The disciples were assembled together behind closed doors as they recalled many of the events that had transpired within the last few days. Their Savior and Lord had been taken away from them and now they feared for their own lives as well. They remembered His sinless life and wonderful times of fellowship they had shared together. They remembered the wonderful miracles that He performed, the precious promises that He made, and the terrible suffering He endured at Calvary. All at once, while they were yet speaking about His death and resurrection, the Lord Jesus Christ appeared in their midst. Jesus had risen again just as He said He would do.
It was there that the Lord Jesus explained to His disciples how that His death and resurrection had been foretold throughout the Old Testament Scriptures. All of these things had happened according to God’s divine plan and purpose. The Bible says, “Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.” (Luke 24:45-47) Then Jesus added these words, “And ye are witnesses of these things.” They had seen the crucified and risen Lord!
The message of Christianity is the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who suffered and died on the cross, was buried, and rose again the third day. These early disciples had seen Jesus Christ in person. They had seen His life, His death, and His glorified, resurrected body. Therefore, they were witnesses with a message to preach to the whole world. Despite all of their opposition and persecution they continued telling the story of salvation to those who would hear. They could not but speak the things which they had seen and heard. They had a message that burned in their hearts.
Just as these disciple were witnesses for Christ, you too can speak out as a witness for Him on the basis of your own personal experience with the living Lord. You see, “Witnessing” is a built-in Christian responsibility. You become a witness when you become a Christian. The light received by faith in Him is like a city that is set on a hill and cannot be hid. Every believer, in some manner, will show forth this new light within. They can’t help it.
The believer, therefore, has a two-fold responsibility. He is to show Christ in his life before men, and he is to confess Him openly with his lips. The only way to successfully live the Christian life as God intended is to life it out in the open, without shame and fear. The Bible says “whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” (Romans 10:11) The message of Jesus Christ is the greatest message in the world, and as a Christian, we should never be ashamed to tell others about Him. The Apostle Paul said, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16)
The purpose of this lesson is to help give you a basic understanding concerning the meaning, the motive, and the method of “Witnessing” in the life of Christian.
I. WITNESSING AND ITS MEANING
A. What Is A Witness?
1. A witness is someone who is called to give public testimony from his own personal knowledge about what he knows to be true.
a. Ananias stated this truth to Paul after Paul had accepted the Lord Jesus Christ.
b. “For thou (Paul) shalt be his_____unto all men of what thou hast_____and _____.” (Acts 22:15)
2. In the Gospel of Mark we read the story of how Jesus healed a demon-possessed man living in the tombs.
a. What did Jesus tell this man to do? (Mark 5:19)
b. When this man became a witness for Jesus, and told of all the great things Jesus had done for him, what did the people do? (Mark 5:20)
B. What Is The Difference Between Witnessing And Soul Winning?
1. The Bible speaks of both witnessing and soul winning.
a. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be_____unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8)
b. “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that_____is wise.” (Proverbs 11:30)
2. The difference between witnessing and soul winning is illustrated as we thing of a courtroom setting.
a. First, there is the witness. He is called to give personal testimony concerning what he has seen, heard, and knows to be true. Never does he probe or challenge.
b. Then, there is the prosecuting attorney. He is a person who is highly skilled in dealing with people. He knows how to take certain facts and present them to win cases. All of his moves are aimed at bringing conviction and moving the judge or jury to make a certain decision.
c. When a person tells someone else “about” Jesus, or does anything to share the word of Christ, he is a witness. The moment he tries to get that person to “do something” with Jesus, he shifts over to the role of soul winner.
Note: “Every Christian is to be a witness even though not everyone goes on to win souls.”
II. WITNESSING AND ITS MOTIVE
A. The Command Of The Lord
1. The Lord commands every believer to be a witness.
a. “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be_____unto me...” (Acts 1:8)
b. “Go ye into all the world, and ______ the ______ to every creature.” (Mark 16:15)
c. “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an ______ to every man that asketh you a reason of the ______ that is in you with meekness and fear.” (I Peter 3:15)
2. The early church took the Lord’s command to be a witness to the world very seriously.
a. Through their witness thousands were saved, churches were planted, and Christianity grew rapidly.
b. “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to ______ and ______ Jesus Christ.” (Acts 5:42)
c. “I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have ______ you, and have ______ you publicly, and from house to house, ______ both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:20-21)
B. The Condition Of The Lost World
1. Notice how the following verses describe the unsaved.
a. “That at that time ye were without ______ , being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no ______ , and without ______ in the world.” (Ephesians 2:12)
b. “For the Son of man is come to ______ and to ______ that which was ______ .” (Luke 19:10)
c. “But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath ______ the minds of them which ______ not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (II Corinthians 4:3-4)
d. “He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is ______ , because he hath not ______ in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John 3:18)
e. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the ______ of God ______ on him.” (John 3:36)
2. The unsaved are in a terrible condition.
a. The Bible says that they are lost, without Christ and without hope, alienated from the life of God, blind, bound, bankrupt, broken-hearted, scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd, perishing, condemned already, under the wrath of God, on the road that leads to destruction, dead in trespasses and sins, headed for a devil’s hell, and on their way to a Christless eternity.
b. All of these things are true for our family, friends, neighbors, and loved ones if they do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
C. The Constraining Power Of Christ’s Love
1. The unsaved world needs Christ. He is their only hope.
a. “Jesus saith unto him, I am the_____, the _____, and the_____: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6)
b. “Neither is there_____in any other: for there is none other_____under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
2. The love of Christ ought to be our greatest motivation.
a. Not only the love that Christ has for us, but the love that we have for Him as well.
b. “For the_____of Christ constraineth us...” (II Corinthians 5:14)
III. WITNESSING AND ITS METHOD
A. How Can One Be A Witness For Jesus Christ?
1. One way to be a witness is by passing out gospel tracts.
a. Gospel tracts reach people who do not come to church. Tracts can reach people anywhere and everywhere.
b. They are like arrows which strike their target with tremendous impact. Once the truth of the gospel is lodged into a person’s mind it is not easy for them to escape the fact they need salvation.
c. There are a number of different gospel tracts which are available to you through the church, and which can be used as a witnessing tool in many different situations.
2. Another way to be a witness is by becoming a living billboard for Jesus Christ.
a. When a person introduces, through his daily living, his identification with Jesus Christ, he has become a witness.
b. This can be accomplished in many different ways as you do things which identify you as a believer in Christ.
(1) Though you clothing – “I love Jesus” buttons, “Jesus changed my life” buttons, gospel witness T-shirts, etc…
(2) Through your car – by a bumper sticker about Christ on the outside of it, or a sign about Christ on the inside of it, etc…
(3) Through your home – display a Bible or Christian magazines on the coffee table, put up pictures and plaques that identify you as a believer, have gospel tracts ready to pass out at the door, etc…
(4) Through your job – display your Bible openly on you desk, carry a New Testament in your front pocket, tune your radio to a Christian station, leave gospel tracts in various places, etc…
(5) Through public prayers – in a restaurant, or elsewhere, bow you head in prayer and thank God for the food before you eat.
3. Another way to be a witness is by boldly speaking out for Christ as you talk personally to others about Him.
a. Share with others what Jesus has done in your life.
b. Show others how Jesus can do the same for them.
Conclusion: Would you determine in your heart today to become a bold witness for Christ? (Memorize: Acts 1:8)