Lesson 4 - Witnessing For Christ
A witness in a courtroom tells what he or she knows about a given situation. The Christian witness tells others what he or she knows about Jesus Christ and what it means to personally trust Him with his or her life.
When He began His ministry, Jesus called two fishermen, Simon Peter and his brother Andrew, and said, "Come, follow me ... and I will make you fishers of men" (Matthew 4:19). Through the ages, the same call has gone out to all those who put their faith in Jesus Christ. He reaches others through the faithful witness of people like you (2 Corinthians 5:19-20).
Your Life Example
As a witness for Christ, your life is a key part of your witness. You are a new creation—the way your new faith shows itself in your conduct is the greatest testimony you have (Matthew 5:16). This means your habits and lifestyle should reflect a life given over to Jesus Christ. It does not mean that you must be perfect before you can be a witness. We all stumble from time to time as we are learning to walk, but as you learned in Lesson 1, God is willing to forgive your sins and put you back on your feet again.
The Power of the Holy SpiritYou also need a power beyond yourself in order to witness—this is the Holy Spirit. Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will give us power to tell others about Him (Acts 1:8). When your life is clean and you walk under the control of the Holy Spirit, He is able to witness through you.
A man named Philip was chosen to serve the church because he was "full of the Spirit and wisdom" (Acts 6:3). He was having a successful ministry in Samaria (Acts 8:4-13), when an angel summoned him to go to Gaza (Acts 8:26), where an Ethiopian official was returning from Jerusalem. The Ethiopian was reading from chapter 53 of Isaiah at the time. Empowered by the Holy Spirit, Philip began to talk with the Ethiopian using that very passage of Scripture and telling him the good news about Jesus (Acts 8:35).
The Power of God's WordThe third critical ingredient to effective witness is God's Word—the Bible. In the story of Philip, God put the appropriate Scripture in the hands of the Ethiopian before He sent Philip to share with him. When the seed of God's Word is planted in a prepared heart, it produces fruit—a new believer in Christ (1 Peter 1:23).
It's exciting to share your newfound faith in Jesus Christ with others. A great way to start is to tell how Jesus Christ changed your own life. There is great power in a simple and honest personal testimony. Also, be prepared with the facts of the Gospel message in mind.
Sharing Your Faith
When you are explaining the Gospel it may help to draw it on paper for the friend with whom you are sharing.
Step 1: Explain the facts.On the top of your page list the four basic truths of the Gospel (see "Steps to Peace with God"). List them one at a time and use a Scripture or two with each one.
Draw the graphic of God on one side of the chasm and us on the other. As you draw, share Bible verses that explain how the separation took place. Show how the cross bridges the chasm between God and us and how we can cross the bridge through faith in Christ.
Step 2: Invite a response.
If you feel led by the Holy Spirit and the person is responding positively, offer an invitation, such as, "If this illustration is true—and I believe with all my heart that it is—then all of us are on either one side of the chasm or the other."
Then ask, "Which side are you on? Here ... or here?" If your friend is unsure or knows he or she is on the wrong side, your friend can be sure of his or her position by:
1. Admitting your need—that you are a sinner
2. Being willing to turn away from your sins
3. Believing that Jesus Christ died for you on the Cross and rose from the grave.
4. Praying to invite Jesus Christ to be the Lord and Savior of your life and control your life through the Holy Spirit
Step 3: Pray with the person responding.Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Romans 10:13). Remember, Jesus Christ is the door to eternal life. Through prayer we can enter that door and receive Him as Lord and Savior. Lead the person in a simple prayer, such as:
Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died for my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I now invite You to come into my heart and life. I want to trust and follow You as Lord and Savior. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Step 4: Confirm the new believer in his or her decision.If your friend sincerely prays that prayer, he or she has become a Christian and has been saved from eternal death! You will want to share some Bible verses (such as 1 John 5:12-13) to give your friend assurance of his or her new standing before God.
Follow-upWhen you help a person in coming to faith in Christ, remember that this individual is a spiritual baby (1 Peter 2:2). In order to grow, an infant needs nurture and care. This means encouraging the person to begin to read the Bible and pray regularly. You can do so by using this online Bible study. Share what you have learned from Living in Christ. Also encourage this new Christian to find a Bible-teaching church in order to have fellowship with other believers in Christ and continue to grow.