Monday, June 14, 2010

05 The Real Basis for Witnessing

click to Listen to Audio (mp3)

We have seen that memorizing certain key passages of Scripture is one of two things needed to make Christians the most effective witnesses for Christ in the least amount of time. In the account of Paul's conversion in Acts chapter 22, we find the second thing needed.


The Scripture states that following his meeting with the Lord on the road to Damascus, Paul, then Saul, went into that city and stayed in a house in the street called Straight.

God sent Ananias to heal Saul of his blindness and to tell him what his lifework would be. After saying, "Brother Saul, receive thy sight," Ananias declared, "The God of our fathers hath chosen thee, that thou shouldest know his will, and see that Just One, and shouldest hear the voice of his mouth. For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard" (Acts 22:14,15).

Why did God choose Paul? Some no doubt will say, "To witness concerning Christ." These verses show that witnessing was not primary but secondary.

Read them again. Ananias said to Paul, "The God of our fathers hath chosen thee" - for what? First, "that thou shouldest know his will"; second, "and see that Just One" - the Lord Jesus Christ; third, "And shouldest hear the voice of his mouth." Then following these three is this fourth and last thing: "Thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard." From this we see that witnessing has to do with the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. We must first of all know Christ as Saviour, else how can we make Him real to another person? As the Lord Jesus said in John 3:11, "We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen." The Apostle John wrote: "These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life" (I John 5:13). We must first have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ through faith; then we live out the Christian life in fellowship with Christ.

Consider once more that passage in Acts 22. Where do we find God's will? In and through the Bible. How is it possible for us to see the Just One, the Lord Jesus Christ? Again it is in and through His Word, as the Holy Spirit reveals Him to us. Where do we hear His voice? He speaks through Scriptures. Only after we have taken time to see Him and to hear what He has to say, can we witness to others of what we have seen and heard.

Someone has said that witnessing for Christ is simply taking a good look at the Lord, and then going out and telling people of what we have seen.


John wrote in his First Epistle: "That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his son Jesus Christ" (I John 1:3). Thus we are to share with others what we have seen and heard. A personal witness always points to Christ. He tells others and shares with them what he has seen of Christ and has heard from Christ.


Such a witness has something to say that is real and alive and penetrates the heart. Witnessing is more than sharing theological or doctrinal views with someone else. It is witnessing concerning a Person. Our Lord said in Acts 1:8, "But ye shall receive power; after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me." We are to be witnesses unto the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. That is true witnessing, but none of us can witness in that way unless we take time daily to gaze on the Lord Jesus, and to hear the voice of His mouth. We cannot get a clear picture of Him by taking fleeting glimpses. We must take time to look steadfastly at Him and to listen to His voice.

The Psalmist said, "One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to inquire in his temple" (Ps. 27:4). To behold the beauty of the Lord is to see how wonderful He is. To inquire in His temple, is to listen to what He has to say. Do we take time each day to look and to listen?

Again the Psalmist said, "When thou saidst, "Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek." Is that our response? If it is, then we will find that we have a true basis for witnessing concerning the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. But not only that, we will find that the time set aside for listening and looking - often called the quiet time - will not only give us something to share as to what we have seen and heard, but will also give us the boldness to say it.

A good example of such boldness is described in Acts 4:13: "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." The members of the Sanhedrin were amazed when they saw Peter and John. The Jewish leaders were astonished and several things amazed them, one was the boldness of the Apostles. Boldness is not rudeness. Boldness in this connection simply means unembarrassed freedom of speech. Why does it seem so difficult to talk about Jesus Christ? We can talk about world conditions, sports, and other affairs of life without difficulty. Yet, when the name of Jesus Christ is mentioned at work, or at the neighbors, a flush of embarrassment comes over our face, and our tongue seems to get thick. The reason lies in our not knowing the Lord very well. We have not taken time to be with Him. According to this passage in Acts 4, Peter and John had been with Jesus. That is what gave them that unembarrassed freedom of speech. Is it not true that we like to talk about someone whom we really know and love?

If we are going to have boldness to talk about Christ, we need to get to know Him better. That means we must spend time with Him, to gaze upon Him, and to hear the voice of His mouth. Not only will we have something to share, but it will be real and alive. Moreover, when we take time to meet with the Lord there will be a Christ-likeness about us as we do personal work. There was something about Peter and John which indicated that they had been with Jesus. Is that true of us? It will be, if we take time every day to be with the Lord Jesus - a quiet time set aside to meditate on His Word, and to talk with Him through prayer. This will bring a change in us. We will become more like the Lord Jesus. "But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord" (II Cor. 3:18).


How do we get to know a friend better? By spending time with him. We get acquainted with another person by exchanging ideas and sharing experiences. In other words we fellowship together.

So it is with Christ. He talks to us through His Word. In it He tells us who He is and what He does. That is why you should spend a little time every day, reading, studying, and memorizing Scripture. You enter into fellowship with Him through obeying Him and spending time with Him in prayer.

Set aside 10, 15, 20 minutes, or perhaps a longer time to fellowship with Him every day. That is absolutely imperative and basic if you are to be an effective personal witness for Christ.


1. Read "Going On With Christ."

2. Memorize Psalm 119:9,11.

3. Write a brief paragraph on how you know that you have eternal life.

4. What are some of the main reasons why you should have a daily time set aside for personal fellowship with Christ?

click for Additional Study Notes

No comments:

Post a Comment

comments will be monitored only to prevent fowl language