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Personal Testimony

"So long as there is a human being who does not know Jesus Christ, I am his debtor to serve him until he does."

Oswald Chambers

 

A friend once related that she didn't like her husband giving out tracts, because she felt they had a hidden agenda. The tracts were about the things of God, but didn't look like they were. Her contention was that it was deceitful. She thought he should be upfront and just say, "I want to talk to you about God."

Shortly afterwards, she admitted the truth: she was embarrassed when her husband gave out tracts, and she realized her fears were spiritual in origin.

What may seem like deceit to some is in truth "discretion." When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well, He didn't say, "I want to talk to you about God. You are living in adultery." That was His agenda, but such an abrupt approach may have created a closed door. Instead, Jesus spoke to her about water, something she could relate to, and then He gently swung to the subject of the things of God. He used the essence of the Seventh Commandment to convict her that she was living an adulterous life.

The result was that the woman became a believer in Jesus, and she immediately gave her testimony to the unsaved in her village. She simply said, "Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" (John 4:29). We are called to say the same thing. We are to tell people that God is omniscient; He sees everything we do. Nothing is hidden from His holy eyes. He hears every word, and He demands an account of every idle word we speak. This holy Judge of the universe has set aside a Day in which He will judge the world in righteousness. Then we are to point to Jesus Christ, the awaited Messiah, as the woman did.

It is wise to have our testimony prepared and memorized. We should know the reason we became Christians, and how we were converted. It is important that we learn how to share our testimony in a way that is effective. Our salvation centers on the cross, so that's where we should be heading. The cross was the evidence of God's love for humanity, and is the essence of the gospel. Paul said he "gloried" only in the cross (Galatians 6:14). He preached "Jesus Christ, and him crucified."

Three times in Scripture, Paul gave his testimony. That speaks volumes. You may not have had a Road to Damascus experience, but you have experienced the same risen Lord Paul experienced. You were on the Road of Sin. You saw the light and the Lord opened your blinded eyes. You came to know the One who is life eternal. You had a Road to the Cross experience.

Why do we need to be able to share the experience of being converted? Because the man with an experience is not at the mercy of a man with an argument. A skeptic may disagree with what we say, but he cannot truly deny what we have experienced. The Christian knows the Lord.

The question that may come to mind is, "How do I know that I know the Lord?" The answer is in God's Word: "We do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments" (1 John 2:3). That's the backbone of our testimony. God gives us a new heart with new desires. We are made new creatures in Christ. We have been born again with God's Spirit living within us. Where we once had no interest in the things of God, now we love Him and yearn to please Him. We want to keep His commandments. (See Ezekiel 36:26, 27.)

Sadly, many modern converts miss the evangelistic target when they share their testimony. They say things like, "I was into drugs, etc., but Jesus filled my heart with joy." Rather, structure your testimony to preach sin, righteousness, and judgment.

Here is a suggested way to compose your testimony:

1.   Learn how to include the spiritual nature of the Ten Commandments in your testimony. ("I never understood what sin was until I looked at the Ten Commandments ...")

2.   State that nothing is hidden from God-He sees even the thought-life.

3.   Stress the reality of the Day of Judgment.

4.   Preach the cross, repentance, and faith. ("Then I understood why He died. He was bruised for my iniquities," etc.)

5.   Explain that you weren't "converted by the Bible" but by the power of the gospel. Emphasize that you now know the Bible is true, because when you obeyed the gospel you were transformed-taken from darkness into light, born again, a new creature with a new heart and new desires. The Bible came alive because you now have God's Holy Spirit living in you, who leads you into all truth.[1]



[1] Cameron, K., & Comfort, R. (2004). The school of biblical evangelism: 101 lessons: how to share your faith simply, effectively, biblically-the way Jesus did (pp. 203-206). Gainesville, FL: Bridge-Logos Publishers.