section VIII, what the "new birth" is. Acts 8:13-21 will show that a man may be baptized and yet his heart not be right in the sight of God. Show them the evidences of "New birth" (2 Cor. 5:17, 1 John 2:29, 3:9, 14, 15, 5: 1, 4, 5). Roman Catholics lack assurance. Show them from Section V, that we may KNOW we are saved and HOW we may know it.

23. Jews

Show them that the Old Testament points to Christ. The most helpful passages to use are Isa. 53; Psa. 22; Zach. 12:10. There are also useful passages in the New Testament; Heb. 9th & 10th chapters and Heb. 7: 25-28. The Gospel by Matthew was written for the Jews.

24. Probation After Death

Show them from the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19.26) that there is a "BRIDGELESS GULP" between the righteous and the wicked in the world to come. We are to be rewarded in the next world according to the things done in the BODY (2 Cor. 5:10). "As a tree falleth so shall it lie" (Ecc. 11:3) and there is such a thing as FIXEDNESS OF CHARACTER (Rev. 22;11).

VIII. THE STEPS IN SALVATION

  1. CONVICTION (Acts 2:37).
  2. CONVERSION (Matthew 18:3).
  3. REPENTANCE (Acts 2:38).
  4. FAITH (John 3:36).
  5. CONFESSION (Rom. 10:9-10).
  6. REGENERATION (John 3:3,5).
  7. JUSTIFICATION (Acts 13:39).
  8. SANCTIFICATION (1 Thess. 4:3).
  9. RESURRECTION (Rorn. 8:23).
  10. GLORIFICATION (Rom. 8:17).

DEFINITION OF TERMS

  • "Conversion" is a change of OPINION.
  • "Repentance" is a change of PURPOSE.
  • "Faith" is a PERSONAL TRUST in Jesus as YOUR Saviour.
  • "Regeneration" is a change of DISPOSITION or NATURE.
  • "Justification" is the result of Christ's work FOR us.
  • "Sanctification" is the Holy Spirit's work IN us.

The New Birth

Men are NOT by nature the "Sons of God" (Eph. 2:1-3). They are ALREADY CONDEMNED (John 3:18-36). There is a RESTRICTED Fatherhood of God (John 1:12-13, 8:38-44, 2 Cor. 6:1718, 1 John 3:10). They MUST be born again (John 3:3-5) to become GOD'S sons.

What IS this "new birth"? It is the COMMUNICATION of a "New Life" and the IMPLANTATION of a "new nature" BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD.

HOW is it communicated: How was the "Son of God" BORN? (Luke 1:30-35). The Holy Ghost was his FATHER, and as the WOMB OF THE VIRGIN was his birthplace, so the HUMAN HEART is the womb in which is conceived by the agency of the Holy Spirit, the "new Life". The "SEED" which contains the germinating power, and which is deposited in the womb of the human heart by the Holy Spirit, is THE WORD OF GOD (1 Pet. 1:23, James 1:18, Luke 8:11). Born of WATER (John 3:5) is NOT Baptism, but water stands for the WORD of God (John 15:3, Eph. 5:26, I Pet. 1:23). Unless the SEED (the word) be VITALIZED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, it is BARREN (John 6:63). Similarly SIN is generated in the heart by SATAN, the "Father of Lies" (Acts 5:3.4).

How We May hnow We Are Born Again:

  1. A new CREATURE (2 Cor. 5:17). Everything about us will put on a new aspect.
  2. A new TONGUE. Not swear or blaspheme, and love to talk of the things of the kingdom.
  3. New FOOD. Trashy literature, etc., will not satisfy. Read the Bible and good books.
  4. New SONG. Sacred song will take the place of worldly music.
  5. New SOCIETY. Will love God's house and God's people (1 John 3:14).

How The World May Know It

By the FRUIT of our lives (James 2:18) and by its EFFECT on our conduct. We know when the wind is blowing y its effect on the trees, etc. and so it is with the "new life" (John 3:8).

IX. INSTRUCTIONS TO CONVERTS

Insist upon the convert confessing Christ with the MOUTH (Rom. 10:9-10); being baptized and partaking regularly of the Lord's Supper (Matt. 28:19-20, 1 Cor. 11:24-26); daily prayer and Bible Study (1 Thess. 5:17, Acts 17:11); putting away the smallest sins; doing no thing that they doubt the propriety of; going no where that Jesus would not go; avoiding evil associates; faithful attendance on the means of grace and working for Christ.

Show them that the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT is the WORD OF GOD (Eph. 6:17), and they must read and study the Bible TO GROW (1 Pet. 2:2), to be BUILT UP (Acts 20:32), and to CLEANSE THEIR WAY (Psa. 119:9, 11, 130).

To prevent discouragement, the new convert should be shown that he now has a "DUAL NATURE" (Rom. 7:18-25). While his "STANDING" is that of a "SON" (1 John 3:2), and he is no longer under condemnation (John 5:24), yet his STATE will be variable, and he must not be disheartened and think he is not converted if he fails into sin, but must confess his sin (1 John 1:9) and be more careful.

The New Testament speaks of THREE ways in which we may rid ourselves of our FLESHLY appetites and tendencies.

  1. By AMPUTATION (Matt. 18:8-9).
  2. BY MORTIFICATION (Col. 3:5-10, Rom. 8:13).
  3. BY LIMITATION (Heb. 12:1).

Sins we must amputate; tendencies we must "slough off" or mortify; and weights we must limit ourselves in.

X. SHOULD I JOIN A CHURCH?

Yes. Why? Because Christ commands it.

1. His command to DISCIPLES (Matt. 28:19-20). What things did Christ Command that we should OBSERVE?

A. BAPTISM (water). Matt. 28:19

There is both a WATER baptism and a SPIRIT baptism. The former is to precede the latter. There is but one instance in the New Testament where the order was reversed (Acts 10:44-48) and that was to satisfy some Jews that the Gentiles were entitled to Christian privileges.

Jesus did not receive SPIRIT baptism until AFTER He had received WATER Baptism, (Luke 3:2122) and it was because of His submitting to WATER baptism that the Father said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am WELL PLEASED."

WATER baptism is symbolical of the "New Life" (Rom. 6:3-4) and is the way God has appointed to publicly profess Christ. SPIRIT baptism is a baptism of the Holy Spirit for SERVICE (Luke 24:48-49, Acts 1:8, Acts 2:4, Acts 10:44-46, Acts 19:6). The way to obtain the latter is to submit to the former. (Acts 2:38).

B. LORD'S SUPPER (Luke 22:19-20)

This can only, be observed by some organized body which in the New Testament is known as "THE CHURCH". (Acts 2:47, Col. 1:18, Eph. 5:25-27).

"THE CHURCH" is ONE BODY, but has many members, sects and denominations (1 Cor. 12:1214).

2. His command to BELIEVERS. If you LOVE ME, do these things (John 14:15, 23, 15:14, 1 John 2:4).

  1. EXAMPLE demands it. Your refusal to join a church is used by others as an argument or excuse for their not joining.
  2. The development of your Christian life REQUIRES it, for you need to engage in some organized work and Bible Study. Then again belonging to church will help you to overcome temptation and worldliness.
  3. It is the TEST of the SINCERITY of your conversion. If your conversion is REAL, you will not hesitate to do what Christ commands (Luke 9:26).

Practical Methods

1. Of Work

  • Invite the unsaved to Church
  • Have a prayer list
  • Give them a timely tract.
  • Write a letter about their salvation.
  • Sit with them and rise with them for prayer.
  • Go with them to the inquiry room or altar.
  • Ask them to go with you to see the pastor.
  • Quietly watch for those who are affected by the sermon and speak to them.

IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE SERVICE

Start a prayer meeting or Bible class in your home, or a Sunday School in the vicinity. Give Bible Readings, visit the sick and the poor, and read and pray with them.

2. Revival Meetings

Commence sometime before by getting a few together and praying for them. Then appoint committees to visit the homes of the people and invite them to attend. Advertise them. Let the order of exercises be; first, a thirty minute song service of attractive and inspiring music. Be sure the words are free. from errors of doctrine and evangelistic; second, follow the singing with a thirty minute sermon of a scriptural and awakening character and then hold an after meeting.

The After Meeting

After the sermon, ask all who desire to remain, and all who desire to become Christians, to retire to the chapel or lecture room. Send some before to start the singing and have some one stand at the door and invite people in. Then after prayer and testimony, "pull the net."

Where there is no adjoining room to adjourn to, sing a hymn after the sermon, all rising, and let those who wish to go, do so during the singing. Then proceed as above. If the spirit of the meeting has reached a high pitch during the sermon, it is best to "pull the net" at once.

How To Pull The Net

Have the WHOLE congregation bow their heads and, while the choir is singing or someone is praying, get those who desire to be Christians to RISE or lift their hand.

  1. Have all the CHRISTIANS bow their heads in prayer and all those who wish to be prayed for bow their heads with them.
  2. Have the WHOLE congregation bow their heads, then get the CHRISTIANS to rise and sing, "Almost Persuaded", inviting those who desire to be saved to rise and stand with them.
  3. Ask all who have been Christians for 40 years to rise, then 30 years, then 20 years, and so on down to 6 months, 3 days, etc. Invite those who desire to be Christians to rise and stand with them.
  4. While all heads are bowed in prayer, get them to rise and say "I take Christ".
  5. Ask all who have decided to become Christian to rise and say "I have" or "I will".
  6. While the WHOLE congregation is standing and singing, ask all who have risen for prayer, or will accept Christ, to come forward to the front seats. They can be talked with and instructed after the meeting. Workers ought to be present with their Bibles to instruct them.
  7. While singing two or three verses of a hymn, have the Christians rise one or two at a time, and have those who desire to be Christians rise with them.

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© 1999 The Old Time Gospel Ministry
"When to seek God has become life and to glorify God has become self, then you have truly found God."