How Do We Witness - Printable Version
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How Do We Witness - sheep wrecked - 01-01-2011 08:35 PM
This is a new thread started from: http://www.seekgod.ca/forum/showthread.php?tid=183&page=8
I think there is a lot of pressure put on Christians to witness at all times, and that if we fail to do that, people will be lost because we messed up. It's interesting that Jesus said to His disciples, that others would know that we are His disciples by our love What comes to mind is Paul when the jailer fell at his feet when the Lord caused the prison doors to burst open. He did not "sermonize" or quote Scripture, he simply said: Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved. And the jailer believed!
Maybe we are so caught up in our self proclaimed "duty" that we forget it is the Holy Spirit that opens the eyes and hearts of people, not us. God will put people where they need to hear the Gospel. We just need to be ready when the opportunity presents itself.
1Pe 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:
Eph 1:15 Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints,
Eph 1:16 Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;
Eph 1:17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:
Eph 1:18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened ; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
It has been my experience that in leading someone to Christ, it is dependent on each individual's needs. Often, witnessing is just not talking - it is in actions. Helping those in need, being a friend, walking next to someone who is going through a bad time, etc. Being ready to me, means reaching out and when God provides the opportunity to talk about Christ, He gives it.
There was a time when I was very fearful that I had failed - because I did not mention salvation to every person I came in contact with. It was after reading the NT that I realized it never states we are to do this. It is as God gives opportunity. And more often than not, people will walk away. It is not up to us to make sure they get "saved". It is up to God. Paul shows us that it is not up to us to get people "saved":
1Co 1:17 For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.
1Co 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Co 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.
1Co 1:20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world?
1Co 1:21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.
1Co 1:22 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom:
1Co 1:23 But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;
1Co 1:24 But unto them which are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God.
1Co 1:25 Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
1Co 1:26 For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:
1Co 1:27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
1Co 1:28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
1Co 1:29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
1Co 3:5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
1Co 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
1Co 3:7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
1Co 3:8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
1Co 3:9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
1Co 3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Quote:How do you promote good works in the context of grace?
I believe the important thing about being Christian is following Christ, and living for Him. Out of love for Him is the ability - which God gives - to do HIS work. It is not our work, but His. Grace is God's to give alone. We show mercy, compassion, love, tenderness, kindness, etc [fruit of the Spirit] towards others. We love because God loved us and gave Himself for us in Christ Jesus.
Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Gal 5:15 But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.
Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
Eph 5:8 For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light:
Eph 5:9 (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.
Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
RE: How Do We Witness - MBT - 01-01-2011 08:50 PM
Thanks for moving this! I think this will be a great conversation.
I think everyone can and should witness as God moves them to do so. I also agree that every situation is different. I think it should be done in love and with the understanding that people make mistakes and should not rely on their knowledge or their ability to win a debate but by the word of God. I agree with sheep that every situation is different and some of my witnesses have spanned years with people. Some have just walked away from me, Some have made fun of me, some just want to argue.... Don't get discouraged. Don't get mad at them... many times they just don't know the truth and are hurting.
To be quite honest I have not had "a sit" down witness with someone in a long time and I hope this thread inspires me into service. In our homeschool we talk everyday about the Bible but as for going out and interacting with strangers... I have not done that in a long time. Just to clarify.
I want to share my witnessing style but need more time to articulate it.
RE: How Do We Witness - sheep wrecked - 01-01-2011 08:59 PM
(01-01-2011 08:50 PM)MBT Wrote: Thanks for moving this! I think this will be a great conversation.
Hi Michael! I had edited the first post with a response! Just wanted to make sure you read it! Sorry for the confusion. We were moving the thread and things sort of went "south" so we had to do rewriting
RE: How Do We Witness - MBT - 01-01-2011 10:15 PM
I read your response and totally agree. I grew up in a church that didn't do any witnessing at all. It was very hard for me to even start without being argumentative and defensive. It takes time and patients to share your faith with someone especially in this "politically correct" world.
Dare I say that some of the happiest days that I have had were witnessing to someone and having them ask question after question. The end result was not always pleasing but I went away happy that I made the attempt.
I know many people who have a fear of speaking about anything let alone the Bible or the Gospel. I want to encourage people to pray and seek out the solutions for overcoming their fear so that they can, on occasion, witness as God calls them to do so. I would never put forth the idea that you have to witness to every single person every single day. I would be black and blue if I did that. I however don't want people who are straddling the fence to use statements we make to ignore witnessing altogether and I know that's not what you meant.
My brother-in-law took his own life and I feel that I should have at least called sometime last year and at least talked to him. I know I am not responsible for his salvation and I am not beating myself up but I did not even make the attempt. I want to live the rest of my life at least trying to identify those people whom God puts in my path. I am also going to assume that every conversation at the very least has the potential of turning into a witness whether it be then or at some future meeting with that person. Every situation is different.
I hope that we can equip each other to do more for the Gospel giving God all of the glory.
RE: How Do We Witness - Vic - 01-02-2011 04:05 PM
I believe, when we belong to Christ, we witness whether we say anything or not. Our actions, what we are involved in, our family interactions, how we behave when we are in public are all judged and considered by those who know we proclaim Christ.
I was thinking back when I first came to Christ and I witnessed to classmates and it became common to have discussions about God or religious beliefs. I ended up writing papers and assignments always about things about God or serving Christ. Science class became common for the teacher to ask if I was ok with discussing creation again--versus evolution. I was the only one who was a Christian in my class so...
That was in grade 9. In High School, by grade 11, I was still witnessing and writing papers, whether for english or science or whatever about the things of God. What comes to mind is that we just never know if what we say or do is actually impacting anyone. Sometimes it seems like no one is listening so why bother. We can often wonder if we are bearing any fruit because we don't see the effects or impact our lives make on others.
I recall in english class having to write a paper and then we had to give it as a talk at the front of the class. After listening to a few of the guys recount all the intricacies of torture over the centuries I wasn't sure that telling how God was at work in the world was going to be really of interest to anyone. The teacher was a young single woman, and I recall she never took her eyes off me the whole time I spoke. Everyone listened.
Years later, my sister in law, who had attended the same school, ran into that teacher at some Christian event. They started chatting and 'sis' said to her that she didn't know she was a Christian. And this teacher said something to the effect that she wasn't, but there was a student in our old high school that was so clearly a Christian and that because of their witness she came to Christ after leaving that school/city. And she asked my sister in law if she remembered me, and my sister in law told her that she knew me very well as I married her brother. That teachers said I was that student.
I had absolutely no idea she came to Christ and it would have been about a year after I had her as a teacher. I was so surprised because I never talked directly with her about Christ. I just wrote my papers and witnessed to various people when I felt compelled. But God used those things to bring her to Christ. Praise God, because it is so clearly His doing.
Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
It hit me when my sister in law recounted the incident, that we never know what God is using or will use to bring someone to repentance. We don't know what people see when we live for Christ and where they are at spiritually. We merely need to be about our Lord's business. Serving Him and being obedient to Him.
I think often that it's not about going out and saying I am going to witness to this many today. It's going every day and seeking God's will for us for that day. And if He would have us say something to someone that He would provide the opportunity and words. We just never know where someone else is at. But God knows. It is so very clear it is about dependence on Christ and allowing Him to live through us and direct our steps so we can be used for His honor and His glory.
1 Corinthians 3:6-9 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7. So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8. Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9. For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
RE: How Do We Witness - heb13-13 - 01-04-2011 02:26 PM
Everyone has said such very good things.
Here is my
John 15:27 And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
The key for me in this verse, is that "ye have been with me". Obviously, we have not been with Him from the beginning, but we do need to be with Him. He is the Vine and we are the Branches and we can do nothing apart from Him. John 15.
The most effective witness for the Lord is the man that has been with the Lord. It always comes down to knowing Him, not knowing about Him.
I have seen many that are quite adept at apologetics and have lots of "spiritual knowledge" and you can fill your head with spiritual knowledge and apologetic material (I've tried) and yet not be godly at all, but rather contentious and full of strife. We have probably all been there and may still be in some ways.
The man that knows the Lord has been changed from the inside and is being conformed to the image of Jesus. It is the smelter's fire, the work of sanctification in us that reveals the character of Jesus more and more to us and also, that reveals His ways to us. His ways of doing things have nothing at all to do with man's ideas. In fact, God will never use any idea or method originating from man. So, that means that we really do have to learn His ways and know what it means to "walk after the Spirit" (Romans 8).
Of course, knowing His Word is vital to knowing Him and His ways. We would not know that the Lord does not take pleasure in us being Marthas (working, working, working), but rather commends us for sitting at His feet and listening to Him as Mary did. This is not a passive exercise at all. Getting to know God is an extremely active engagement. But we have been taught today that being a Mary is passive and we need to be doing, doing, doing. This is another one of those incredible paradoxes in the Word that throws most people off.
Luke 10:41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
Luke 10:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
Jesus said, "One thing is needful". He did not give a list of things, but said one thing, only. And that is getting to know Him, listening to Him through His Word and His Spirit.
The closer we get to the Lord the better able we will be to walk in His ways, and be a witness of the things which we have "seen and heard".
So, I think that we operate (in daily life) out of our "foundation". What is our foundation? Do we need to raze it or is it built upon the Lord and rightly dividing and understanding His Word and His ways?
Our foundation (beliefs) in the faith determines how we operate.
For instance, Christianity is a "done" relationship not a "do" relationship.
Those that see by faith that their relationship with God is a "done" relationship, are more like Mary. They see the futility of man's methods and man's strength and leaning upon their own understanding and they would rather labor to rest from their own works and rest in Him than labor to please Him and perform for Him.
I love that paradox. Labor to rest.
But those who have a "do" foundation and a "do" relationship, are like Martha, always doing, doing, doing, and their relationship with the Lord is primarily one of service and not knowing Him. They usually know a lot about Him, though. But knowing about someone is not the same as knowing someone personally and experientially.
Those of us that are Martha's (me) by nature, have to learn to sit at His feet and be Marys.
Improving your relationship with God will improve your "witnessing". Don't start at your witnessing, start at your relationship with God.
Here are some other verses that have helped me transition from a "Martha" hopefully to a "Mary".
You can see that the Lord places a huge emphasis on "knowing Him". Jer 9:6 Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the LORD.
The Lord reveals His heart to us and tells us what is important to Him.
Jer 9:23 Thus saith the LORD, Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, neither let the mighty man glory in his might, let not the rich man glory in his riches:
Jer 9:24 But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD.
He has given us a heart to know Him, yet we get caught up in knowing about Him, only.Jer 24:7 And I will give them an heart to know me, that I am the LORD: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God: for they shall return unto me with their whole heart.
Our "knowing of Him", or relationship is not built on performance or works but lovingkindness, mercies, righteousness and judgment. I don't see anything about works. Although, the works that please God are the fruits of the Spirit. He wants us to walk as Jesus walked, in lovingkindness, mercy, righteousness, longsuffering, kindness, etc, etc.Hos 2:19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.
Hos 2:20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.
Outward works today get all the fanfare and headlines. "Doing great things for God".
What pleases God is what is taking place inside you, your heart. It is you walking in surrender to Him and allowing Him to conform you to the image of His Son and perfect you in love.
I had to learn to concentrate on my relationship with Him and then as I walk it out each day, the Holy Spirit will setup all the situations and circumstances for me to be a witness. He just asks us to be faithful and leave the results to Him.
May the Lord add more of Himself to us as we let go more of our self to Him.