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Text Sermons : R.A. Torrey : HOW TO DEAL WITH THOSE WHO REALIZE THEIR NEED OF A SAVIOR AND REALLY DESIRE TO BE SAVED

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We come now to the question of how to deal with
individual cases. We begin with those who realize
their need of a Savior, and really desire to be
saved. We begin with these because they are the
easiest class to deal with.

I. SHOW THEM JESUS AS A SIN-BEARER.

The first thing to show one who realizes his need
of a Savior is that Jesus has borne his sins in
His own body on the cross. A good verse for this
purpose is Isaiah 53:6:

"All we like sheep have gone astray; we have
turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath
laid on him the iniquity of us all."

Get the inquirer to read the verse himself, then
say to him, "The first half of this verse shows
you your need of salvation, the second half shows
you the provision that God has made for your
salvation. Read again the first half of the verse.
Is this true of you? Have you gone astray like a
sheep? Have you turned to your own way?" "Yes."
"Then what are you?" Get the inquirer to say, "I
am lost." "We will now look at the provision God
has made for your salvation; read the last half of
the verse. Who is the one in this verse upon whom
our iniquity has been laid?" "Christ." "What then
has God done with your sin?" "Laid it on Christ."
"Is it then on you any longer?" Go over it again
and again until he sees that his sin is not on
him, but that it is on Christ, and has been
settled forever. I often use a simple illustration
in making the meaning of the verse plain. I let my
right hand represent the inquirer, my left hand
{33} represent Christ, and my Bible represent the
inquirer's sin. I first lay the Bible on my right
hand and say, "Now where is your sin?" The
inquirer replies of course, "On me." I then repeat
the last half of the verse, "the Lord hath LAID ON
HIM the iniquity of us all," and transfer the
Bible from my right hand to my left, and ask,
"Where is your sin now?" The inquirer replies, "On
Him, of course." I then ask, "Is it on you any
longer?" and he says, "No, on Christ." Very many
people have been led out into light and joy by
this simple illustration.

I sometimes put it in this way, in using this
verse, "There are two things which a man needs to
know, and one thing he needs to do in order to be
saved. What he needs to know is, first, that he is
a lost sinner, and this verse tells him that, and
second, that Christ is an all-sufficient Savior,
and this verse tells him that. What he needs to do
is to accept this all-sufficient Savior whom God
has provided. Now will you accept Him right here
and now?"

Another excellent verse to show Jesus as a
sin-bearer, is Galatians 3:13:

"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the
law, BEING MADE A CURSE FOR US: for it is written,
Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."

The inquirer should be given the verse to read for
himself. When he has read it, you may question him
something like this: "What does this verse tell us
that Christ has redeemed us from?" "Whom has He
redeemed?" "How has He redeemed us from the curse
of the law?" "Do you believe that Christ has
redeemed you from the curse of the law by being
made a curse in your place?" "Will you read it
then in the singular instead of in the plural?"
Make it clear what you mean, until the inquirer
reads the verse in this way: "Christ has redeemed
me from the curse of the law, being made a curse
for me; for it is written, cursed is every one
that hangeth on a tree."

Another good verse for this purpose is
2_Corinthians 5:21:

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew
no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of
God in him."

Have him read the verse, and then ask questions
somewhat as follows: "Who is it that hath been
made sin for us?" "For whom has Christ been made
sin?" "For what purpose is it that Christ has been
made sin for us?" "Can you put this verse in the
singular and {35} read it this way: 'For he hath
made him to be sin for me, who knew no sin; that I
might be made the righteousness of God in him'?"

Sometimes it will be well to use all three of
these passages, but as a rule the first is
sufficient; so far as my own experience goes, it
is more effective than either of the other
passages -- in fact, I deal with very few men with
whom I do not use Isaiah 53:6 sooner or later.

II. SHOW THEM JESUS AS A RISEN SAVIOR, ABLE TO
SAVE TO THE UTTERMOST.

It is not enough to show them Jesus as a
sin-bearer, for through believing in Jesus as a
sin-bearer one merely gets pardon from sin, but
there is something else that the sinner needs,
that is deliverance from sin's power. In order to
get this, they need to see Jesus as a risen
Savior, able to save to the uttermost. By
believing in Christ crucified, we get pardon, but
by believing in Christ risen, we get deliverance
from sin's power. One of the best verses to use
for this purpose is Hebrews 7:25:

"Wherefore he is able also to save them to the
uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he
ever liveth to make intercession for them."

When the inquirer has read the passage, ask him
who it is that is able to save, and to what extent
He is able to save. Explain to the inquirer what
"to the uttermost" means. Many read this passage
as though it taught that Jesus was able to save
from the uttermost. This is true, but it is not
the truth of this text, it is save TO the
uttermost. Then ask the inquirer why it is that
Jesus is able to save to the uttermost. Dwell upon
this thought, that JESUS EVER LIVETH, that He is
not only a Savior who once died and made atonement
for sin, but that He is a Savior who lives today,
and is able to keep from sin's power. Then ask the
inquirer if he is willing to trust Jesus as a
living Savior, one to whom he can look day by day
for victory over sin.

Another good verse to use for this purpose is Jude
24:

"Now unto him that is ABLE TO KEEP YOU FROM
FALLING, and to present you faultless before the
presence of his glory with exceeding joy."

When the inquirer has read the verse, ask him what
this verse says Jesus is able to do, emphasize "to
keep you from falling." Explain why it is that
Jesus is able to keep from falling; because He is
a {36} risen, living Savior today, and get the
inquirer to see plainly that he is to look to the
risen Christ to keep him from falling.

Matthew 28:18 is a good verse to use to bring out
the extent of Christ's power:

"And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All
power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."

A young convert needs to realize that he is to
stand, not in his own strength, but in the
strength of Christ, and it is a great help for him
to see that the one in whom he is to trust has all
power in heaven and in earth.

One can also use to advantage 1_Peter 1:5:

"Who are kept by the power of God through faith
unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last
time."

and 1_Corinthians 15:1-4. The latter passage
brings out clearly the thought that the doctrine
that Christ died for our sins, as blessed as it
is, is not the whole Gospel, but only half of it;
that the rest of the Gospel is that He was buried
and that He rose again. Always get an inquirer to
believe not only in Christ crucified, but in
Christ risen as well. A man once came to me in
deep distress of soul. He was a perfect stranger
to me, but told me that he had come quite a
distance to tell me his story. He said, "When I
was a boy seven years of age, I started to read
the Bible through. I had not gotten through
Deuteronomy before I found that if one kept the
whole law of God for one hundred years, and then
broke it at one point, he was under the curse of a
broken law. Was that right?" "Yes," I replied,
"that is substantially the teaching of the law."
He then continued, that he was in deep distress of
soul for about a year, but as a boy of eight, he
read John 3:16 and saw how Jesus Christ had died
in his place, and borne the curse of the broken
law for him, and he added, "My burden rolled away,
and I had great joy. Was I converted?" I replied
that that sounded very much like an evangelical
conversion. "Well," he said, "let me tell you the
rest of my story. Years passed by; I came to
Chicago to live; I worked in the stockyards and
lived in the stockyards region among many godless
men; I fell into drink and I cannot break away;
every little while this sin gets the mastery of
me, and what I have come to ask you is, is there
any way in which I can get the victory over sin?"
I {37} replied, "There is. I am glad you have
come to me; let me show you the way." I opened my
Bible to 1_Corinthians 15:1-4, and had him read:

"Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel
which I preached unto you, which also ye have
received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye
are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached
unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I
delivered unto you first of all that which I also
received, how that CHRIST DIED FOR OUR SINS
according to the Scriptures; and that he was
buried, AND THAT HE ROSE AGAIN the third day
according to the Scriptures."

Then I said to him, "What is the Gospel that Paul
preached?" He answered, "That Christ died for our
sins according to the Scriptures, was buried, and
rose again." "That is right," I said. Then I
said, "Now you have believed the first part of
this Gospel, that Christ died for your sins."
"Yes." "Through believing that you have found
peace." "Yes." "Well," I continued, "this is only
half the Gospel. If you will really believe the
other half from your heart, you will get victory
over your sin. Do you believe that Jesus rose
again?" "Yes, I believe everything in the Bible."
"Do you believe that Jesus is today in the place
of power at the right hand of God?" "I do." "Do
you believe that He has all power in heaven and on
earth?" "I do." "Do you believe that this risen
Christ with all power in heaven and on earth has
power to set you free from the power of your sin?"
"Yes," he said slowly, "I do." "Will you ask Him
to do it, and trust Him to do it right now?" "I
will." We knelt in prayer. I prayed and then he
followed. He asked the risen Christ to set him
free from the power of sin. I asked him if he
really believed He had power to do it. "Yes." "Do
you believe He will do it?" "Yes, I do." We rose
and parted. Some time after, I received a very
joyous letter from him, telling me how glad he was
that he had come to see me, and how the message he
had heard was just the one that he needed. There
are thousands of professing Christians today who
know Jesus as crucified Savior, and have found
pardon and peace through believing in Him, but
they have never been brought to a definite, clear
faith in Jesus as a risen Savior who can save from
the power of sin.

III. SHOW THEM JESUS AS LORD.

It is not enough to know Jesus as a Savior; we
must know Him as Lord also. A good verse for this
purpose is Acts 2:36: {38}

"Therefore let all the house of Israel know
assuredly, that GOD HATH MADE THAT SAME JESUS,
whom ye have crucified, BOTH LORD AND CHRIST."

When the inquirer has read the verse, ask him what
God hath made Jesus, and hold him to it until he
replies, "Both Lord and Christ." Then say to him,
"Are you willing to accept Him as your Divine
Lord, the one to whom you will surrender your
heart, your every thought, and word, and act?"

Another good verse for this purpose is Romans
10:9:

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth THE
LORD Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that
God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved."

When the inquirer has read the verse, ask him what
we are to confess Jesus as. He should reply,
"Lord." If he does not so reply, ask him other
questions until he does answer in this way. Then
ask him, "Do you really believe that Jesus is
Lord, that He is Lord of all, that He is
rightfully the absolute Lord and Master of your
life and person?" Perhaps it will be well to use
Acts 10:36 as throwing additional light upon this
point:

"The word which God sent unto the children of
Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (HE IS
LORD OF ALL)."

IV. SHOW THEM HOW TO MAKE JESUS THEIR OWN.

It is not enough to see that Jesus is a
sin-bearer, and that Jesus is a risen Savior, and
that Jesus is Lord; one must also see how to make
this Jesus their own sin-bearer, their own risen
Savior, and their own Lord. There is perhaps no
better verse to use for this purpose than John
1:12:

"But AS MANY AS RECEIVED HIM, to them gave he
power to become the sons of God, even to them that
believe on his name."

When one has read the verse, you can ask to whom
it is Jesus gave power to become the sons of God.
"As many as received Him." "Received Him as
what?" then make it clear from what you have
already said under the preceding points, that it
is to receive Him as sin-bearer, to receive Him as
a risen Savior, to receive Him as our Lord and
Master. "Will you just take Him as your sin-bearer
now, as your risen Savior, as your Lord and
Master? Will you take Him to be whatever He offers
Himself to you to be?" "I will." "Then {38}
what does this verse show you that you have a
right to call yourself?" "A son of God." "Are
you a son of God?" Oftentimes the inquirer will
hesitate, but go over it again and again until it
is as clear as day to him.

Another excellent passage to use for this purpose
is John 3:16:

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only
begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM
should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Ask the inquirer who it is that receives eternal
life. "Whosoever believes in Him." "Do you
believe in Him as your sin-bearer?" "Do you
believe in Him as your risen Savior?" "Do you
believe in Him as your Lord?" "Well, then, what
have you?"

Another good passage to use is Acts 10:43:

"To him give all the prophets witness, that
through his name WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM shall
receive remission of sins."

Still another is Acts 13:39:

"And by him ALL THAT BELIEVE are justified from
all things, from which ye could not be justified
by the law of Moses."

V. SHOW THE NEED OF CONFESSING CHRIST WITH THE
MOUTH.

No conversion is clear and satisfactory until one
has been led to confess Christ with the mouth
before men. Perhaps the best passage to show the
need of such open confession with the mouth is
Romans 10:9-10:

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the
Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that
God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be
saved. For with the heart man believeth unto
righteousness; and with the mouth confession is
made unto salvation."

When the inquirer has read it, ask him what is the
first thing this verse tells us that we must do if
we are to be saved. "Confess with thy mouth the
Lord Jesus." "Well, will you confess Jesus as
your Lord with the mouth now?" Wherever possible,
it is good to get the persons dealt with to make a
public confession of Jesus just as soon as
possible. If you are dealing with them in an
after-meeting, have them make this confession
right then and there; if somewhere else, bring
them to a prayer-meeting, or some other service
where they can make the confession, as soon as
possible. {40}

VI. LEAD INTO ASSURANCE.

It is not enough that one should be saved, one
ought to have the assurance that he is saved. He
ought to be brought to a place where he can say
confidently and joyously, "I KNOW I am saved, I
KNOW I have everlasting life." After an inquirer
has been led to the acceptance and confession of
Christ, an excellent passage to use for this
purpose is John 3:36:

"He that believeth on the Son HATH EVERLASTING
LIFE: and he that believeth not the Son shall not
see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."

When the inquirer has read the passage you can
say, "Now this passage tells us that there is some
one who has everlasting life; who is it?" "He
that believeth on the Son." "What does God say in
this passage that every one who believes on the
Son has?" "Everlasting life." "Is it absolutely
sure that every one who believes on the Son has
everlasting life?" "It is; God says so." "Well,
do you believe on the Son?" "Yes." "What have you
then?" "Everlasting life." "Are you absolutely
sure that you have everlasting life?" "Yes." "Why
are you sure?" "Because God says so here." In
many cases, probably in the majority of cases, it
will be necessary to go over this again, and
again, before the inquirer says that he is
absolutely sure that he has everlasting life
because he believes on the Son, but do not let him
go until he is thus absolutely sure.

VII. GIVE DIRECTIONS AS TO HOW TO LIVE THE
CHRISTIAN LIFE.

It is not enough that a person be led to accept
Christ, that is only the beginning of the
Christian life, and if one is not shown how to
lead the Christian life which he has thus begun,
his life is likely to be largely one of failure.
The reason so many Christian lives are comparative
failures is because of a lack of definite and full
instruction to the young convert as to how to lead
the life which he has begun. The following
instructions should be given to every one who has
been dealt with as described above; and not only
to them, but to every other class of inquirers
that may be led to the acceptance of Christ by the
methods described in the following pages or in any
other way. You will speak to the inquirer somewhat
as follows: "You have just begun the Christian
life; now you wish to make a success of it. There
are six very {41} simple things to do, and it is
absolutely sure that any one who does these six
things will make a success of the Christian life."

1. "You will find the first of these in Matthew
10:32. Please read it very carefully:

"Whosoever therefore shall CONFESS ME BEFORE MEN,
him will I confess also before my Father which is
in heaven."

This verse tells us that Christ confesses before
the Father those who confess Him before men. You
will make a success of the Christian life only if
Christ confesses you before the Father, so if you
wish to succeed in this life that you have begun,
YOU MUST MAKE A CONSTANT PRACTICE OF CONFESSING
CHRIST BEFORE MEN. Improve every opportunity that
you get of showing your colors, and stating that
you are upon Christ's side, and of telling what
the Lord hath done for your soul."

2. "STUDY THE WORD OF GOD REGULARLY, AND HIDE IT
IN YOUR HEART." To make this point clear, use the
following passages:

"THY WORD HAVE I HID IN MINE HEART, that I might
not sin against thee." Psalm 119:11.

"As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the
word, that ye may grow thereby." 1_Peter 2:2.

One of the most frequent causes of failure in the
Christian life is neglect of the Word of God. One
can no more thrive spiritually without regular
spiritual food than he can thrive physically
without regular and proper physical nourishment.

3. "PRAYER WITHOUT CEASING." To make this point
clear, use

"Pray without ceasing." 1_Thessalonians 5:17.

"But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew
their strength; they shall mount up with wings as
eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they
shall walk, and not faith." Isaiah 40;31.

Have the young convert read these verses again and
again and mark them in his Bible.

4. "SURRENDER YOUR WILL ABSOLUTELY TO GOD, AND
OBEY HIM IN ALL THINGS." To make this plain use
Acts 5:32:

"And we are his witnesses of these things; and so
is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given TO
THEM THAT OBEY HIM." {42} Show that obedience is
a matter of the will more than of the outward
life, and that God gives His Holy Spirit to them
that obey Him, or surrender their will absolutely
to Him. Insist upon the need of this absolute
surrender of the will to God.

5. "BE A CONSTANT AND GENEROUS GIVER." To make the
necessity of this plain to the convert, use
2_Corinthians 9:6-8:

"But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall
reap also sparingly; and he which soweth
bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man
according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him
give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God
loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make
all grace abound toward you; that ye, always
having all sufficiency in all things, may abound
to every good work."

It is well sometimes to use Malachi 3:10 as a side
light:

"Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that
there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now
herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not
open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a
blessing, that there shall not be room enough to
receive it."

Go over and over it again and again until it is
fixed in the young convert's mind that if he is to
enjoy the fullness of God's blessing, if God is to
make all grace abound toward him, he must give to
the Lord's work as the Lord prospers him, that he
must be a constant and generous giver. Many young
Christians make little headway in the Christian
life because they are not plainly instructed on
the necessity of regular, systematic and generous
giving to the Lord.

6. "GO TO WORK FOR CHRIST AND KEEP WORKING FOR
CHRIST." To show the necessity of this, use
Matthew 25:14-30, explaining the teaching of the
parable, that it is the one who uses what he has
who gets more, but the one who neglects to use
what he has, loses even that.

Go over these six points again and again; write
them down with the texts, and give them to the
young convert to take with him. The directions
given above may seem to be very full, and it may
occur to the reader that it will take a long time
to follow them out. This is true, and oftentimes
it will not be necessary to use all the texts, but
at the same time it is best to be sure that you do
thorough work. There is a great deal of the
superficial and shoddy work done in soul-winning
today, and this kind of work does not {43}
stand. It is better to spend an hour, or two
hours, on one person, and get him really rooted
and grounded in the truth, than it is to get a
dozen or more to say that they accept Christ, when
the do not really understand what they are doing.
One of the most common and greatest of faults in
Christian work today is superficial dealing with
souls.





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