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The Pastor and Evangelism

With all that you can do, your desires will not be fulfilled, for soul-winning is a pursuit which grows upon a man; the more he is rewarded with conversions the more eager he becomes to see greater numbers born unto God. Hence you will soon discover that you need help if many are to be brought in. The net soon becomes too heavy for one pair of hands to drag to shore when it is filled with fishes; and you fellow-helpers must be beckoned to your assistance. Great things are done by the Holy Spirit when a whole church is aroused to sacred energy...

Contemplate at the outset the possibility of having a church of soul-winners. Do not succumb to the usual idea that we can only gather a few useful workers, and that the rest of the community must inevitably be dead weight: It may possibly so happen, but do not set out with that notion or it will be verified. The usual need not be the universal; better things are possible than anything yet attained; set your aim high and spare no effort to reach it. Labor to gather a church alive for Jesus, every member energetic to the full, and the whole in incessant activity for the salvation of men. To this end there must be the best of preaching to feed the host into strength, continual prayer to bring down the power from on high, and the most heroic example on your own part to fire their zeal.

C.H. Spurgeon
Cited by Mark Dever
The Gospel and Personal Evangelism
p. 177

How Not to Fight Sin

I do not know of a single scripture, —and I speak advisedly, —which tells me to take my sin, the particular thing that gets me down, to God in prayer and ask him to deliver me from it and then trust in faith that he will.

Now that teaching is also often put like this: you must say to a man who is constantly defeated by a particular sin, "I think your only hope is to take it to Christ and Christ will take it from you." But what does Scripture say in Ephesians 4:28 to the man who finds himself constantly guilty of stealing, to a man who sees something he likes and takes it? What am I to tell such a man? Am I to say, "Take that sin to Christ and ask him to deliver you?" No, what the apostle Paul tells him is this: "Let him that stole, steal no more." Just that. Stop doing it. And if it is fornication or adultery or lustful thoughts, again: Stop doing it, says Paul. He does not say, "Go and pray to Christ to deliver you." No. You stop doing that, he says, as becomes children of God.

D. Martyn Lloyd Jones
Sanctified Through the Truth
p. 54

HT: Pyromaniacs

I may add that Christ has already accomplished that which He must accomplish. He died to put to death sin and he has changed the believer from the heart. So put to death sin, which isn't who you are at your core...you are no longer a slave to sin but to righteousness. Read Romans 7-8 to put this quote in context of what the Bible does say about the believer and Christ's work in him regarding sin.

What is the Good News? (Mark Dever)

The good news is that the one and only God, who is holy, made us in his image to know him. But we sinned and cut ourselves off from him. In his great love, God became a man in Jesus, lived a perfect life, and died on the cross, thus fulfilling the law himself and taking on himself the punishment for the sins of all those who would ever turn and trust in him. He rose again from the dead, showing that God accepted Christ's sacrifice and that God's wrath against us had been exhausted. He now calls us to repent of our sins and trust in Christ alone for our forgiveness. If we repent of our sins and trust in Christ, we are born again into a new life, an eternal life with God.

Now that's good news!

Mark Dever
The Gospel and Personal Evangelism
p 43

Broadus on Reading

I think that young men should be specially exhorted to read old books. If you have a friend in the ministry who is growing old, urge him to read mainly new books, that he may freshen his mind and keep in sympathy with his surroundings. "But must not young men keep abreast of the age?" Certainly, only the first thing is to get abreast of the age, and in order to this, they must go back to where the age came from, and join there the great procession of its moving thought.

John Broadus
Lectures on the History of Preaching (amazon / logos digital)
230-231

HT: Founders Ministry 

Make Careful Choice of the Books Which You Read

Don Piper makes the list, John Piper doesn't. A look over the top 50 Christian authors gives a good indication of what Christians are reading. I can't help but to call to mind the Spanish dicho (saying): Por eso estamos como estamos (That's why we are how we are).

Reflecting on this list also reminds me of a Richard Baxter quote I recently read on Challies.com:

“Make careful choice of the books which you read: let the holy scriptures ever have the pre-eminence, and, next to them, those solid, lively, heavenly treatises which best expound and apply the scriptures, and next, credible histories, especially of the Church … but take heed of false teachers who would corrupt your understandings.”

Challies comments with discernment:

For every good book, there are five or ten (or, more likely, far more) that are fit only for the trash. Much of what is published under the banner of “Christian” is anything but. Be careful what you read, for a book can lead you astray as easily as it can lead you closer to the Lord. Find mature believers who can guide you to books and authors that will edify you.