On the Witness Stand
Updated: Sep 8, 2022
Since every Christian has been born again (John 3:3) he has experiential knowledge about a spiritual reality, namely conversion. He has been transformed into a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). These things are real. These events actually occurred. Therefore, even if the person who has experienced these things doesn’t understand them, he can still tell people what happened.
Perhaps an analogy will help make this point clear. At 16 years of age, I had appendicitis. It was an unusual case of appendicitis in that my appendix was elongated and reached over and touched my stomach; so, I experienced what felt like excruciating hunger pains. The pain was in my stomach instead of my right side, where I would have expected it to be if I were experiencing appendicitis; so, I didn’t think that was what it was. When my brother took me to the emergency room of the hospital I fell to the floor, doubling up in pain, gagging and vomiting up green bile (since I had already vomited up everything else). The orderlies rushed me to the operating table. The doctor pressed my abdomen in various places and asked, “Does that hurt?” After I answered all his questions he said, “You have appendicitis.” I was stunned.
I lacked the medical training to diagnose the problem correctly, but two things I knew: I had a problem, and these were the symptoms.
All unbelievers are slaves to sin—have a sinful nature (Romans 6:6). They can describe the symptoms of their broken lives, but they don’t know the causes of them or the solutions. The Gospel is the solution. Giving our testimony about our conversion is a presentation of the gospel—the solution. Just tell people what happened. They may not be able to diagnose the problem like a trained professional or prescribe a solution, but they will realize they have the same problem you had and will seek a solution (or remain in denial and go to hell). You are the one with the solution. Christ is the professional. Let him perform the operation.
Giving a personal testimony is like being on the witness stand and asked to tell the court exactly what happened that resulted in you becoming a Christian, and exactly what does that mean, and what difference has it made in your life. This is a wonderful opportunity to present the Gospel, because that's exactly what a personal testimony is—a presentation of the Gospel. This is why, for every born-again Christian, preaching the Gospel should be as natural as breathing and just as easy—just tell people what happened.
When we testify, we tell people about things we have actually witnessed. These things are true. We know they are true. We have seen them. We have experienced them. That's how we know they are true. We have faith in Jesus Christ because we know the truth, not because we simply believe it. Faith in Jesus Christ is not blind faith or a leap in the dark; and once "we know that we know that we know" we will gain the confidence to testify boldly and share our faith in Jesus Christ at every opportunity and in a perfectly natural way.
This book is written with the everyday Christian in mind as opposed to only the experts (salaried "ministers"), because the unsalaried Christians are the ones leading most people to Christ. It has always been that way, and I am sure it always will be. After all, most Christians are not salaried ministers. This is why I say evangelism should be a way of life, not just something we only do on Sunday evenings in conjunction with an official church evangelism ministry. It is something we should do “in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2)—whenever the opportunity arises. Charles Stanley of In Touch Ministries once said, the "Go ye therefore" of the great commission (Matthew 28:19) would be better translated as "As you go." Also, the first chapter of the book of Acts tells us about witnessing in Jerusalem, then Samaria then the rest of the world (Acts 1:8). One could infer that it is being suggested that we should start preaching right where we are and then expand our parameters.
Some people think they don't know enough to witness
, but every Christian has a testimony; I mean he has been born again; he has the Holy Spirit; he has power (Acts 1:8); therefore, every Christian can witness as to what he experienced. Actually, I think my most effective presentations of the Gospel have been when I gave my personal testimony.
In this blog I take a close look at a wide variety of topics using the Bible as my lens. When we look at the world through the lens of scripture we discover life-changing truth that transforms us. We discover our
identity, purpose and worth. We find answers to life's most pressing questions. “If you don't know where you're going any road will take you there.” But when we look at the world through the lens of scripture we find the "way, the truth and the life;" then we live life to the fullest.
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