Basic Truths: Witnessing #3

Faith Church June 21, 1992

 

- we've been talking about "Using our tongues to tell others

   about Jesus Christ."

 

- so far we've studied a number of reasons why we ought to

   witness.

- we also began talking about reasons why we don't always

    witness as faithfully as we should.

 

- the first reason we talked about was the "love of approval,

    respect, prestige"

 

    - the Scripture makes it clear that those who carry God's

        message will not receive universal approval.

          - we studied some of those passages in depth and

            saw that Jesus prepared us for this fact and that

            the lives of the disciples proved the truth of

            this idea.

 

          - we also studied some verses that we ought not to

            let the fear of man enslave us.

             INPUT - do you remember the verse in Proverbs

             that particularly addresses that issue?

               (29:25 - the fear of man brings a snare)

 

- this morning I'd like to finish discussing the reasons why

   we don't witness as faithfully as we should and then move

   into one of the most effective means of telling others

   about Christ.

 

(reasons why we don't witness as faithfully as we should)

 

    B. "Unadorning" lifestyle

 

        Titus 2:10 - adorn the doctrine of God

 

          - Some folks don't tell others about Christ because

             they haven't been growing and living a godly

             life in front of that person.

 

          - INPUT - Is that a legitimate excuse? What should

              a person in that position do?  (Ask

              forgiveness, witness, change)

 

        INPUT - can you think of other passages of Scripture

          that "connect" the ideas of witnessing and a godly

          life?  (I Peter 2:12, 3:15-17)

 

(this is the "other side" of point "A".  There ought to be a

  natural attraction because of a believer's lifestyle)

 

 

    C. Fear of failure

 

        - let's develop this idea of the fear of failure some

          more.

        - often when we have this fear, we are being

          motivated by the wrong things.  (next page)

 

        - Is witnessing a failure if the person doesn't

          accept Christ as Savior?

 

        - This idea needs to "balance off" some of the things

           we presented in the introduction last week

           concerning "Reasons we should witness"

 

               (commanded, commended, condition of the

                  unsaved, reality of hell)

 

            - We really need to divide those thoughts into

              primary and secondary motivations.

 

            - "Primary motivations" being ones that can be

               satisfied even if the person doesn't make a

               decision.

                 - INPUT - Which ones? (commanded, commended,

                     compassion, care for others)

 

                     - the other reasons are important, but

                       we ought not to translate a reason

                       like "condition of the unsaved in

                       hell" into a thought like "I must

                       rescue so and so from hell"

                         - otherwise you'll be discouraged if

                           that person doesn't make a

                           decision

 

 

            - Input - when we're struggling with this issue

               of "fear of failure," what kinds of thoughts

               may have to be put off?

 

    D. Failure to learn and study

 

        INPUT - what's the balance on this subject?

 

           - will never know all the answers, but need to be

             growing stewards of the truth God has entrusted

             to us.

 

        (recommend handout of verses)

 

 

    E. Failure to love and build bridges

 

        - develop - we live in a self-sufficient society

 

    F. Failure to focus on who He is

 

        Isaiah 6

 

        Luke 5:1-11 (cf. 11 - And when they had brought their

          boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him)

 

        Rev. 1:17-19

 

************************************************************

 

- we're going to "switch gears" here

- we've talked about a number of biblical reasons why we

  should witness, and a number of reasons why we don't

- however, we're not simply trying to create a "guilt level"

   and then stop there

- our Lord never does that with us

    - He tells us what He expects, but He also tells us how

       to accomplish that

 

- what we'd like to do with the rest of our time is to talk

   about one of the best "methods" of witnessing, that is,

   sharing our testimony

 

- definition - using the story of your personal salvation to

   convey the biblical truth of the gospel

 

  - the words of the defintion were chosen very carefully

 

  - we're not talking about "telling personal

     stories/antecdotes because they're more palatable that

     the Scriptures."

     - (cf. transparency - testimony/Bible - two separate

         circles)

 

  - instead, we're talking about using the story of how God

      saved me as a means of conveying biblical truth

    - (cf. transparency - 2 cocentric circles - testimony

         inside of Bible)

 

- now, let's think for a minute about:

 

I. Why Should I Prepare My Testimony?

 

    A. Because saved people have something to say

 

        1. Psalm 107:2 - "Let the redeemed of the earth say

            so."

 

        2. John 4:39 - (woman at the well) - "And many of the

             Samaritans of that city believed on Him for the

             sayings of the woman, who testified, He told me

             all that I ever did."

 

 

    B. Because it is a proven method

 

        1. Acts 22

 

        2. Acts 26

 

 

    C. Because you are commanded to do so

 

        - I Peter 3:15 - "...and be ready always to give an

           answer to every man that asketh you of the hope

           that is in you."

 

 

    D. It grieves the accuser

 

        - Rev. 12:11 - "And they overcame him by the blood of

          the lamb, and by the word of their testimony."

 

 

 

II. How Should I Prepare My Testimony?

 

    A. three essential elements

 

        1. what I was before

 

 

        2. how I received eternal life

 

 

        3. what eternal life has meant to me

 

 

    B. Important points to remember

 

        1. be positive

 

 

        2. biblical motives for receiving eternal life

 

 

        3. write it out first!

Faith Church