Trust Christ Alone
Every gospel preacher is faced with three great difficulties. In seeking the conversion of sinners, there are three terribly difficult tasks confronting Godís servant.
Getting A Person Lost
The first real difficulty in conversion is to get a person lost - really lost. The hardest thing in the world to find is a sinner who is really lost. In all the years Iíve been preaching, Iíve met very few people who were really lost. That is to say, people who knew that they were lost, so thoroughly and completely lost that no religious rite or ceremony, no system of works, no law, no code of morality could do them any good.
There are many people who will admit that they are weak and need a little help. There are even some who will admit that they are sinful and in need of some atonement. But there are few people in this world who will acknowledge that they are totally and eternally lost without Christ, in need of salvation by pure grace alone. Only the Holy Spirit can produce a lost sinner. The first thing that must be done is to get a man lost. Only real sinners seek real grace.
Teaching People The Gospel
The second real difficulty in conversion is to teach a person the gospel of the grace of God. There are few people in this world who have ever heard the gospel, and fewer still who ever really learn it. The gospel is the proclamation of free grace to sinners through the mediation of Christ alone. It is the good news of salvation by Godís free, sovereign, saving grace in Christ, salvation that comes to the lost sinner without any return on his part. It declares salvation to be the free gift of God, from beginning to end. Even repentance, faith, and good works are gifts of his grace. It is a very difficult thing for men to learn the gospel, because it is opposed to our pride, our imaginary wisdom, all our religious prejudices, and our traditions. Like Naaman the leper, we all have our thoughts about how God ought to do his work. But our thoughts are always wrong (Prov. ).
Getting Sinners To Rest In Christ Alone
The third great difficulty in conversion is to bring sinners to rest in Christ alone. We must rest entirely upon Christ. We must never grow beyond that. We are to live all the days of our lives trusting that same grace and love that first took us in. We are chosen, redeemed, called, justified, sanctified, and kept by grace alone. ďAs ye have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him.Ē
††††††††††† We place no hope whatsoever in our obedience to the law of God. We have neither salvation, nor sanctification, nor reward by our obedience to the law. We trust nothing but Christ alone; and we trust him for all things (1 Cor. -31).