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Another secret of divine power consists in using only the appropriate truth which is requisite for the salvation of souls. The Holy Ghost works through the truth, and whether He convicts for sin, or regenerates, or sanctifies, or empowers, or imparts special comfort or wisdom, He uses that part of doctrine or truth which is especially adapted for the purpose. All truth is not saving truth, even all Scripture truth is not saving truth. All Scripture is given by inspiration and is profitable, but it is not necessarily all profitable in the same direction. The Holy Ghost in saving people uses the truth especially designed to that end.
The truth of man's fall, human depravity and need, the incarnation of the Son of God, vicarious atonement, the personality and agency of the Holy Ghost, the resurrection of the dead, heaven and hell, rewards and punishments, these are the staple, soul-saving truths. All of these truths are interwoven throughout the Scriptures in history, parable, miracle, prophecy, command, promise, example and poetry in a thousand shades and forms, so that in almost any chapter of the Bible there are enough of these truths to furnish the Holy Spirit material for conviction and salvation.
But even Scripture truth can be handled in such a way as to render it of no effect. It can be so generalized, or made to serve a merely poetical or intellectual or sentimental purpose which is nothing else than handling the Word of God deceitfully.
There are certain elements that do not conduct electricity. If you were to make your telegraph wire of glass, you would never get a message through it. It is pretty and nice and brilliant, far handsomer than iron, but it does not convey lightning. And just so there are certain truths in nature, philosophy, history, and a certain way of shaping even Scripture truth as to turn it into a glass wire, beautiful, bright, crystal truths, but along which there runs no piercing conviction, no flash of holy light, no sin-consuming fire. It is true that salvation is wrought by an act of God, but that action of the Spirit is always through the. instrumentality of appropriate truth, just as the act of a soldier in battle is through some chosen weapon. Man's fall and depravity produces the need of salvation, the death of Jesus the procuring cause of salvation, the Word of God the instrument of salvation, the Holy Ghost the executive agent of salvation, eternity with its heaven or hell the motives to salvation, and faith the condition of salvation. These are the columnar truths in the temple of redemption. Knock any of these columns away and, like another blind Sampson, sooner or later the whole fabric of revealed truth will be perverted and tumble down in infinite calamity upon your soul.
There are many preachers and religious teachers who hold some of these truths very feebly or not at all, but such havoc they do make. Their work is very superficial and transitory, they produce fanaticisms or wild fire, or else dead, cold formalism, or else a light-headed and vain sort of religion. There are many religious teachers, some of them brilliant, preaching on mere morality, on socialism, on politics, on questions of labor and capital, on the "higher criticism," on railroad accidents, oil little recent events, on anything and everything except those great giant truths that break down the soul, enrage Satan, gladden heaven, and disclose both the secrets of the human heart and the destinies of eternity.
The Holy Ghost will honor those who honor Him, and He will honor those truths which He has chosen as the conductors of His power.
Our wisdom consists in implicitly conforming to God's plan, and putting ourselves right in line with the chosen order of God.
A plain farmer, or lumberman, or converted drunkard, or plowboy who is unskilled, from the creature standpoint, but who, by entire abandonment to God, passes himself over into the region of the supernatural and, in perfect simplicity of spirit, handles the supernatural weapons of truth, will be in contact with the infinite battery of holy power, and slay giants in sin, save and build up souls and transform a community as a whole regiment of philosophers could not do.