Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


Great Doctrines of The Bible by Dr. James Modlish

Soul Winning
(Matt. 4:19; Jn. 4:1-42)


JESUS: The Master Soul Winner

Intro: During His earthly ministry our Lord Jesus Christ was the personification of all His teachings. For instance, He commanded His disciples to be soul-winners (Matt. 28:19); but He was the master soul winner (Luke 19:10). When our Lord said, "Follow me" (Matt. 4:19), He certainly meant that we were to follow His example. In effect He was saying, "Watch Me as a soul winner, and follow Me." This is exactly what we are to do for He is our great example, not only as the sufferer but also as the soul winner (I Pet. 2:21). He came from Heaven to earth and died and rose and lives in order to save the lost. This was His father's business (Lk. 2:49); and in the four Gospels we have a clear record of the methods He adopted in doing personal work. Let us consider one incident only - the story of His interview with the woman at the well, as recorded in (Jn. 4:1-42). Our method of approach to souls must always vary according to the person, the time, the place and the circumstances, but the following points, which are suggested by this incident will help us:

1. He showed a very great interest and concern for one person -

The story recorded in (Jn. 4:1-42) shows that our Lord set out to win one sinful woman, and frequently He had an audience of one person only. In Matthew's Gospel sixteen private interviews are recorded and in John's Gospel there are seventeen such interviews. How tremendously important one soul is! In Luke 15 we read of one lost sheep, one lost piece of silver and one lost son, and (Mk. 8:36-37) emphasizes the value of just one soul. Let us remember that the one we are seeking to win may be a Paul, a Wesley, a Moody (vs. 28-30).

2. He went out of His way to win one soul -

Verse 4 tells us that He went through Samaria. He was willing to put Himself to some inconvenience in order to win one poor, sinful woman to Himself. Too often we are preoccupied with our affairs and we pass by those to whom God is giving us a glorious opportunity of ministering (Lk. 10:31-32).

3. He worked under a strong sense of urgency and constraint -

Verse 4 tells us that "He must needs go through Samaria." There was necessity for Him to do so. There was a soul winning "must", a tremendous imperative in His life (compare Jn. 3:14 with Jn. 4: 4; 9:4; and 12:32-33). His very meat was to do His Father's will (Jn. 4:3134) and this one was His Father's will. Is there a constraint in our life (Rom. 9:1-3)?

4. He was friendly, winsome and sympathetic in His approach -

He was not reserved, distant, cold or self-important, though there must have been a due propriety and certainly a marvelous dignity about His person and His bearing. The Apostle Paul longed to "win some" (I Cor. 9:22) and if we would do likewise we must be "winsome" and we cannot find a better illustration of this than that recorded in Lk. 10: 33-37.

5. He allowed the ordinary happenings and circumstances of life to provide opportunities for personal soul winning -

Verse 6 tells us that He was weary and sat down, and probably we would have made that an excuse for relaxing and being "off duty". Instead of viewing His weariness as a disadvantage He turned it to an advantage. How seldom we view the daily happenings of our lives in the same way! "I wish I didn't have to go on that journey!" we say, without realizing that the journey itself might provide us with a wonderful contact with a soul to whom the Lord would have us witness.

6. He asked a favour of the one whom He could win -

Verse 7 tells us that it was in this way our Lord established a definite point of contact. People like to be asked to do things. Ask someone in a friendly way, to direct you to a certain place and see how, in nine cases out of ten, the person you ask is delighted to help. All this is true in relation to soul-winning. Think of some sincere requests that you can make of the person you wish to win, and go to him and ask for his help, and in this way you will have made a valuable contact.

7. He spoke to her alone -

Verse 8 tells us this. There are times when it is unwise to do this. For example, generally speaking a young man would need to be careful not to speak in private to a member of the opposite sex; but the point we wish to make is that we must not embarrass anyone by speaking to them of spiritual things in front of others. There may be exceptions to this rule, but generally the rule holds good.

8. He overcame the barriers that she Put up and that already existed -

Think of these. First, there was the barrier of sin (vs. 16). This woman was an outcast because of her notorious and sinful life. She came to draw water at a time when she knew that other women would not be present (compare vs. 16-18) Second, there was the barrier of race (vs. 9). Our Lord was a Jew and this woman was a Gentile. Third, there was the barrier of sex. It was "not done" to speak to a woman in a public place. Finally, there was a barrier of religion (vs. 20).

9. He provoke inquiry and created soul hunger -

Verses 10-13 tells how He captured her curiosity and interest. We too can employ this method as we tell the burdened about the Burden-bearer (Matt. 11:28). As we tell the bound about the Emancipator (Jn. 8:36). As we tell the bereaved about the One who is the Life (Jn. 11:23-25).

10. He did not reproach or scold her, but He made her face up to her sin -

Until people are convicted of their sin and thus of their need of Christ they will not come to Him. Verses 16-19 tell us how tender and how firm and persistent our Lord was. we cannot convict people of sin, but the Holy Spirit can and will if we use "the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." (Eph. 6:17) We can tell people that because they have broken the greatest commandment they have therefore committed the greatest sin. (Matt. 22:37-38)

11. He spoke of that which alone could meet her need -

She needed eternal life, as (verse I4) tells us; salvation, as (verse 22) tells us, in other words, she needed Him.

12. He concluded only when He had fully revealed Himself as Saviour and Lord -

Look at (verses 25 and 26). What a wonderful moment that must have been for her, and for the people of Samaria (see verses 40-42).

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Lessons: 1. Soul Winning | 2. Fasting | 3. Redemption | 4. Sanctification | 5. Justification | 6. Assurance | 7. Faith | 8. The Trinity
9. Baptism | 10. Prayer | 11. Satan | 12. Lord’s Supper | 13. Hell | 14. Temptation | 15. Resurrection | 16. The Church | 17. The Bible