The fruit of
the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise
Every life is
like some kind of tree. A righteous life is like a good tree bearing good
fruit. A wicked life is like a bad tree bearing bad fruit. Jesus said, "Even
so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth
forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a
corrupt tree bring forth good fruit"
Fruit of a Righteous Life
person produces fruit that may be considered "a tree of life." This includes
(1) Good Influence In Word and Deed.
child of God, "by his good deeds, is as a tree of life to those whose lives
he sustains" (Whiteside). Many around us can be uplifted by the power of a
good example. The Christian wields a wholesome influence as the "salt of the
earth" and the "light of the world"
Good words have added weight when backed by good deeds.
(2) Food For Souls Through Teaching.
righteous man is more than a "Good Samaritan." He feeds hungry souls the
bread of life. While people of the world often perform humanitarian acts
that aid the temporal man, the Christian sees his main task as helping the
(3) Encouragement That Helps Weary Souls.
"Tree of life"
means "that tree which bears fruit that contributes to the life and
happiness and good health of those who eat it" (Lanier). The righteous have
the right to the tree of life, that is, access to heaven
And each life which reaches out to help others who have grown fainthearted
is lifting them from death to life.
"The effect of
a righteous life on others is like that of a tree of life; and the result
which flows from a life of wisdom is the winning of souls" (L. G. Thomas).
Wisdom of Winning Souls
The winning of
souls is a wise thing to do, and the winning of souls requires wisdom. Where
is the wisdom of winning souls?
(1) Souls Are More Precious Than Gold.
being is endowed with a soul which dwells in a physical body.
which kills the body does not kill the soul
10:28). The soul is
one's most priceless possession. "For what is a man profited, if he shall
gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in
exchange for his soul?" said Jesus
(2) Souls Won Are Saved From Death.
While the soul
does not die physically, it can die in the sense of being separated from
God. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die"
18:20). "Brethren, if
any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he
which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from
death, and shall hide a multitude of sins"
(3) Winning Souls Increases The Influence of Good.
time one soul is won to the Lord the influence of good multiplies just that
much on this earth. Each soul won to the Lord becomes a potential for
winning additional souls. I can think of no better way to improve conditions
in this world than by turning men and women from darkness to light, from the
power of Satan to God.
(4) Winning Souls Brings Joy.
The New Testament tells about
people who rejoiced when they were baptized
people weep for joy when they obey the gospel. But there is joy in the heart
of the soul winner as well as in the heart of the converted-sinner. Paul
referred to his converts at Philippi as his "joy and crown"
It is a great thrill to have a part in leading someone to the Savior.
How Souls Are Won
Testament teaches Christians how souls are brought to Christ. Here are some
truths to consider in this connection:
(1) By The Gospel, Not A Direct Operation of the Holy Spirit.
No apostle, no evangelist, no teacher in the New Testament instructed
sinners to pray for God to send the Spirit to save them from their sins. In
every case of conversion the gospel was presented, and by the power of God's
word sinners were drawn to the Lord. Jesus said, "No man can come to me,
except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at
the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of
God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father,
cometh unto me"
6:44,45). Indeed, the
gospel of Christ "is the power of God unto salvation"
(2) Through Persuasion, Not Force. God does not attempt to
coerce people against their wills to serve him.
We should use
every righteous means to convince people to accept the gospel, but we cannot
force them to turn to the Lord. Paul said, "Knowing therefore the terror of
the Lord, we persuade men"
To "persuade" means to prevail upon or win over by bringing about a change
of mind by the influence of gospel promises, warnings, and exhortations.
People who are baptized because of high pressure tactics turn back as soon
as the pressure is removed. To pressure a person is one thing; to win him to
the Lord is another thing.
(3) Through Godly Living.
Peter advised women whose
husbands were not Christians that they might be won by the conduct of the
Many who will not listen to the oral presentation of the gospel can be
influenced when they see the gospel in action. We should live daily with the
thought of winning others who may be watching our behavior.
is inseparably connected with winning souls in a righteous life. God does
not want us to be barren or unfruitful (2 Pet. 1:8).
Guardian of Truth— February 1, 1990
Other Articles by Irvin Himmel
By Many or by Few
The Church at Work in
A Few Ominous Isms
The Sufferings of Christ Prior to His Death
Pearls From Proverbs - A Seeming Right Course
Pearls in Proverbs: Glorying in Glory
We Wait by Faith
The Suffering of Jesus Prior to His Death
Unity in the Church
The Grace of God that Brings Salvation
For Past Auburn Beacons go to:
Anyone can join the mailing list for the Auburn Beacon! Send
your request to: