19. Sharing Christ - Getting Started
Purpose: In this continuation of the prior session on sharing Christ, the disciple is encouraged to share Christ with others.
1. The disciple will understand common reasons for sharing Christ.
2. The disciple will identify special problems often encountered in witnessing.
And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.
1. Personal interaction with disciple—prayer and sharing.
2. Discuss the questions.
3. Review Scripture verses.
4. Discuss last session’s Life Application assignment.
In this continuation of our discussions of sharing Christ, we’ll look at getting started and special problems encountered in witnessing.
Jesus knows our hearts, including our trepidations. He wants people to come to a saving knowledge of Him, and we who trust in Him are to tell others about Him. In the previous session we said that the Holy Spirit empowers us to witness. He calls those whom He will to hear the Gospel. We also saw that the Gospel is “the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.”
Here, we will see that we can overcome embarrassment or shame we may have in witnessing. The root cause of this shame is not being prepared on two counts: 1) The inadequate handling of Scriptures; 2) Disbelief of God’s Word when He says He will empower us as His ambassadors.
How To Get Started
Getting started is the most difficult thing in sharing Christ with a friend. Yet we must begin to "break the ice" and make an effort to do this if we are ever to find we can do it effectively. Let's look at some of the reasons it is difficult.
1. Probably the basic reason is that most are unequipped to do this. It is absolutely necessary to have a working grasp of the Scriptures if I am to be an effective witness among men. 2 Timothy 2:15 tells us that learning to ____________ _____________ the word of truth will keep us from being _______________. Two things are implied that are problems in openly and regularly sharing Christ. What do these seem to be?
Jesus must have anticipated that this would be a problem. In Mark 8:38, he states that being ashamed of Him will result in His ____________________ ________________ of whomever is _______________ of Him—when He comes. Paul says he was not ashamed because the Gospel is _______ ___________ _____ _______ ______ __________________, Romans 1:16. Again to Timothy he writes, ________________________________
_____________________________________________, 2 Timothy 1:8-9.
Surely, as much as one might not want to admit, _____________ is one of the chief reasons we are not aggressive in our witnessing. The second reason which is also implied in the verses above is simply our lack of equipment. We are not prepared adequately to do this with ease. In 1 Peter 3:15, Peter tells us we should be ready to do what?
Proverbs 22:18 tells us that keeping His words in our hearts results in
Again, Psalm 119:42 says that involvement in His Word will
enable us to _________________________________________________.
So we would like to encourage you to be faithful in your efforts to train yourself to share Christ. If you become adept at handling the Scriptures, there is no reason for you to lack confidence or have shame. Shame rises basically from being unable to adequately state your position and talk clearly of Christ and the Gospel. Always remember: “For the word of the cross is for those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18.
2. Where can we find people to witness to?
A word has been used which represents the group of individuals available to each of us. It is called our "oikos". Our oikos represents all the people around us in our everyday life. List some of the people you regularly come in contact with who are not followers and believers in Jesus.
Now look at this list of people. Some of them are perhaps people who live near you. Others may include the postman, your hairdresser, or barber. There are those you meet regularly at the gym. Some you see regularly at work. All of them are part of your oikos—the group of people to whom you are called to witness.
3. How to begin your personal evangelism.
a. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 3:2, "You are _____ ____________." This means that before I ever say anything to these people, it is important that my life is a message of _________ __________ which causes Him to be more clearly ex__________, Philippians 1:20. 2 Corinthians 5:17 implies that my life will demonstrate____________________________________________.
b. The second thing I must do under any circumstances is to make a move of some kind, Matthew 28:19. There may be some need to plan or strategize as to how we will courteously share Christ. We may pray and decide whom we are going to befriend first. One thing is supremely important. When we set out to get acquainted, it should always be with the idea of truly valuing the uniqueness of another person and genuinely becoming a friend to him...not simply for the purpose of winning him to Christ.
c. Learn the plan of salvation well. Learn it forward and backward. Know the verses by heart. Practice giving it to a friend over and over. You have become familiar with the "Bridge," use it. If you would prefer the four spiritual laws of Campus Crusade, use them. But you must be familiar with what you use and use it often until you can use it almost without thinking. It is acceptable to present the Bridge on a napkin at lunch, a piece of paper in the park, or anywhere else. You may illustrate Isaiah 53:6 by using one hand for yourself with your load of sin repre-sented by your Bible, and the other hand for Jesus. Transfer your Bible to the other hand and let this represent Jesus taking your sin on Himself.
d. Let the person you are witnessing to see the verses in your Bible. Remember, it is not what you say that is ultimately important, but rather what the Scripture says in speaking to the person's heart.
4. Things to remember.
a. Avoid arguing. Never allow yourself to be drawn into an argument over things you are talking about. Christian courtesy is important. If the individual is not receptive, it is probably because the Holy Spirit has not prepared him to receive. Hang it up until another time.
b. Times of crises are unique opportunities for sharing the Gospel. If a person is hurting and wants to talk with you, this can be a very natural time to introduce the Friend of Friends Who desires to come into the life and bring joy, as well as give eternal and abundant life.
c. Go an extra mile with the individual. Be ready to help him in practical ways. Show genuine love. Let all of your involvement with others be tempered with a natural spirit that is characterized by humility.
5. Leads for a beginning.
a. "How have you tried to find spiritual help for your life?"
b. "Would you like to take some time and let me explain how we can have a relationship with God?"
c. "What kinds of things are really important to you?"
d. "Let me share some wonderful things that have happened to me!"
Special Problems Often Confronted
Genuine Blocks to Conversion
In this session, we are going to talk about some of the special problems the personal evangelist will often have to deal with. These are not, of course, all-inclusive. But these are some of the more common statements one will hear as he attempts to present the Gospel. Special verses that speak to the problem will be included.
1. "I am such a great sinner. You don't know how bad I really am."
a. Never say, "You are really not that bad." If the Holy Spirit has helped the individual see they are estranged from God and sinful, let that stand! A person can't be saved until they know they're lost.
b. "You are just the person, then, for whom Christ died." See 1Timothy 1:15. For whom did Jesus come to save? _____________ Who was the chief of sinners? ___________ Was he saved? _________ Read also Isaiah 1:18. What are scarlet sins?
What will these sins be like when one receives Jesus?
2. "I want to get my life in order before I make a decision to become a Christian!" This seems to imply that one's life must be a certain way before he can come to Christ.
Two things may be involved when a person says this:
a. They honestly feel that their life must be a certain way before they can come to Christ. The previous point (#1) may be helpful here. Jesus seems to speak to this group of people in Matthew 11:28-30. What classes are invited by Him in this passage?
b. Some may simply be delaying because they feel there is lots of time. There has always seemed to be an urgency about coming to Christ. How do the following verses address this urgency?
Isaiah 1:18 (one word emphasizes the urgency)
It is obvious that life is fragile and death sure. Circumstances are unpredictable and uncertain.
c. A third observation is offered. Those who want to clean up their lives before they come to Jesus are desiring to do themselves what the Son of God has promised to do when one comes to Him. See 2 Corinthians 5:17.
3. "I have a hard time believing the Bible. To me it's just like any other book."
a. Try to present Jesus as the central issue. He is an historical figure and the resurrection is supported by much evidence. At this point in the person's experience, what he does with Jesus is the important issue. Psalm 34:8 says, " __________ and see that the Lord is good." This implies that we should do what?
b. If believing the Bible is a sincere difficulty, present the information on “External Evidences” found in session 53.
This should be followed up by John 7:17 which tells us that doing the ________ _____ _________ assures us of ____________ _______ ___________. The point of this is that if one is truly willing to do what God wills for us to do, he will know or be certain about the Bible and its teachings.
4. "There are many roads, but they all lead to the same place—God." This is, of course, simply not true. See the following verses and answer this excuse from Scripture.
a. Acts 4:12
In whom alone is salvation?
b. John 10:9
Jesus' claim here is exclusive.
c. Matthew 7:13-14 says that the gate that leads to life is ____________ and the numbers who find it are _______.
d. Hebrews 9:22 says that there is no remission of sins without the _______________ _____ __________. Christianity is the only approach to God that offers salvation freely and through substitution. There is no other approach.
5. "I don't understand very much about religion or Christianity."
Sometimes this is an honest excuse. People have preconceived ideas about what they must and must not know before coming to Christ, or making a decision for Him.
a. How much Biblical knowledge one has prior to conversion will vary from individual to individual. The dying thief on the cross knew very little, but was able to acknowledge belief in the Lordship of Christ, His resurrection, and life to come. That was enough for the Son of God to give him a place in His coming kingdom.
b. Look at John 5:24. What is involved in this verse that brings us to the simple basics?
c. Romans 10:9-10 says that ______________________________________ brings salvation.
Again, 1 Corinthians 1:21 tells us that _______________________ is not involved in our knowing God. Indeed, God has chosen the _____________ ____ ______ ____________ ___________. One need merely know and understand the plan of _______________. Though redemption was complicated as far as God was concerned, it is simple for man.
6. "I am a good person and lead an upright life."
It may very well be that the individual is a good person in the eyes of mankind. There is such a thing as human righteousness. The problem is that God requires a righteousness that has never deviated from ____________________, Galatians 3:10.
Responses to statements like these should include something of the following.
a. "It may very well be that you have attained a high level of goodness in your life, but see what God requires.” In James 2:10 it says that " ______________ in one point" makes me _____________ _____ all. This means that coming by my own works makes it necessary that I be _______________ .
b. In Isaiah 64:6, God says that all our righteous deeds are like a ______________ __________. See also Titus 3:5. This shows that we are unable to do anything righteous by ourselves.
Questions for Review and Discussion
1. Who does God want to save?
2. What is the believer’s part in salvation?
3. How does “quenching the Spirit” relate to sharing the Gospel?
4. What if a believer does not tell a friend about Christ?
5. What reasons do I have not to witness?
6. React to this statement: “Some leaders in a church I know do not witness. Therefore, I don’t need to witness.”
Summary and Key Concepts
Please reread the summary from the prior session.
It is essential to realize that believers are empowered by God to witness, He wants us to witness, the Holy Spirit enables individuals to hear the message of salvation, and the good news of salvation is the “power of God.” We are to study and keep His Word in our hearts. We will be ready when we do this! God will put His words on our lips (Proverbs 22:18).
Did you share Christ this week? If so, jot down a few notes about it:
2. How did you move towards a discussion about salvation?
3. In what way did you use the Bridge?
4. What follow up do you think is needed?
If you didn’t share Christ this week, jot down a few notes about that:
1. What opportunity came the closest to sharing Christ?
2. Would someone being there with you to share Christ have made a difference? How?
3. What things are you unsure about in relation to sharing Christ (Scripture, Bridge, workplace rules, reaction of another, etc.)?
4. What about the term “oikos” promotes daily opportunity to share Christ with an unbeliever?
5. Write about your confidence in God’s power in the sharing of Christ with others?
Related Topics: Discipleship