"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

Who Is Sufficient?

By J. E. Conant

    After Christ had trained His disciples in soul-winning for more than three years, both by observation and through their own experience, they were still wholly devoid of the one indispensable equipment necessary to qualify for the soul-winning for which He trained them. Even though they had all the procedures the Master Soul-Winner Himself had taught and demonstrated to them, and though He had risen from the dead and the "good news" of redemption was now fully ready to be told, yet He did the amazing thing of strictly charging these trained disciples to wait – "sit patiently" – in Jerusalem, and not speak a word of the "good news" until a certain event came to pass.

    That for which the disciples were to tarry was the Holy Spirit's arrival, not for His enduement. For Christ had promised that He would endue them when He came, and so they were waiting for Him to arrive.

    Then when He came, He at once empowered all the disciples to tell the "good news" of redemption, and they straightway went out to the people and began to tell it to all who would listen, a harvest of three thousand being their first reaping, because it was the Holy Spirit who spoke through the disciples.

    Of all the equipment necessary for soul winning, therefore, the empowering of the Holy Spirit is the one divinely commended must, without which it is impossible to qualify as a successful soul winner.

    While it is true that a carnal Christian may so use the Word as to result in an unsaved person being saved – for there is saving power in the Word alone (Heb. 4:12) – and even through the lips of unsaved people, yet it is also true that no Christian will stay with this work and become a real soul-winner unless he is first divinely empowered by the Holy Spirit, and then remains habitually under His control.

    Failure to qualify as a soul-winner is not for lack of a knowledge of Christ's program, but for a lack of enduement with His power. Nor is a knowledge of His command to win the lost our equipment, for while it is sufficient authority, it is certainly far from sufficient enabling. His commands are always the guarantee of His enabling, but the enabling must be received in a very definite and once-for-all transaction, the same as our salvation was received.

    In the natural realm it is our physical life which performs every physical activity. So it is our spiritual life that performs every spiritual activity, and Christ in Person, through the Holy Spirit, is our Life (1 John 5:12, Col. 3:4). So as members of Christ's spiritual Body, we are as spiritually helpless apart from complete and uninterrupted control, through the Holy Spirit, by Him who is our life, as our physical bodies would be apart from unhindered control by our physical life.

    Every act that is performed through a Christian, in order to be a spiritual act, must be performed by Him who is our life, for if not, it is not a spiritual act at all, and so wholly devoid of spiritual power. Soul-winning, therefore, cannot be done by us for Christ, it has to be done through us by Christ. So He must have complete and habitual control over our whole life, and literally be our "all and in all."

    Think of Christ Himself. Even He never said or did an original thing when He was among men (John 8:28; 14:10). So if the virgin-born and sinless Son of God was empowered by the Holy Spirit for His work of winning the lost by speaking the words and doing the works of God (John 1:32; 15:24), who are we who are wholly human and only saved sinners, that we should presume to undertake any work of God without receiving that same empowering that Christ, the sinless Son of Man, received from His Father?

    From the minute you were born again, you have had the Holy Spirit. This is the basic doctrine of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in every believer. It is true of all the saved (John 14:16-17; 1 Cor. 3:16; 6:19; 12:13; Rom. 8:9).

    There is vastly more for every Christian, however, than His simple indwelling that the Holy Spirit has for us, but whether we receive it or not depends on the most vital decision any saved person can ever make. Does the Holy Spirit have all there is of you?

    Have you ever had a definite and once-for-all a transaction with the Holy Spirit to live the life of Christ when He came in and became your life, and are you therefore wholly and habitually under His control in all things in your life?

    Here, as in our salvation from our sins, He will never force Himself upon us, but simply offers to live His life in us and do His service through us. Then He waits to be asked to take over, for we must be willing to team up with Him in His yoke (Matt. 11:29-30), so as to let Him do through us all that is done.

    The Holy Spirit reproduces the character of Christ in us, which equips and empowers us for soul-winning.