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                        Witnessing for God   

 

   Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men,  him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. Matthew 10:32

    

   The term witnessing is commonly used to describe the process of proclaiming the Christian faith to nonbelievers. The term is very appropriate, as Christian tell others of what they have 'witnessed' or seen of God's grace and goodness. The Apostle John saw himself as a witness of the Gospel precisely for this reason:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched--this we proclaim concerning the Word of life.     1 John 1:1

    All Christians are witnesses; they are either sharing Christ by life and word, or they are not. Some are negative witnesses; others keep silent about their faith. Each of us needs to seek a more vibrant relationship with Christ so that people will realize that we are living with Jesus in our hearts!

    In witnessing, example is essential; our lives must reflect our profession. By our example we establish credibility and build confidence and trust, which prepare the way for presenting Christ, especially to a non-believer. However, we need more than just example. There is no substitute for the witness who verbalizes the facts of the Gospel: The Word of God, as revealed in the Scriptures of the Holy Bible.

    A Christian witnesses objectively by sharing the facts of the Gospel, and subjectively by sharing his or her own experiences in Christ. We should not overlook the value and potential effectiveness of our own testimony. The first real impression some people will get concerning Christ's power to transform a life will be through hearing about what Jesus has done for us. Paul shared again and again his Damascus road experience.

        Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.                                                                                                2 Corinthians 5:20

 

 

Billy Graham  on Witnessing:

         We are stewards of the Gospel. The power to proclaim the greatest news in heaven and earth was not given to the angels; it was given to redeemed men. Every Christian is to be a witness; every follower of Christ is to preach the Gospel. We can preach by sharing our experiences with others. We can preach by exalting Christ in our daily lives. Sermons which are seen are often more effective than those which are heard. The truth is, the best sermons are both heard and seen.

 

 

Strategies for Effective Personal Testimony         

    In order to witness effectively, and individual must know Jesus Christ personally. You must be able to appropriately present with personal conviction the opportunity of salvation by receiving Jesus as Lord and Savior. Billy Graham's Steps to Peace with God can assist in this important task.

    Jesus must be real to the Christian! There will be very little to share with someone else if the witness doesn't seek and maintain a close walk with the Lord through reading and obeying God's Word and through constant prayer. We do not have to be extra-ordinary Christians to witness, but we must be genuine, growing, practicing Christians.

    Witnessing begins in prayer. Concerned prayer for those who need Christ will spiritually condition the Christian for witnessing. A prayer list of potential people you want to reach is a really good way to start. Pray with conviction.

    Know who you are going to witness the gospel to. The more carefully you plan the approach, the more effective the witness will be. Knowledge can guide your inspiration.

    Begin with one person, at a time. Concentrate on witnessing to only one individual at a point in time. Be natural, caring and friendly without being patronizing. Don't overwhelm in your witnessing. Better to move too slow, than too fast. Be a good listener. Sculpt your witnessing around the individual, their personal needs and their life.

    Share your own personal experiences, feelings and emotions about Christ. Make it a very personal testimony; share how accepting Christ into your life has changed you; give specific examples. Tell what His Presence means in your life.

    Explain God's plan of salvation for man, generally and more specifically quoting Scripture. Again, Steps to Peace with God will help you with this specific process.

    Aim for getting an ultimate decision or commitment. Let that be your focus. Invite the person, lovingly but firmly, to make a decision based on what you have just presented to them. Explain that the greatest, most important decision a person makes is the step of surrendering his life to Jesus Christ.

    Encourage the person to seal this life-changing decision with a prayer. Guide them and pray with them.

    Follow-up this powerful moment with a brief review or recounting of what has just transpired, stressing the commitment and decision the person has made to God.

    Remember Always: The ultimate goal in witnessing and winning people to faith in Jesus Christ is that they then become effective, reproducing witnesses themselves! And this process continues, each witness producing witnesses to proclaim the gift of salvation through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

      

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