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How to Work for Christ: Book 3: Preaching and Teaching the Word of God, Chapter 7

By Reuben Archer Torrey



      (Psalm 1:1-3.)

      INTRODUCTION. -- God is a great artist. There is no one that draws such perfect pictures as He. Some of God's pictures He Himself labels, others He leaves us to put the titles to. In the first Psalm, the first three verses, God has drawn a picture and labeled it, "The Picture of a Happy Man." "Blessed is the man," or rather, "O the happiness of the man," etc. There are three leading features to this picture. In the first verse we see the Happy Man's separation from the world. In the second verse we see the Happy Man's occupation in the world. In the third verse we see the Happy Man's fruitfulness before the world. Or, to put it in another way, in the first verse we see the Happy Man's separation unto God, in the second verse his communion with God, and in the third verse his fruitfulness in God.

      I. The Happy Man's separation from the world or separation unto God.

      There are three points mentioned in which the happy man walks alone or separate from the world.

      1. He walks not in the counsel of the wicked.

      2. He standeth not in the way of sinners. If he finds that by some mistake he has got into the sinner's way, he gets out of it at once.

      3. He sitteth not in the seat of scorners. He has no fellowship with irreverence, with jesting upon serious subjects, with murmuring against God, or frivolous and light and critical treatment of God's Word.

      II. The Happy Man's occupation in the world, or communion with God.

      1. He delights in the law of the Lord. He must find great pleasure in God's Word. Jeremiah 15:16; Job 23:12.

      2. He meditates in God's Word day and night. Note the word "meditate." It means deep, intense reflection upon what God says. And then note "day and night."

      III. The Happy Man's occupation in the world or his fruitfulness in God.

      The man who maintains the separation from the world described in verse one and the communion with God described in verse two will be like:

      1. A tree, i.e., he will have life, foliage and fruit, or life, beauty and utility.

      2. He will be like a tree PLANTED, not like one grown wild; i.e., he will be an object of care and culture, and the caretaker will be God Himself.

      3. He will be like a tree planted by streams of water; i.e., there will be flowing around his roots a constant source of life, freshness, beauty, and fruitfulness. No fear of times of drought and barrenness for him.

      4. He will bring forth fruit in its season.

      5. His leaf shall not wither. There will be unfailing life and unfading beauty.

      6. He shall never fail in prosperity. "Whatsoever he doeth shall prosper."


      PART I

      INTRODUCTION. -- The twenty-third Psalm is a great deep. It is an unfathomable ocean of truth. It is the first Scripture that most of us ever learned, but no one in the course of a lifetime has ever exhausted it, or gotten to the bottom of it. There are two methods of dividing the Psalm. According to the first, we divide it into two parts. The first part, verses 1-4, Jehovah, my mighty and tender Shepherd; the second part, verses 5-6, Jehovah, my bountiful Host. According to the second method of dividing the Psalm, we divide it into three parts. Part one, verses 1-3, every want met; part two, verse 4, every fear banished; part three, verses 5-6, every longing satisfied.

      I. Every want met. 1-3.

      1. The foundation thought of this part as well as the next is found in the opening words, Jehovah is my Shepherd. The figure of the Shepherd. It stands for love and care and protection and provision on God's part, and trust and obedience and following on man's part. Luke 15:4-6; John 10;11, and John 10:3-4. The conditions of being Jehovah's sheep are: first, that we hear His voice, and second, that we follow Him; third, that we heed not the voice of strangers but flee from them. MY Shepherd.

      2. I shall not want. Psalm 84:11; Psalm 34:9-10; Philippians 4:19; Matthew 6:33; Romans 8:32; Hebrews 13:5-6.

      3. The Psalm leads us on from the general statement, we shall not want, to specific wants supplied. In verse 2 we have four wants supplied. Rest and food and drink and leading provided. Literally translated, "He maketh me to lie down in pastures of tender grass, He leadeth me beside the waters of rest.

      (a) There is a two-fold rest in this verse, the passive rest of the sheep lying down on the soft, young, spring grass; the active rest walking beside the waters of rest. There is a two-fold rest in the Christian life; passive rest just lying on Jesus' bosom, active rest in serving the Lord "without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all the days of our life." Luke 1:74-75; Matthew 11:28-29.

      (b) There is food as well as rest. "Tender grass."

      (c) Drink as well as food. Jehovah leads His sheep right beside "the waters of rest which our Shepherd gives us to drink? Jesus Himself has interpreted it. John 4:14 and John 7:37-39. The Holy Spirit is the water we drink. "Waters of rest." Galatians 5:22-23.

      (d) Guidance too. "He leadeth me." Jehovah leads, not drives, His sheep. In this and the following verses there are four places into which He leads: (1) By waters of rest; (2) paths of righteousness; (3) into and through darkness and sorrow and testing; (4) into His own house forever. A fifth want supplied is healing or reviving. "He restoreth" (or reviveth) "my soul." A sixth want supplied, "guidance." We have already had guidance in verse 2, but this is different guidance. There it was guidance by the waters of rest, here it is guidance in a holy walk. Notice the order of God's supply of our wants in this Psalm. Rest and food and life- giving water and the invigorating of our lives, precede the holy walk. All this "for his name's sake."


      PART II

      II. Every Fear Banished. 4.

      1. The Lord's sheep is now taken into new experiences. Having been made "to lie down in pastures of tender grass," and been led "in paths of righteousness," he is now led into the "valley of the shadow of death." The word translated "shadow of death" is of frequent occurrence in the Old Testament to express the deepest darkness. The Psalmist has not merely the experience of literal death in mind, but all experiences when the darkness is thick and profound.

      2. In this dark valley Jehovah's sheep have no fears. "I will fear no evil." A true trust in God banishes all fear, under all circumstances, for all time. Isaiah 12:2 26:3; Psalm 3:5-6; Psalm 27:-13; Psalm 46:1-3; 118:6; Isaiah 41:10,13; Philippians 4:6-7; Romans 8:28,31-32, 34, etc.

      3. The reason the Psalmist gives why he will not fear, "for thou art with me." Not because there is no danger there. but because there is One mightier with us than any possible enemy. Isaiah 43:2; Romans 8:31; Hebrews 13:5.

      4. "Thou art with me." What difference does it make whether it is the pastures of tender grass or the valley of the shadow of death, if He is there?

      5. "Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." The rod and staff are the Shepherd's implements for quieting and guarding the sheep. The word translated rod means most frequently in the Bible usage, "a rod of correction." Our Shepherd's correction is most comforting to us. Then it means "a sceptre," and nothing is more comforting to a Christian than Christ's sceptre, and every true Christian is longing for the day when it shall sway throughout the earth. Then it means a shepherd's crook, which is doubtless the meaning here. Both the crook and staff with which Christ guides His sheep and wards off the enemy, the Word of God. Nothing comforts the Lord's sheep like the Word. Romans 15:4.

      III. Every Longing Satisfied. 5-6.

      Jehovah Jesus appears no more as a Shepherd, but as a bountiful Host.

      1. "Thou preparest a table before me." As to the general character of the feast read Psalm 63:5; 81:16. The best things on a table. First, His Word. Jeremiah 15:16; Psalm 19:10. But there is something better than the Word to feed upon, and that is Jesus Himself. John 6:55,56.

      2. Notice where we are feasted. "In the presence of mine enemies." John 15:19; 2 Timothy 3:12.

      3. "Thou anointest my head with oil." Acts 10:38; Hebrews 1:9. The anointing with which our Host anoints our heads is the anointing of "the oil of gladness," the Holy Spirit. 1 John 2:20 RV.

      4. "My cup runneth over." John 7:37-39.

      5. Now we leave the feast for our earthly pilgrimage, but we are not unguarded. "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me." Notice how long this will continue. "All the days of my life."

      6. Now we come to the end of our pilgrimage and pass out of time into eternity. "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."


      INTRODUCTION. -- The tenth chapter of John is one of the most beautiful, comforting and cheering and instructive chapters in this wonderful book.

      I. The Sheep.

      There are seven things told us about Christ's sheep.

      1. "They know His voice." v.4.

      2. "My sheep hear my voice." v.27.

      3. "They follow me."

      4. "They know not the voice of strangers." v.5.

      5. "A stranger they will not follow."

      6. "They will flee from" a stranger.

      7. Christ's sheep know Him. They not only know His voice, they know Him; know Himself.

      II. The Shepherd.

      This chapter tells us seven things the Shepherd does for the sheep.

      1. He knows His sheep.

      2. "He calleth His own sheep by name." v.3.

      3. "He leadeth them out." Psalm 23:2; Revelation 7:17.

      4. He "puts forth all his own." Sometimes the sheep hesitate to follow the Shepherd. In that case He does not leave them behind, but thrusts them forth. Christ has many ways of thrusting forth from the fold into the pastures, from the resting place into the feeding place, His laggard sheep.

      5. "He goeth before them."

      6. He "giveth his life for the sheep."

      7. "I give unto them eternal life." v.28. He gives life to the sheep. He gives absolute and eternal safety. They shall NEVER PERISH.


      INTRODUCTION. -- Jesus Christ is the author of this drama. It surpasses anything ever put on the stage in conciseness, in point, in graphic delineation, strength of characterization, in pathos and in fullness, height, depth and beauty of meaning. Its dramatis personae are God, two men, and Satan. There are three Acts, which may be described as: 1st Act, Wandering; 2nd Act, Desolation; 3rd Act, Return. There is a fourth act, which we will not enter into tonight.

      I. First Act. Wandering.

      Scene 1. A beautiful home. An elderly, white-haired father. The boy has become tired of restraints of home life. He longs for a life of untrammeled independence and freedom.

      Scene 2. Home leaving.

      In these two scenes we have a picture of the beginning and growth of sin. The father of the drama represents God. The son, man wandering from God.

      1. In the first scene we have the picture of the beginning of sin. The young man desired to be independent of his father. Desired to do as he pleased. There is where sin begins; in a desire to be independent of God.

      2. The father granted his son's request, and this is precisely the way in which God deals with men.

      3. In the second scene we have a picture of the growth of sin. The boy did not go away from father and home at once. So it is with men when they wander from God into the far country of sin.

      II. Second Act. In the Far Country, or Desolation.

      The scene shifts. Hard times have struck the gay capital. Famine stalks the streets. The scene shifts again. A desolate field, a lonely carob tree with its long brown pods covered with dust from the arid land, hungry hogs. Our friend in ragged clothes, with hungry face, emaciated from famine, looking up into the carob tree, for "he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat." In these three scenes of this act we have a vivid and suggestive picture of the fruits of sin.

      1. The first fruit of sin is pleasure. Hebrews 11:25.

      2. The second fruit of sin is want. "He began to be in want." The pleasures of sin have been followed by the want of sin, high times have been followed by hungry times. There is other hunger than physical hunger. There is soul want and soul hunger.

      3. The third fruit of sin is degradation and abject slavery. "He went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine." This young man god rid of, it is true, his father's guidance and control, but he became the bondsman of a stranger. So it is with every one who throws off God's paternal control. He becomes Satan's swineherd. Hog tender for the devil. Each man here tonight has the choice to be a son of God in filial, joyous, ennobling and abundantly rewarded obedience, or Satan's slave in degrading and unrequited drudgery. Cf. Deuteronomy 28:47-48. Which will you choose?

      III. Last Act. The Wanderer's Return.

      There are two scenes. The first is still the barren field. In this scene we have a picture of the remedy for sin and its bitter consequences. Note the steps.

      1. He began to think. Note what he thought about, the better lot of his Father's servants.

      2. The second step was, he resolved, "I will arise." All our thinking will do no good unless it ripens into resolution. His resolution was three-fold. To "go to his Father." To confess his sin.

      3. "He arose and came to his father." That is the final step. Just come.

      The final scene of the third act. The boy had forgotten the father, but the father had never forgotten the boy. We forget God, God never forgets us. He is waiting for your return tonight. Of what have we a picture here? Of God and God's attitude toward the wanderer that returns to Him. Have you wandered from God? Come back to God tonight. There only can joy be found. There is famine, degradation, want away from Him. Come home. Come just as you are. A welcome, a robe, a kiss, a ring, a feast await you.


      (John 15:1-16.)

      INTRODUCTION. -- These are wonderful words. There is marvelous music in them. There is also inexhaustible meaning in them.

      I. What is it to Abide in Jesus?

      To abide in Jesus is to be in the same relation to Jesus as a living fruit-bearing branch to the vine.

      No one is abiding in Christ that is not drawing his life constantly from Him. When a branch abides in a vine, its buds, blossoms and fruit are all the product of the vine, the life of the vine in the branch. So when we abide in Christ, all our thoughts, feelings and choices are the result of the life of Christ in us. They are His thoughts, His feelings, His choices, not ours. Jesus is willing to thus live His life out in us, and this is abiding in Jesus. Galatians 2:20.

      II. How to Abide in Jesus.

      How do we go about it practically, to thus abide in Jesus?

      1. Renounce our own self life. We cannot live our own life and abide in Jesus at the same time. It is either our own life in us or His in us.

      2. We must also look to Him and expect Him and trust Him to actually impart His life to us.

      3. To abide in Christ we must feed upon His words. v.7.

      4. To abide in Christ we must obey His words. John 15:9-10.

      5. To abide in Christ we must spend much time in prayer. John 14:12-14.

      III. Results of Abiding in Jesus.

      1. Much fruit. John 15:5. Our fruitfulness does not depend upon what we are naturally. It depends upon the life of Christ in us. There will be fruit in our own lives. Galatians 5:22. There will be fruit in others. v.16.

      2. Power in prayer. v.7. Abiding is the great secret of power in prayer. Our prayers will be the outcome of the life in us. It will be Christ praying in us and the Father hearing Him always. John 11:42.

      3. Fullness of joy. v.11.

      4. Love. v.12.

      5. We become Jesus' friends. v.14.

      6. God is glorified. v.8. Nothing so glorifies God as a Christian who is really abiding in Christ.

      Shall we not today enter into this blessed and glorious life of abiding in Christ? If we know something of it, shall we not know it in its fullness?


      INTRODUCTION. -- Many people have an idea that all skeptics are pretty much alike, and that they are all a pretty hard crowd. But if every one will study his Bible carefully he will find that this is not so. He will find that skeptics differ very widely from one another, and that many of them so far from being a very hard crowd are a very respectable company. Now, there are pictured in the Bible four typical skeptics:

      I. Nathanael. John 1:45-51.

      1. Note the kind of man Nathanael was. He was a thoroughly good man. He was a sincere man, a pure man, an especially honest man, a religious man, but he was a skeptic.

      2. He was a skeptic because he did not know the facts in the case. His skepticism did not come from badness of heart, but from ignorance. He was not ignorant about other things.

      3. Note what Nathanael did. See the honesty and humility and sincerity of the man. Philip said, "Come and see. Just let me introduce you to Jesus." And Nathanael accepted the offer at once.

      4. Note the outcome. Nathanael becomes a thoroughgoing believer. He met Jesus. Jesus spoke to him. His eyes were opened, and Nathanael cried out, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel." That is always the final outcome with the Nathanael type of skeptics.

      II. Thomas. John 20:24-29.

      1. Thomas was a good fellow in many ways. Kind-hearted, generous, noble impulses. John 11:16.

      2. Thomas had some grand faults, and his skepticism came from those faults.

      (a) He absented himself too much from the society of people of stronger faith than his own. John 20:24.

      (b) Thomas was a man who was inclined to take a dark view of things. John 11:16. It is a bad disposition, this of always looking on the dark side.

      (c) Then Thomas was governed by his senses. John 20;25. He lived in the basement of his being. He believed only what he could see with his eyes, and feel with his hands.

      (d) The next failing of Thomas was that he was unwilling to take anything on any one else's testimony. John 10:25. When a man thinks all the world are liars but himself, he is himself probably the greatest liar extant.

      (e) He was stubborn. He said, "Except," etc., "I WILL NOT believe."

      3. But for all of Thomas' stubbornness he was honest at heart. The next Lord's Day he was not away moping by himself, he was with the disciples when the Lord came. Poor, slow, dull, melancholy, stubborn Thomas was convinced at last. Saw more than any of them had seen, and he cried, "My Lord and my God."

      III. Pilate. John 18:38.

      1. The causes of Pilate's skepticism.

      (a) The first cause of Pilate's skepticism was Pilate's wicked heart.

      (b) Second cause of Pilate's skepticism was the entanglements of his life.

      (c) The third cause of Pilate's skepticism was a lack of moral earnestness. Pilate was a trifler.

      2. The result of his skepticism. The result was ruin for time and eternity.

      IV. The King's Courtier.

      Seventh chapter of 2 Kings.

      1. The cause.

      (a) The principal cause of this captain's skepticism is not at all hard to discover. It was simply self-conceit, scornful self-conceit. He could not see how God could do what He promised to do, and he had an idea that if he could not see how it could be done then it couldn't be done at all, for didn't he know everything? Could God possibly know anything he didn't?

      (b) He had a lack of due consideration and respect for others and their opinions.

      2. How the skeptic was treated.

      Elisha made no attempt to deliver him from his doubts. He simply answered: "Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof." That was wise treatment. There is no use wasting time upon a skeptic of this class.

      3. The outcome.

      Everything came to pass just as God said it would. So shall it be to every skeptic of this class who does not speedily repent. The promises of God will all come true. Those for this life come true in this life, those for the life to come shall come true in the life to come; but he will have no part in them. They shall see, but not enjoy.

      # STEPHEN

      INTRODUCTION. -- There is no fairer life recorded in history than that of Stephen, excepting, of course, the life of Him of whom Stephen learned and after whom he patterned. The character of Stephen presents a rare combination of strength and beauty, robustness and grace. Stephen occupies but small space in the Bible, two chapters, and two verses. Yet in this short space a remarkably complete analysis of his character and the outcome of it is given.

      I. Stephen's Character.

      He was a remarkably full man.

      1. He was "full of faith." Acts 6:5.

      2. He was "full of grace." Acts 6:8 RV. This is the reason why he was so much like Christ Himself. Christ was just living His own life over again in Stephen.

      3. "Full of power."

      4. Full of the Word of God. There is but one sermon of Stephen's reported. You will find it in the seventh chapter of Acts. What a sermon it is! Bible from beginning to end. He was full of the Word. This goes far toward explaining why he was also full of faith and grace and power.

      5. He was "full of the Holy Ghost." 6:5; 6:10.

      6. Stephen was also full of love. Acts 7:57-60.

      7. Stephen was full of courage. Acts 7:51-52.

      8. He was a man of prayer.

      II. The Outcome.

      1. His face shone like an angel's.

      2. He preached with unanswerable wisdom and power.

      3. He wrought great wonders and signs, and the Word of God increased, and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem exceedingly.

      4. Men were "cut to the heart" by his preaching.

      5. But this conviction in this case did not result in conversion. They gnashed upon him with their teeth.

      6. The heavens were opened and he saw Jesus and the glory of God.


      INTRODUCTION. -- The chapter naturally divides itself into three parts.

      First part, verses 1-3, Love Contrasted, or the Absolute Indispensability of Love.

      Second part, verses 4-7, Love Described, or the Everyday Manifestations of Love.

      Third part, verses 8-13, Love Exalted, or the Peerless Preeminence of Love.

      I. Love Contrasted, or the Absolute Indispensability of Love.

      1. The first thing that Paul contrasts with love is the gift of tongues and the gift of tongues in its highest conceivable form. "Though I speak with the tongues of men and angels."

      2. The second thing Paul contrasts with love is the gift of prophecy.

      3. Faith, miracle-working faith, miracle-working faith in the highest conceivable form, faith so as to remove mountains.

      4. Magnificent giving. "Though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor."

      5. Martyrdom. "If I give my body to be burned," but have not love, it profiteth me NOTHING.

      II. Love Described, or the Everyday Manifestations of Love.

      Love has fifteen marks which are never wanting where love exists.

      1. The first mark of love is that it "suffereth long."

      2. It "is kind."

      3. "Love envieth not."

      4. "Vaunteth not itself."

      5. "Is not puffed up."

      6. "Doth not behave itself unseemly;" i.e., does not do rude, ill-mannered, boorish things.

      7. "Love seeketh not its own."

      8. "Love is not provoked."

      9. Love "taketh not account of evil."

      10. Love "rejoiceth not in unrighteousness."

      11. Love "rejoiceth with the truth."

      12. "Love beareth all things."

      13. Love "believeth all things."

      14. "Love hopeth all things."

      15. "Love endureth all things."

      III. Love Exalted, or the Peerless Pre-eminence of Love.

      To sum it all up in a few words, prophecies, tongues, knowledge have their day. Love has eternity. God is Love, and love partakes of His eternal nature. "Love never faileth." All other things are partial. Love is complete, perfect. There are three abiding things, faith, hope, love; but of even these three the greatest is love.


      INTRODUCTION. -- The Epistle to the Galatians is a short book but a wonderfully instructive one. Its principal teaching is concerning God's way of justification. But it is very rich along other lines. One of the principal lines of thought is the contrast between living in the flesh and living in the Spirit, i.e., living in our own natural strength and living in the power of the Spirit of God. According to this book the great secret to a holy, happy, noble Christian life is living in the Spirit, crucifying the flesh with the passions and lusts thereof and walking by the Spirit of God. Let us look at some of our blessed relations to the Holy Spirit that are set forth in the book.

      I. Here we have the believer Receiving the Holy Spirit. Galatians 3:2.

      This receiving the Holy Spirit is a definite, conscious experience. Also Acts 19:2; 8:15-17. How received? "Hearing of faith."

      II. Here we have the Spirit Ministered to or Continually Supplied to the believer. Galatians 3:5.

      This is quite different from v.2. There the Holy Spirit is given once for all, a definite experience in some definite moment of past time. The tense of the verb plainly and unmistakably shows that. But here we have a continuous supply of the Spirit's power.

      III. Here we have the Holy Spirit Witnessing in our Hearts to our sonship, crying out in our hearts, Abba, Father. Galatians 4:6.

      IV. Here we have the believer Walking by the Spirit. Galatians 5:16.

      V. Here we have Bearing of Fruit in the Spirit, or rather the Spirit Bearing Fruit in us. Galatians 5:22-23.

      What beautiful fruit it is! Love, joy, etc.

      VI. Here we have Sowing to the Spirit. Galatians 6:7-8.

      How can we make it sure that we shall sow to the Spirit? By surrendering the whole life to His absolute control. Yield to Him the control of your will, of your affections, of your thoughts, of your imagination, of your actions and your words. Yield your whole being up to be filled with His presence and His power.


      (Philippians 4.)

      I. It is the Privilege of the Believer in Jesus Christ to have CONSTANT JOY, to REJOICE ALWAYS. v.4.

      II. Undisturbed Freedom from Care. v.6.

      How to realize this: "But in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God." "In everything."

      III. Abiding and Abounding Peace. v.7.

      "The peace of God which passeth all understanding."

      IV. An Ever-present Friend. v.9.

      V. Never-failing Contentment. v.11.

      VI. All-prevailing Strength. v.13.

      VII. Inexhaustible Supplies for Every Need. v.19.

      "EVERY NEED of yours" -- "SUPPLY." The RV reads "fulfill," i.e., fill full.

      "Riches" is a great word anyhow, but when you put "His" before it, "His riches," who can measure it? But Paul does not stop there -- "His riches IN GLORY." Perhaps some one wishes me to define that. Define that! I would as soon think of measuring the heavens with a foot rule. Notice one thing more, this filling full of every need is in Christ Jesus (RV). There is no filling full outside of Christ. There is nothing but emptiness outside of Christ.

      It must be admitted that many Christians do not actually have every need "filled full." Why is it? Two reasons: First, they do not claim it. They are afraid to ask large things. They seem to be afraid of impoverishing God, that the great ocean of love and grace will run dry.

      There is another reason. God's pouring in is conditioned upon our giving out. It was to believers who were giving out, constantly giving out, generousl0y giving out, that Paul wrote, "My God shall," etc. v.15.

      The one thing that prevents many of you from having "every need of yours" filled full by Paul's God, "according to his riches in glory," is downright stinginess. Claim a full cup today and make it possible for God to fill it by filling the cup of some one else.


      (2 Timothy 2.)

      INTRODUCTION. -- The text is a whole chapter -- the second chapter of 2 Timothy. In this chapter we have a marvelous picture, drawn by the hand of God, of the Christian worker. What he is. What he should be. What he should avoid. What he should do. And his reward.

      I. What the True Christian Worker is.

      1. He is a soldier. v.3.

      2. The Christian worker is also a "husbandman." v.6.

      3. The Christian worker is also a workman. v.15.

      4. The Christian worker is "a vessel." v.21. He is some sort of a household utensil, as a dish, or pitcher, or a cup, or a vase, something for the adornment and use of the Master's house. Many professing Christians are mere bric-a-brac in the church.

      5. The Christian worker is a "servant of the Lord." The word servant here used means "bond servant or slave," and the thought is that we belong to another, we are not our own: Christ is our owner.

      II. What the Christian Worker Should Be.

      1. He should be "dead" -- dead with Christ. v.11.

      2. The Christian worker in the next place should be "strong." v.1.

      3. Should be taught of the Lord. v.7.

      4. There are three more things we should be. You will find them all in one verse. v.24.

      (a) We should be "gentle."

      (b) We should also be "apt to teach."

      (c) Should be "patient," or, as the RV has it, "forbearing." "Patient of ills and wrongs."


      I. What he Should Not Do.

      1. He should not entangle himself with the affairs of this live. v.4.

      Some of the things that entangle: Marriage to an unconverted person, or even to a worldly professor. Business partnership with an unconverted man. The entrance upon speculative business enterprises. Running in debt. Romans 13:8. The accumulation of wealth is to most men entanglement. 1 Timothy 6:9,11. Secret societies and questionable pleasure are entanglements that hinder our testimony and impede our welfare.

      2. The Christian should not "strive about words." v.14.

      3. The servant of the Lord should not strive at all. Content vigorously he may for the great vital truths, but always in a spirit of meekness, gentleness, patience and persuasiveness. v.24.

      II. What he Should Do.

      1. Aim to please God. v.4 RV.

      2. We should "study," or exert ourselves, "be diligent" to present ourselves approved unto God. v.15.

      3. "Endure hardness."

      4. The one who names the name of Christ should depart f rom unrighteousness. All sin. v.19 RV.

      5. Flee youthful lusts. v.22.

      6. While there are some things for the Christian worker to run from, there are others for him to run after. Righteousness, faith, love, peace. How these four are to be pursued the last part of the verse indicates, "with them that call on the name of the Lord out of a pure heart." By prayer.

      # HEBREWS 11

      INTRODUCTION. -- The subject of the chapter is faith. What the chapter teaches about faith can be summarized under five general heads:

      1. What faith is.

      2. How faith acts, or how faith shows itself.

      3. What faith gets.

      4. What faith accomplishes.

      5. How to get faith.

      I. What Faith is.

      It is clearly and simply defined in the first verse. The Revised Version rendering of this verse is easier to understand than the Authorized Version. {"Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the proving of things not seen." RV.} Faith is the assurance and unshaken confidence that what God says is so even though at present there is no other evidence that it is so than that God says so.

      II. How Faith Shows Itself.

      1. Faith shows itself by standing unwaveringly on what God says. v.3.

      2. Faith shows itself in another way, i.e., by doing just what God bids. v.4.

      3. Faith shows itself again by cheerfully suffering affliction with the children of God. v.23.

      4. Faith shows itself by stopping at no sacrifice that God demands. Abraham, v.17.

      III. What Faith Gets.

      1. Faith gets testimony right from God that the believer is righteous in His sight. v.4.

      2. Faith gets salvation. v.7.

      3. Faith gets life. v.31.

      4. Faith gets power to bring forth children for God. v.11.

      5. Faith obtains a heavenly and eternal home. v.16.

      IV. What Faith Accomplishes.

      1. Faith overcomes difficulties that seem insuperable. vs.2,9.

      2. Faith wins victories over enemies that seem fortified behind impregnable walls. v.30.

      3. Faith accomplishes a host of things that the inspired author of our chapter was forced to bunch together and that we must bunch together. vs.32-34. Faith is the great conqueror, the great achiever. The man of faith is the man who moves the world and leaves his permanent impress upon it. Faith is the mightiest thing within the reach of man. It links man to the omnipotence of God.

      V. How to Get Faith.

      The chapter gives a short and simple answer to that question. The way to get faith is to listen to what God has to say and then just stand upon it, risk everything upon it. Read your Bible a great deal. Pay very careful attention to what it says. Ask God to make it very clear what it means. Then when you find a promise, no matter how big it is, believe it in all its height and depth and length and breadth, and stand upon it. When you find a commandment meant for you, no matter how hard it seems, just obey it. Do exactly what it says, and do it at once.


      I. The first view of Christ and His Relation to us. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:13.

      Here we see CHRIST FOR US. The Bible is full of this thought of Christ. Isaiah 53:6; 2 Corinthians 5;21; 1 Peter 2:24; Matthew 20:28.

      II. Second view of Christ in Galatians 2:20. (Am.Ap.R.V.) The view of Christ we have here is CHRIST IN US.

      {I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that [life] which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, [the faith] which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. (Galatians 2:20 ASV)}

      III. Christ on us. Romans 13:14.

      Christ clothing us with His own likeness, so that we are outwardly like unto Himself.

      IV. Christ, the Living, Personal, Visible Christ with us. John 14:1-3.


      (1 Peter 1:3-8.)

      I. A New Birth. v.3

      II. A Living Hope.

      "Unto a living hope."

      III. A Substantial, Glorious and Eternal Inheritance.

      The character of this inheritance.

      1. It is "incorruptible."

      2. "Undefiled," unsoiled.

      3. "It fadeth not away."

      4. Sure, it is kept, "reserved in heaven."

      IV. Absolute Security.

      "Kept by the power of God through faith." "Kept by THE POWER OF GOD." "KEPT by the power of God.

      V. "Power and Honor and Glory at the Appearing of Jesus Christ." v.7.

      VI. "Joy Unspeakable and full of Glory." v.8.

      # FIRST JOHN 1

      INTRODUCTION. -- This chapter sets forth seven present and priceless privileges and possessions of the believer in Jesus Christ.

      I. Precious and Certain Knowledge.

      1. What the believer knows. The believer knows eternal life. "I declare unto you the life, the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested unto us.

      2. The certainty of what he knows. The knowledge of the life is certain. That which we HAVE HEARD; that which we HAVE SEEN WITH OUR OWN EYES; that which we HAVE BEHELD, i.e., not merely seen but gazed at intently and studied; OUR HANDS HANDLED.

      II. Glorious Fellowship.

      Fellowship with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.

      III. Fullness of Joy.

      "That your joy may be fulfilled" (filled full). v.4 RV.

      IV. A Wonderful Message.

      The message is this, "God is light, and in him is no darkness at all." v.5.

      V. A Holy Walk.

      It is our privilege to walk in the light, to walk in the knowledge of and obedience to the truth, to walk in holiness. v.7.

      VI. Cleansing from all Sin. v.7.

      The cleansing spoken of in this verse is cleansing from the guilt of sin. Wherever in the Bible cleansing is spoken of in connection with the blood, it always has reference to the removal of guilt, i.e., to pardon and not removal of the actual presence of sin that comes in v.9.

      VII. Cleansing from all Unrighteousness. v.9.

      Not only is it our privilege to be cleansed from all guilt by the blood, it is also our privilege to be cleansed from all unrighteousness in our life.

      # FIRST JOHN 2

      INTRODUCTION. -- This chapter presents to us seven comforting views of Jesus.

      I. Jesus as an Advocate with the Father.

      The first view of Jesus that the chapter gives us is found in the first verse. Here we see Jesus as our Advocate with the Father. Jesus always represents the believer before the throne of God.

      II. Jesus as a Propitiation.

      The second comforting view that the chapter gives us of Jesus is in the second verse. Here we see Jesus Christ as a "Propitiation." A propitiation means "a means of appeasing." Jesus is a propitiation because by His atoning death on the cross God's wrath at sinners is appeased.

      III. Jesus as an Abiding Place, or as our Life. v.6.

      Here we see Jesus as an Abiding Place, or as our life. It is our privilege to live in Christ, to abide in Him, to live and move and have our being in Him, to draw our very life from Him.

      IV. Jesus as the Anointer. vs.20 and 27.

      Here we see Jesus as the Anointer. The Holy One of verse 20 from whom we receive the anointing is Jesus, and the anointing that we receive from Him is the Holy Spirit. Jesus pours out the oil of the Holy Spirit upon our heads. Acts 2:23.

      V. Jesus as the Christ and Son of God. vs.22 and 23.

      Here we see Jesus as the Christ and the Son of God. This is also a comforting view of Jesus. Indeed, it is a view that gives comfort to all other views.

      VI. Jesus as the Great Promiser. v.25.

      Here we see Jesus as the Great Promiser. He promises us eternal life.

      VII. Jesus as the Coming One.

      There is one more comforting view of Jesus given us in this chapter, verse 28. Here we see Jesus as the Coming One. Jesus came once. He is also coming again.

      # FIRST JOHN 3

      INTRODUCTION. -- This chapter declares to us seven great facts about believers.

      I. Believers in Jesus are now Children of God. vs. 1 and 2.

      The great fact set forth is that we are now children of God.

      II. Believes shall be like Jesus when He Comes.

      The second great fact, etc., in verse 2. The great fact he declares is that when Jesus comes again we shall be like Him.

      III. The Believer does not make a Practice of Sin. vs. 5, 6, 9, and 10.

      Here we see this great fact about believers in Christ: Those who have been born again, and abide in Christ, do not make a practice of sin.

      IV. The Believer knows that he has Passed out of Death into Life. v.14.

      How he knows. v.14-18.

      V. The Believer has Boldness before God. vs.19-21.

      The believer can come into God's presence and look up into His face and pour out his whole heart before Him. When is it that we have this boldness before God? When our own heart does not condemn us.

      VI. The believer has Power to Obtain from God by Prayer whatsoever he Asks. v.22.

      When has he that power?

      VII. The Believer has the Gift of the Holy Spirit. v.24.

      The great fact about believers set forth is that believers in Jesus Christ have the Spirit given to them, i.e., they have the gift of the Holy Spirit.

      # FIRST JOHN 4

      INTRODUCTION. -- This chapter teaches us seven great lessons about love.

      I. Love is of God. v.7.

      "Out of God."

      II. God is Love. vs. 8 and 16.

      The great lesson about love taught here is that God is love. Not only is love of God but "God is Love." Love is the very essence of God's character. God is Love. That is the great central truth around which the whole system of Bible truth revolves. That is the great foundation truth upon which the whole superstructure of Christian doctrine is built. We owe our knowledge of this truth to the Bible. Take away the Bible and the facts therein recorded and made known and we have no sure proof left that God is Love.

      III. Jesus Christ is the Supreme Manifestation of the Love of God. vs. 9 and 10.

      God manifested His love, showed it in a visible way.

      1. By sending His Son into the world. v.9.

      2. God manifested His love in Christ in a still further and more wonderful way. v.10. He not only sent His begotten Son, but He sent Him to be a propitiation for our sins. We had sinned. God was holy. God's holy wrath must fall upon us and destroy us unless a propitiation is provided. God provided it Himself.

      IV. If God so Loved us we ought also to Love one another. v.11.

      V. He that Loveth others Dwelleth in God and God in him. vs. 12-16.

      VI. There is no Fear in Love. v.18.

      The sixth great lesson about Christ taught here is that "there is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear." Learn to love God and you will be delivered from all dread of God.

      VII. "We Love because He first Loved us." v.19.

      The great lesson about love taught us here is that "we love because God first loved us." Love does not begin with our loving, but with God's loving. Not with our loving God, but with God's loving us.

      # FIRST JOHN 5

      INTRODUCTION. -- This chapter sets forth the seven-fold glory of the believer in Jesus Christ.

      I. The Believer's noble Parentage.

      "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God." v.1. Every true believer in Jesus Christ can boast of the eternal, all-wise, all-holy, almighty God as His father.

      II. The Believer's splendid Victory. vs. 4 and 5.

      Victory over the world.

      III. The Believer's priceless Possession. vs. 11 and 12.

      The believer has eternal life. Not only has the believer eternal life, it is his privilege to know that he has eternal life. v.13.

      IV. The Believer's sure Confidence. vs. 14 and 15.

      The believer's sure confidence is that if he asks anything that is according to the will of God he will obtain it.

      V. The Believer's wonderful Power. v.16.

      The believer has the power to save by his prayer his erring brother's life. The death spoken of in this verse is eternal death, and the life spoken of is eternal life.

      VI. The Believer's perfect security. v.18 RV. {"We know that whosoever is begotten of God sinneth not; but he that was begotten of God keepeth him, and the evil one toucheth him not." RV.}

      He that was begotten of God (i.e., Jesus Christ) keepeth him that is begotten of God from the practice of sin and from the clutch of Satan.

      VII. The Believer's glorious Knowledge. v.20.

      The Son of God gives to every believer an understanding to know God. The knowledge of God, the supreme knowledge.

Back to Reuben Archer Torrey index.

See Also:
   How to Work for Christ: Book 3: Preaching and Teaching the Word of God, Chapter 1
   How to Work for Christ: Book 3: Preaching and Teaching the Word of God, Chapter 2
   How to Work for Christ: Book 3: Preaching and Teaching the Word of God, Chapter 3
   How to Work for Christ: Book 3: Preaching and Teaching the Word of God, Chapter 4
   How to Work for Christ: Book 3: Preaching and Teaching the Word of God, Chapter 5
   How to Work for Christ: Book 3: Preaching and Teaching the Word of God, Chapter 6
   How to Work for Christ: Book 3: Preaching and Teaching the Word of God, Chapter 7


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