The Voice in Speech and Song


Chapter 59—The Way of Salvation

Burden of Every Sermon—The science of salvation is to be the burden of every sermon, the theme of every song. Let it be poured forth in every supplication. Let nothing be brought into the preaching of the Word to supplement Christ, the Word and power of God. Let His name, the only name given under heaven whereby we may be saved, be exalted in every discourse, and from Sabbath to Sabbath let the trumpet of the watchmen give a certain sound. Christ is the science and eloquence of the gospel, and His ministers are to hold forth the Word of life, presenting hope to the penitent, peace to the troubled and desponding, and grace and completeness and strength to the believing.—Manuscript 107, 1898. VSS 337.1

The Lamb of God—Never should a sermon be preached, or Bible instruction in any line be given, without pointing the hearers to ``the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.”—Testimonies for the Church 6:54. VSS 337.2

Salvation in Its Simplicity—In every congregation there are souls who are unsatisfied. Every Sabbath they want to hear something definite explaining how they can be saved, how they are to become Christians. The important thing for them to know is, How can a sinner be presented before God? Let the way of salvation be presented before them in simplicity, just as plainly as you would speak to a little child. Lift up Jesus as the sinner's only hope.—Evangelism, 350. VSS 337.3

Application of Truth to the Heart—It is especially true that new and startling themes should not be presented to the people at too great length. In every address given, let there be an application of truth to the heart that whosoever may hear shall understand, and that men, women, and youth may become alive unto God.—Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 258. VSS 338.1

Need of a Change of Heart—Sometimes men and women decide in favor of the truth because of the weight of evidence presented, without being converted. The minister's work is not done until he has urged upon his hearers the necessity of a change of heart. In every discourse fervent appeals should be made to the people to forsake their sins and turn to Christ.—Gospel Workers, 159. VSS 338.2

Refuge in Christ—The minister who has learned of Christ will ever be conscious that he is a messenger of God, commissioned by Him to do a work both for time and eternity. It should not be any part of his object to call attention to himself, his learning, or his ability. But his whole aim should be to bring sinners to repentance, pointing them, both by precept and example, to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world. Self should be hidden in Jesus. Such men will speak as those conscious of possessing power and authority from God, being a mouthpiece for Him. Their discourses will have an earnestness and fervor of persuasion that will lead sinners to see their lost condition, and take refuge in Christ.—Evangelism, 134. VSS 338.3

Steps in Conversion—Ministers should present the truth in a clear, simple manner. There are among their hearers many who need a plain explanation of the steps requisite in conversion. The great masses of the people are more ignorant on this point than is supposed. Among graduates from college, eloquent orators, able statesmen, men in high positions of trust, there are many who have given their powers to other matters, and have neglected the things of greatest importance. When such men form part of a congregation, the speaker often strains every power to preach an intellectual discourse, and fails to reveal Christ. He does not show that sin is the transgression of the law. He does not make plain the plan of salvation. That which would have touched the hearts of his hearers, would have been to point them to Christ dying to bring redemption within their reach.—Gospel Workers, 170. VSS 339.1

Remission of Sins Through Christ—Direct applications must be made. And ever the speaker must remember that he is only the instrument. It is the Holy Spirit that impresses the hearts of high and low, the most dignified and the most hopelessly abandoned. The Word must be spoken in simplicity. Men must be addressed as sinners in peril of losing their souls. All distinctions must be overlooked; for all need the same truth. All need a crucified and risen Saviour, who died that they might be saved. VSS 339.2

Present the Word of God as the way in which a holy faith and a pure character may be attained. Offer a full and free salvation, not as coming from yourselves, but from Christ. Show your hearers their need of returning through repentance and faith to their loyalty; for all are on a level; all are condemned alike by that great moral standard of righteousness. Proclaim remission of sins through Christ, the only Sin-bearer, the only Sin-pardoner. Proclaim the remission of sins through repentance toward God and faith in Christ, and God will ratify your testimony. With all assurance you can proclaim the means by which a holy character may be obtained—as Enoch obtained it, through Christ Jesus. VSS 340.1

Every messenger of God can proclaim pardon and remission of sins through the name of Christ, who died to redeem the sinner. The Lord's full favor comes to those who seek Him with the whole heart, and are willing to follow Him in doing God's will, enthroning Christ in the heart, planting His attributes deep in the life practice. These have a constraining motive, a supreme love for Christ our Saviour, which brings even the thoughts into captivity to Him.—Manuscript 138, 1897. VSS 340.2

Convicting and Converting Truths—In every congregation there are souls upon whom the Spirit of the Lord is moving, and they need help in order that they may understand what they must do to be saved. You have often presented grand scenes before them which they could not comprehend. Those who are imaginative may grasp these lofty thoughts, but to the larger number such discourses are only as Greek [to them]. Dwell upon truths that convict and convert souls. God is at work in the tent, though there be few or many present. VSS 340.3

From unfeigned lips you should breathe a prayer that God would guide you to give to every man his portion of meat in due season, and so aid you that you will not get above the simplicity of the gospel to dwell upon favorite subjects which will not enlighten the darkened conscience, or convince men of sin, of righteousness, and judgment to come. In distinct lines, present to your hearers what they must do to be saved; lead them into the paths of truth and holiness. As the flock of the pasture, lead them where they may drink the water of salvation.—Letter 29, 1895. VSS 341.1

Unreserved Consecration—Some time ago I wrote in my diary the following: “We seemed to be assembled in a meeting. One of authority was present. He said: ‘Say to ministers and evangelists, Carry the work forward with true spirituality. Make the application that is made in the Word of God, that the result may not be merely a sympathetic stirring of the feelings—a result that will fade away into nothingness when the impression is removed.’ I am commissioned to say that all who see their need can be helped. Let every step taken be a step of advancement toward genuine conversion, toward unreserved consecration of heart, mind, soul, and strength to the service of the Lord. Let all that is done tend to genuine reformation in thought, in word, in deed, in character-building. Let the true be discerned from the false. Do not allow the enemy to lead you to weave wrong figures into the pattern. Keep the love of Christ prominent before the children and youth. Repeat to them often His simple lessons.”—Letter 111, 1904. VSS 341.2

Obedience to Parents and to God—Teach the youth that sin in any line is defined in the Scriptures as “transgression of the law.” 1 John 3:4.... Teach them in simple language that they must be obedient to their parents and give their hearts to God.—Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 169. VSS 342.1

Spiritual Malaria—Unruly, debasing tendencies and passions cannot reign in the heart controlled by the Spirit of Christ. There are many who have never submitted their will and way fully without any reserve to Jesus Christ. VSS 342.2

There need to be far more lessons in the ministry of the Word of true conversion than of the arguments of the doctrines. For it is far easier and more natural for the heart that is not under the control of the Spirit of Christ to choose doctrinal subjects rather than the practical. There are many Christless discourses given no more acceptable to God than was the offering of Cain. They are not in harmony with God. VSS 342.3

The Lord calls upon you, my brother, to step down from the work, leave the walls of Zion, or be a converted man. When your own heart is sanctified through the truth there will be in it no moral defilement. It will now require a most desperate resistance upon your part to unholy suggestions because your soul is tainted with spiritual malaria. You have breathed a satanic atmosphere. You have not been a man in the sight of God. When your mind should have been growing, your ideas elevated, and your plans and labors broadened, you have been growing less and less efficient as a worker because God is not blessing your efforts.—Letter 5, 1886. VSS 343.1