"You Shall Be Witnesses!" -- Part Four
Can an ordinary Christian participate in the mission of our Lord Jesus Christ to a lost world?
Does witnessing require special skills or training?
Is a certain witnessing system necessary?
Must the Christian force himself to witness?
Or is there another answer?
I believe there is.
I believe God expects all of His children to witness to His grace in their lives.
But this witness must not be forced.
Nor does witnessing necessarily require elaborate and special preparation.
The sharing -- the witnessing will grow out of life itself and be reflected constantly
through the normal contacts of everyday living.
It will be an enjoyable experience, a natural part of the Christian life.
It will be a daily adventure of faith and expectancy.
What does the word ";witness" mean?
What constitutes witnessing?
- Witness (verb transitive) -- "to see or know by personal experience."
- Witness (verb intransitive) -- "to bear witness; to give evidence."
- Witness (noun) -- "a person who has seen or know something
and is therefore competent to give evidence concerning it."
Peter said in Acts 4:20:
"We cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard."
John wrote, "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you."
(1 John 1: 3)
No mention is made of organization, program, or elaborate technique.
Oddly enough, nothing is said about Scripture memorization or careful selection of certain sequences.
Nor is there any hint of requiring a response.
Indeed, there are only two basic elements which emerge from these definitions:
-- knowledge from personal experience -- and the giving of evidence based on that knowledge.
That is all!
Although witness may be an element in any one of these, witnessing is not defined precisely as:
- Ringing doorbells in a community survey.
- Handing out pieces of literature.
- Asking an individual if he is born again.
- Quoting the customary soul winning passages.
- Preaching a brief sermon filled with moralistic advice.
- Asking for a response of commitment.
- Getting a person to his knees.
Let me repeat.
In the strictness sense of the word, from the viewpoint of both the dictionary and the Scriptures,
witness is none of these.
One witnesses when he gives evidence based on knowledge gained from experience.
In the Christian context one witnesses when he shares his knowledge of God's grace
based on his own experiences of faith in Christ.
To witness is to share.
Our witness centers in Christ.
We are witnesses of him.
He is our message.
We have no other mission or message.
To lead people to know God must be our prime concern.
This is our message!
The work of Christ in our lives is more than a theological fact.
- It is more than a scriptural.
- It is more than personal opinion or a private philosophy.
- It is real!
- It is observable!
- It is Christ in us estimation Paul
The limit of our testimony is defined only by what Christ has become to us.
Our life, our hope, our all.
Our message is not an argument! It is a report.
We share vital information.
Simplicity should mark our testimony.
Nor is our witness a recounting of what we have done, but of what Christ has done in us.
It is not so much our accepting Christ that is worthy of sharing, the glorious truth that He has accepted us.
The message is not that we love God, but that He loved us.
We do not tell of our new strength, but we testify of His sufficiency.
We are witnesses of what we have experienced in Christ.
Our testimony is like manna.
It must be shared.
It cannot be held without becoming decayed and putrid.
It must be used -- given away.
No gimmicks are needed.
Mere man is not in the soul winning business.
His commission is not to win souls or to convert people.
The conversion of a man is the work of the Holy Spirit.
Our business is to witness.
The power of the Holy Spirit is available.
In all of life, through word or deed the Christian reflects the operation of the grace of God
upon and within and through him.
- To be brought into the family of God is to be given the blessed privilege of inviting others.
- To have received this love is to want to share it.
- To have experienced His cleansing grace and great forgiveness is to long
for this release from guilt and sin for those still bound and burdened.
- To know His joy and power in daily living is to radiate the very presence of God.
This is witness!
"You shall receive power to witness." (Acts 1: 8)
Sermon by Dr. Harold L. White
Email Dr. White at firstname.lastname@example.org