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    How to Present the Truth

    The various points of truth are not all equally appropriate to be presented to a congregation at any one time. Even Jesus said to His disciples, who had been with Him for three years, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” We must endeavour to present the truth as the people are prepared to hear it and to appreciate its value. The Spirit of God is working upon the minds and hearts of men, and we are to work in harmony with it.PH130 24.1

    Of some truths the people already have a knowledge. There are some in which they are interested, of which they are ready to learn more.PH130 24.2

    Show them the deep significance of these truths, and their relation to others which they do not understand. Thus you will arouse a desire for greater light. This was Paul's manner of labour. It is “rightly dividing the Word of truth.”PH130 24.3

    Let the truth be presented, not in long, laboured discourses, but in short talks, right to the point. Do not think, when you have gone over a subject once, that you can pass right on to other points, and the hearers will retain all that has been presented. There is danger of passing too rapidly from point to point. Give short lessons, in plain and simple language, and let them be often repeated.PH130 24.4

    One night, previous to an important meeting, I seemed in my sleeping hours to be meeting with my brethren, listening to One who spoke as having authority. He said: “Many souls will attend this meeting who are honestly ignorant of the truth that will be presented. They will listen and become interested, because Christ is drawing them; conscience tells them that what they hear is true, for it has the Bible for its foundation. The greatest care is needed in dealing with these souls.PH130 24.5

    “Let such portions of truth be dealt out to them as they may be able to grasp and appreciate. Though it should appear strange and startling, many will recognize with joy that new light is shed on the Word of God; whereas if truth were presented in so large a measure that they could not comprehend it, some would go away, and never come again. Some would misrepresent the truth; in their explanation of what was said, they would so wrest the Scriptures as to confuse other minds. We must take advantage of circumstances now. Present the truth as it is in Jesus. There must be no combative or controversial spirit in the advocacy of truth.PH130 25.1

    “Those who will study the manner of Christ's teaching and educate themselves to follow His way, will attract and hold large numbers now, as Christ held the people in His day. The Saviour is our example in all things. His love abiding in the heart will be expressed in words that will benefit the hearers, and win souls to Him. When the truth in its practical character is urged upon the people because you love them, souls will be convicted, because the Holy Spirit of God will convict of the truth. Satan will be on the ground, that with his hellish shadow he may obtrude himself between man and God, to intercept every ray of light that will shine on the soul. The great message is to be given as it is in Jesus.PH130 25.2

    “Arm yourselves with humility, pray that angels of God may come close to your side to impress the mind; for it is not you that work the Holy Spirit, but the Holy Spirit must work you. There is a winning, compelling power in the gospel of Jesus Christ; it is the Holy Spirit that makes the truth impressive. Keep practical truth ever before the people.”PH130 25.3

    Do not make prominent the features of our faith which strike most decidedly against the customs and practices of the people until the Lord shall give them an opportunity to know that we are believers in Christ, that we believe in His divinity, and in His pre-existence. Let the testimony of the world's Redeemer be dwelt upon. “I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify these things in the churches.”PH130 26.1

    The very first and most important thing is to melt and subdue the soul by presenting our Lord Jesus Christ as the sin-pardoning Saviour. Never should a sermon be preached, or Bible instruction in any line be given, without pointing the hearers to “The Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29. We are to proclaim to the people Christ and His love, presenting all our doctrines in their relation to this important theme. Every true doctrine makes Christ the centre, every precept receives force from his word.PH130 26.2

    Keep before the people the cross of Calvary. Show what caused the death of Christ,—the transgression of the law. Show that Christ died to give men an opportunity of becoming loyal subjects of His kingdom.PH130 26.3

    Sin is not to be cloaked, or treated as a matter of little consequence. It is to be presented as guilt against the Son of God. The exceeding sinfulness of sin is to be held before the people just as it is. Then point them to the uplifted Saviour, telling them that immortality comes only through belief in Christ, through receiving Him as a personal Saviour.PH130 26.4

    Arouse the slumbering senses of the people to see how far they have departed from the Lord's ordinances by adopting worldly policy and conforming to worldly principles. These have brought them into transgression of the law of God.PH130 27.1

    Christ's favourite theme was the paternal character and abundant love of God. When the world was destitute of a knowledge of God, Christ came to impart this inestimable blessing. This was His own gift to our world, and this gift he committed to His disciples to be communicated by them to the people. The same gift and the same work are committed to His servants today.PH130 27.2

    *****

    Many in the world set their affections on things that in themselves are not evil; but they become satisfied with these things, and do not seek the greater and higher good that Christ desires to give them. Now, we must not rudely seek to deprive them of what they hold dear. Reveal to them the beauty and preciousness of truth. Lead them to behold Christ in His loveliness, then they will turn aside from everything that would draw their affections away from Him. This is the principle of the Saviour's dealing with men; it is the principle that must be brought into the church.PH130 27.3

    Christ came into the world to “bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound.” “The Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings.” The world is full of men and women who are carrying a heavy burden of sorrow and suffering and sin. God sends His children to reveal to them Him who will take away the burden and give them rest. It is the mission of Christ's servants to help, to bless, and to heal.PH130 27.4

    When you are teaching the people, present only a few vital points, and keep the mind concentrated on these points. Do not bring unimportant ideas into your discourses. God would not have you think that you are impressed by His Spirit when you fly from your subject, bringing in foreign matters that have no real connection with your text. By wandering from straight lines, and bringing in that which calls the mind off the subject, you lose your bearings and weaken all that you have previously said.PH130 28.1

    Preach the truth in its simplicity. Do not let your discourses embrace so much that weakness shall be seen in place of solid argument. Dwell decidedly on a few important points. Realize every moment that you must have the presence of the Holy Spirit; for He can do a work that you of yourself cannot do. Give your hearers pure wheat, thoroughly winnowed. Give them the very manna from heaven, and the Spirit will bear witness with your spirit that it is not you that speak, but that the Holy Spirit is speaking through you.PH130 28.2

    The teacher of the Word must first talk with God, and then he can stand before the people with the Holy Spirit working upon his mind. If he faithfully co-operates with Christ, the promise will be fulfilled. “Lo, I am with you alway.”PH130 28.3

    Be careful never to lose a sense of the presence of the divine Watcher. Remember that you are speaking not only before an assembly of men, but before One whom you should ever recognize. Speak as though the whole heavenly universe were before you.PH130 28.4

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