How to Convert People – W.S. Boyett

W.S. Boyett

And I, brethren, when I came unto you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: that your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God (1 Cor. 2:1-5).

This passage lends itself to the following considerations:

Proper Way to Convert People

God’s way for converting people is by preaching the truth to them with simplicity. More preaching is being done today than at any other time in history, but the number of converts made by the preaching is lower. Paul teaches us that when we stand before an audience to preach, we are not there to display eloquence or superior wisdom, but to preach Christ and him crucified with simplicity. Paul was not an eloquent orator. He once said of himself: “For I reckon that I am not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles. But though I be rude in speech, yet am I not in knowledge; nay, in every way have we made this manifest unto you in all things” (2 Cor. 11:5-6). No wonder that we do not convert more people today, when much of the preaching they hear focuses their minds on the eloquence of the speaker rather than on “Christ and him crucified.” Paul wrote so that those who read what he wrote might understand his knowledge in the mystery, and to make men see the dispensation of the same mystery (Eph. 3: 2-9). We will make more converts when we preach more like Paul.

The Proper State of Mind

I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.” This was not physical weakness, but the state of the mind when he faced the grave responsibility of preaching Christ to the wicked city of Corinth. Charles Hodge says:

This weakness of which he here speaks was not bodily weakness…Here the whole context shows he refers to his state of mind. It was not in the consciousness of strength, self confident and self-relying, that he appeared among them, but as oppressed with a sense of his weakness and insufficiency (Commentary on 1 Corinthians, p. 31).

What preacher has ever preached on such subjects as “The Love of God,” “The Holy Spirit,” “The Godhead,” without feeling this weakness and insufficiency?

The Success of the Gospel

This does not depend on the eloquence of the man but on the power of the message. The Gospel has the power (Rom. 1:16) and will convert people when in simplicity it is faithfully preached. The power is not in the man, but in the message.

The Foundation of Faith

That is your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but In the power 0f God.” The Gospel is the “power of God unto salvation,” and it is the preaching of this Gospel that produces faith in the hearers (Rom. 10:17), “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word 0f God.” The faith of the hearers will be no stronger than the message that produced it. Faith that rests on the Gospel, the power of God, will wield a powerful influence in and through the one who possesses it. We must have strong faith in the hearts of those in the pews. The church’s greatest weakness today is weak faith among the members, caused by weak preaching in the pulpits.

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Author: Editor

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