Witnessing: Sharing Christ With Others (Session 18)
Purpose: To make sharing Christ a day-to-day experience.
1. The disciple will know the conditions for success.
2. The disciple will see new reasons to show genuine love for your neighbor.
3. The disciple will receive encouragement to witness.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
1. Personal prayer and sharing.
2. Discuss the questions.
3. Review Scripture verses.
Sharing Christ with Others
I. A plan to follow to reach others.
A. Make a friend. Do this for the sake of knowing him for who he is.
B. Win his confidence with genuine love and friendship.
C. Be authentic—a genuine person.
D. Live your life before him in all faithfulness to God.
II. A few facts (though some are hard to embrace).
A. People are unfitted naturally to fellowship with God, Romans 8:8.
B. God desires the salvation of all people, 2 Peter 3:9.
C. People, in God's plan, are to be reached through other people.
D. Every believer is to share in winning souls, John 15:16; Matthew 28:19-20.
E. This is the most blessed service to people, Daniel 12:3.
III. Conditions of success
A. Our own personal experience of salvation, John 15:4-5.
B. Lives that are exemplary, 2 Timothy 2:21.
C. A working knowledge of the Word, 2 Timothy 2:15.
D. A life of prayer, Matthew 21:22.
E. A love for souls, Romans 10:1.
F. Perseverance, Galatians 6:9.
IV. Some "don'ts" for witnessing
A. Don't be messy or have poor personal hygiene.
B. Don't assume the attitude of knowing it all.
C. Don't be afraid of anyone.
D. Don't lose your temper or begin to argue.
E. Don't get overly personal, especially with those of the opposite sex.
F. Don't have confidence in your own personal ability.
G. Don't interrupt others.
H. Don't try to control a conversation.
I. Don't leave a person without giving him an appropriate verse or something to think about.
J. Don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today.
What is Evangelism?
[from The Sword of the Lord by John R. Rice]
It is the sob of God.
It is the anguished cry of Jesus as He weeps over a doomed city.
It is the cry of Paul, "I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to my flesh."
Evangelism is the heart-wringing plea of Moses, "Oh, this people have sinned...yet now, if Thou wilt forgive their sin...; if not, blot me I pray Thee, out of the book which Thou hast written."
It is the cry of John Knox, "Give me Scotland or I die."
It is the declaration of John Wesley, "The world is my parish."
It is the prayer of Billy Sunday, "Make me a giant for God."
It is the sob of a parent in the night, weeping over a prodigal child.
It is the secret of a great church.
It is the secret of a great preacher and of a great Christian!
The Importance of Sharing Christ with Others
This is a worksheet prepared for individual study on the subject of witnessing for Christ. Many people will have some difficulty with this spoke of the wheel, saying "my faith is a very personal thing," and will use this idea as an excuse not to witness. There is no denying that my relationship with Jesus is very personal. For each of us there must be a personal decision—a very individually-oriented commitment to Jesus and His Lordship, if I am to enter into life. But personal is not private. My faith in Christ can never be private. Salvation is a universal matter that relates to Good News which is the meaning of the word "Gospel." The purpose of this session is to help us see that we are to share our faith with the world, beginning with our neighbors and friends. Our Father has never meant for us to co-exist in a world with those who do not believe. He would have us win them.
People often want to say what is most important when their time to be with friends and loved ones is about over. What was the Lord Jesus most concerned about just before He returned to heaven? Acts 1:4-9
The Greek word for witness is the word marturion. From this word, we get the word “martyr.” What does this imply as far as the will of Christ for us is concerned? See also Luke 9:23.
A witness is one who "says what he knows and knows what he says." Where did Jesus say we were to be witnesses? Acts 1:8
Where is your Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and entire world?
Matthew 28:19-20 records words of Jesus just before He ascended into heaven. What was His commandment to His disciples?
It is important to note that the imperative is to disciple. What is involved in the making of disciples as urged by Jesus?
Mark 16:15 says the Gospel is to be preached to whom?
Luke 24:46-48 says what was to be preached to all nations?
To summarize the teaching of these verses, we can say that Jesus wants each of us to be ___________________. This means that I will say what I _________ and that I __________ what I say. Doing this certainly involves sharing my faith with another because I am commissioned to take the Gospel to _____ ________. I am first responsible to ___________________ and then to _________________ until the whole world knows. In the witnessing I am to do, I am first responsible to make ______________ , to encourage them to be ____________ , and then to ___________ them.
It is important to look at some basic realities that make my being a witness and willing to share Christ a genuine priority. The first reality is found in Romans 8:8 where the condition of man is discussed. Paul says that an unregenerate man cannot _________ God. Of course, the unregenerate or natural man can be good and can do many right things, but what does God say is the nature of man's righteousness? ________________________, Isaiah 64:6. It is apparent that all men outside of Christ will never be able to fellowship adequately with the Father unless they experience _________________________.
Another reality is that ________________________________________
_____________________________________________________, 2 Peter 3:9.
That men experience regeneration is in keeping with the will of ________. There is no man on earth whom God does not desire to ___________________. This He can do because His atoning work was for how many? _____________, 2 Corinthians 5:19.
Revelation 22:17 assures whom of the availability of eternal life?
What are some of the ways that men hear the Gospel today?
According to John 15:16, what is a Biblical and universal way for the Gospel to be spread?
What does this passage say about the fruit remaining?
How do we help this become a reality?
What does Daniel 12:3 speak of concerning the sharing of Christ with others?
There are many joyful things about the Christian life. One of the chief things is the joy of sharing Christ with others. What does Paul say about those we win to Christ? 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20.
Sharing Christ is not only a gift of the Spirit (evangelism), but also an art. Though the Holy Spirit is the One Who energizes, witnessing is something we must learn to do. There are some conditions that must be met if we are to be maximally successful in doing this.
John 15:4-5 speaks of the "fruit of the Spirit," but what else do these verses imply in relation to one who is to be an effective witness?
2 Timothy 2:21 speaks of another condition for usefulness. What is this condition? _______________ Yet another condition is found in 2 Timothy 2:15. This verse says I am to _____ _______________ to present myself approved as a workman. What is "accurate handling" of the Scripture?
Yet another condition or aid in witnessing is to develop ___________________ which means I will not give up easily, Galatians 6:9. Anyone who has never shared Christ with another will probably not be too successful the first few times he attempts to do this. According to Galatians 6:9, what is he likely to do? ______________________ What promise of encouragement is in this passage?
There is a final condition or necessity. We are to be ______ _____ ______ ______________ ______ ________, Romans 8:14, if we are to be successful. This is because He must prepare the heart to receive the witness and His leadership will be in connection with the work He has done.
Read Acts 8:26-40 and from this text indicate all of the ways the Holy Spirit prepared the situation and led both Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch.
It is important that each of us actively trust the Holy Spirit to direct us in our way and prepare the hearts of men as we seek to share Christ. It is also important that we pray specifically for individuals with whom we share our Savior. As we earnestly seek His leadership and pray for people without Christ, we will develop a "love for souls." This is also an active condition that must be present if we are to be effective witnesses.
Fill in the names of two or three people you will actively pray for, and witness to, as God gives you the opportunity.
It is interesting to note that an angel was involved in the directing of Philip to the Ethiopian eunuch. Not only will the Holy Spirit direct, empower, and convict, but angels apparently have a part in bringing men to Jesus.
The Parable of the Marriage Feast
Matthew 22 and Luke 14
Encouragement for Persons Interested in Effective Witnessing
These are two parables in the Synoptic Gospels that obviously refer to the same occasion and subject. This is the marriage feast of salvation which involves God, our Father, choosing a Bride for His Son the Lord Jesus. We often see similar accounts in the Synoptics as those that teach identically the same thing. And it is true that in this account, it is the marriage feast (the calling of a bride for His Son), that is the sole issue. The Bride, of course, is made up of those who share personal faith and commitment to the Lord Jesus.
For those of us who believe in inerrancy of Scripture, everything said is significant. The tense of the verb, the number of the case, and everything in the language is important. In the present parable under consideration, there are some striking differences not readily apparent to the casual reader, and these differences are connected practically to our service in ways that are significant and far-reaching. Understanding these can make the difference between discouragement and the correct perspective when we share Christ with others.
It is the purpose of this discussion to elaborate on these differences in practical ways that relate to our witnessing or sharing Christ with others. Understanding the fundamentals will not only make reproducing ourselves in the lives of others a more efficient thing, but will keep us from hindering the work of God through us.
Let's look at the texts:
These are felt by Bible teachers to be comparable and referring to the same subject and occasion.
Wedding is the involvement.
Servants are sent forth to call the invited ones.
The work of the servants is to
1. Vs. 3—Call
2. Vs. 4—Tell the invited of the feast that has been prepared.
3. Vs. 4, 9—Invite by saying "come to the wedding."
The Great Supper is the involvement.
The Servant is sent at supper time to the invited ones.
The work of the Servant is to
1. Vs. 17—Say “come.”
2. Vs. 21—Bring in the poor, maimed, blind.
3. Vs. 23—Compel them to come in.
Practical Teaching and Observations
The work of the Servant is much more active and authoritarian than the work of the servants. Actually, the work of the Servant becomes forceful, while the work of the servants is to be quite different. It is more the simple dispensing of information...the sharing of good news!
Many of the servants were ridiculed and spitefully used. Some were even killed. This is not true of the Servant. But to Him, excuses were made. (Excuses are never made to the servants, so don't take things personally.)
Servants represent you and me as we labor in the vineyard. Note that when the work of the servants is described, one appeared at the wedding feast who was definitely out of place—he had no robe of righteousness, and he was cast out, vs. 11-13. Servants can, if sufficiently persuasive, get a person to say "yes," or they can get them to say the "sinner's prayer." But only the Holy Spirit, the Servant, can do the true work of regeneration that clothes a man in the righteousness of Christ. This should teach us that we should not be "pushy" or overbearing when we witness. We might rather wait for cracks of light which indicate to us that the Holy Spirit is genuinely dealing with the individual. Only as the Servant has prepared the heart, can there be a true work of righteousness in the life.
A final simple truth taught in the Matthew 22 account is that which pertains to the absolute mute condition of one who stands in his own righteousness. Note than the guest without a wedding garment was speechless. There was nothing he could say. Surely this teaches us that for those who choose to stand in their own righteousness before our Heavenly Father at the marriage supper of the Lamb, there will be no more excuses, nor will there be anything that justifies the presence of such a one. "I never understood clearly," "you are a God of love," or "I have been a truly moral person," will have no place before the Lamb. Let's not be overly enthusiastic in pushing people to make decisions.
A general truth that can be inferred relates to the mental condition of many who attempt to witness, and who are enthusiastic about doing it. We certainly want to share Christ with others. The last thing Jesus said before He ascended into heaven had to do with sharing the message with the world. "You shall be my witnesses ..." We often become discouraged in witnessing when we mistakenly try to do the work of the Father and fail to see the kind of results we want to see, or find people generally unresponsive. Remember THIS! I will always succeed when I do the work of one of the
Questions for Review and Discussion
1. To witness is a Biblical mandate. What are the chief reasons Christians do not share Christ with others?
2. It is obvious that God deals with certain people in ways different than with others. How should this affect me in my witnessing?
3. What part does the Holy Spirit play in my witnessing?
4. How does prayer play an effective part in my sharing Christ with others?
5. In what way can I claim Acts 16:31 for the salvation of members of my family?
Key Concepts and Thoughts
Sharing Christ with another person is one of the chief goals of the Christian life. Many will say their faith is a very "personal" thing. This is true. It is not private, however, and it is the privilege first, and duty secondly, to witness to others and share the One Who has transformed lives and given purpose for living.
Doing this is a matter of obedience. Jesus spoke of our being witnesses of Him just before He left the earth. A witness is one who "says what he knows and knows what he says." The word witness comes from the word from which we get the word "martyr." I should be willing to die in the process of sharing Him with others.
The condition of man is one of the motives for sharing Christ. Men are alienated from God in their natural state. They cannot please Him. They cannot fellowship with Him. It is also important to emphasize the joy of being a winner of souls. It surpasses anything I might be involved with in my present life, and it has lasting value as far as eternity is concerned. Be sure to read 2 Timothy 2:19-20.
The reading on the parables of Matthew 22 and Luke 14 cannot be emphasized too greatly. These are readings that deal with the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the one who wants to be a true servant with maximum effectiveness. Be sure that the work of the Servant (the Holy Spirit) is differentiated from the work of the servants (you and me). Each would be in their rightful place. I can never do the work of the Servant. This knowledge will give lasting peace and allows me to develop a sensitivity to His involvement in my sharing Christ with others. With the Spirit of God, Whose place in all of this is to acknowledge and point men to Christ, I can never fail in my witnessing.
Review the Bridge from Session 3. Share Christ with someone and make an honest effort to introduce them to the Savior. Make it a lifelong effort to share the Good News with others. Remember: Salvation is a very personal matter, but it is not private. Christ died for the whole world. Everyone has the right to hear at least once!
Related Topics: Discipleship