HAVING A HEART THAT LOVES THE SOULS OF SINNERS
Seventh, we need to have a heart that loves the souls of sinners. This love is not inherent in us but is given by God; neither does this love come from us, but it comes through prayer. The more we pray for men’s souls, the more we will have a heart to love sinners. We will have the feeling that when a sinner’s soul is perishing, it is as if we are perishing. The reason why we do not have power in the gospel is that we do not have an adequate concern for people’s souls. If we want to be powerful in the gospel, we have to ask the Lord for a heart that loves sinners.
KNOWING HOW TO USE THE WORDS OF THE SCRIPTURES
Eighth, we have to know how to use the words of the Scriptures. First of all, we need to be delivered from the four items mentioned above. Then we need the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, adequate prayer, and a heart that loves the souls of sinners. Finally, we need to know how to make use of the words of the Scriptures. If we can practice these eight points, our gospel preaching will be very effective. If we have already practiced the above seven points, when we share the gospel with people, we still will need to know how to use the words of the Scriptures. After a person is saved, we still have to nourish and establish him with the words of the Scriptures.
Therefore, we need to be familiar with several categories of truth in the Scriptures and use them precisely. The first category is concerning God, the second is concerning sin, the third is concerning the Savior, the fourth is concerning the way of salvation, the fifth is concerning repentance and believing, and the sixth is concerning the salvation of God. In other words, these few categories are regarding how a person can be forgiven and justified, have eternal life, and be made alive together with Christ. Then the seventh category is concerning the assurance of one’s salvation, and the eighth is concerning how a person ought to conduct himself after being saved. We have to be very familiar with all the verses related to these eight categories.
Concerning the Scripture verses for the above eight categories, I have done some arranging. In the first category, concerning God, we may use Romans 1:20 to show people that there is God. Acts 17:24-29 says that men might grope for God and find Him. In addition, Acts 14:15-17 is useful. The verses in this category prove the existence of God. If we can properly make use of these verses, they can be very helpful to us. The best thing to do is to prepare a small notebook and write down all these verses and memorize them, so that we may apply them at any time. The second category of verses is regarding sins. These verses are Romans 3:23, 9-18; 5:12; 6:23; Mark 7:21-23; and Romans 1:28-31. We need to be well versed in these passages concerning sins, or even better, to memorize them. In particular, we should memorize Romans 6:23, which says, “For the wages of sin is death.” We have to memorize every word and know the verse references clearly. The third category of verses proves that the Lord Jesus is the Savior. These verses include Acts 4:12; Matthew 1:21; and 1 Timothy 1:15.
The fourth category is concerning the way of salvation—the cross. These verses include 1 Peter 2:24; 3:18; 2 Corinthians 5:21; Isaiah 53:6; John 1:29; Hebrews 9:22; and Matthew 26:28. The fifth category is regarding repentance and believing, which is the way to receive salvation. Mark 1:15; John 3:16, 36; Acts 2:38; and 16:31 can be used. The sixth category is about salvation, which includes forgiveness of sins, justification, having eternal life, and having peace. The verses for this category are Acts 10:43; Isaiah 1:18; 1 John 1:9; Romans 3:28; John 6:47; 5:24; and 1 John 5:12. The seventh category is regarding one’s realization of his salvation. These verses include Romans 10:9-10, 13; 1 John 5:13; John 3:36; and 5:24. The eighth category is about one’s living after salvation. For this category we can use Mark 16:16 and Matthew 3:8. We have to familiarize ourselves with all the verses of these eight categories.
(The Path of Our Growth in Life, Chapter 3, by Witness Lee)