He Who Would Win Souls Must First Get Virtue
For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ—2 Peter 1:8 (NIV).
If we desire to glorify our Lord by fruitfulness we must have certain things within us; for nothing can come out of us which is not first of all within us. We must begin with faith, which is the groundwork of all the virtues; and then diligently add to it virtue, knowledge, self-control, and patience. With these we must have godliness and brotherly love. All these put together will most assuredly cause us to produce, as our life fruit, the clusters of usefulness, and we shall not be mere idle knowers, but real doers of the word. These holy things must not only be in us, but abound, or we shall be barren. Fruit is the overflow of life, and we must be full before we can flow over.
We have noticed men of considerable parts and opportunities who have never succeeded in doing real good in the conversion of souls; and after close observation we have concluded that they lacked certain graces which are absolutely essential to fruit-bearing. For real usefulness graces are better than gifts. As the man is, so is his work. If we would do better we must be better. Let the text be a gentle hint to unfruitful professors, and to myself also.
About the author and the source
Charles Spurgeon (1834–1892) was an eminent and successful preacher who often suffered deep depression. In days of darkness, he clung to God’s promises. One of the books most beloved by his readers consisted of daily readings based on promises that faith could rely upon.
Spurgeon, Charles H. The Cheque Book of the Bank of Faith. New York: American Tract Society, n.d.