How to Share Christ With Others
By W. Hal Brooks
Our Lord’s last parting request and command was, “You shall be My witnesses” (Acts 1:8). R. A. Torrey once said, “The only real reason God has left us here on this earth is to point other men to Jesus.” Witnessing is every Christian’s privilege and responsibility.
Christians, arise! Christ has commanded us to evangelize the world! He has commissioned us to take the gospel message of salvation to every person in the uttermost parts of the earth. This is to be done in every generation. The Lord has made us responsible today for the people of today.
In the New Testament day there was no radio, television, or printed page to aid in evangelism. Yet it was said of the Christians in Rome that their faith was “spoken of throughout the whole world” (Rom. 1:8); and of the Thessalonians,” the Word from the Lord resounded forth from you . . . everywhere” (1 Thess. 1:8).
What had made this mighty impact upon the rest of the world? It was the transformed lives of these Christians who went about telling what Christ had done for them. These men had been with Jesus and the world took notice of the great difference it made in their lives (Acts 4:13).
Personal witnessing is the only way this world will ever hear the message of Christ. Only a small per cent of the lost ever attend church. That means that most of the lost population has little or no concern for religion. Many unsaved will never be saved unless someone goes into their homes and leads them to know Christ. If they do not come to us, we must go to them.
Paul told the Ephesian Church in Acts 20:20, “How I did not shrink from telling you anything that was for your benefit, and teaching you in public meetings and from house to house.” New Testament evangelism has two approaches which are dependent upon each other: pulpit evangelism and personal evangelism. Someone has said that for every reference to pulpit evangelism, there are nine to personal evangelism. Billy Graham has said, “Strange as it may seem, I get a far greater thrill out of leading one person in my room to Christ than I do out of one meeting where I see hundreds come.”
What Is Christian Witnessing?
A witness is one who tells what he has seen and heard, what he has experienced. He does not argue or he would become a lawyer. Many have felt that Christian witnessing is like being a good salesman, or a powerful lawyer. A witness is used by the lawyer, and often the case is won or lost because of the effectiveness of the witness; but a witness is not a lawyer. God has not called us to be lawyers, judges, or even salesmen, but He has called us to be witnesses. The Holy Spirit is the spiritual advocate, or lawyer, who convicts the sinner of his sins, and we are to be His witnesses.
The word “witness” comes from the Greek word, martus, which means “martyr.” It signifies that one not only talks with his lips, but he is willing to pay for the privilege of doing it with his blood (Phil. 1:29). He is not seeking to please and satisfy. He will not care what others think of him if they wish to criticize and scoff. He is only concerned about what God thinks. “But just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the glad tidings (the Gospel), so we speak not to please men, but to please God, Who tests our hearts” (1 Thess. 2:4).
Essentials to Effective Witnessing
1. Dependence upon the Holy Spirit.
As Christian witnesses we must rely upon the Holy Spirit to bring conviction to the lost. One of the great dangers in witnessing is to try to bring the lost under conviction with our arguments and persuasion. We must remember that we are witnesses; the Holy Spirit must convict (John 16:8-11). We are to present Christ. Jesus said, “No one comes to the Father except by (through) Me” (John 14:6).
2. A dedicated walk in Christ.
After Paul had been converted, he received instruction from Ananias, a devout Christian, which aptly summarizes the Christian’s walk and work (Acts 2:14, 15).
Paul was, first, to get to know God’s will. This was to be done through the personal experience of looking at and listening to Jesus. It was then that he was to witness to others what he had seen and heard.
To be an effective witness we must know the heart of God. This must be the supreme objective of every believer. In order to know the will of God, we must take time to get to know Christ. We must see Him as He shows Himself to us through the living Word of God and as He lives within us. It is then that we can witness to others what we have seen and heard. It is only after we have taken time to walk in Christ that we have something to witness to others. Someone has said, “Witnessing is getting a good look at Jesus and then telling another what you have seen and heard.”
When Jesus called his first disciples, He said, “Come after Me – letting Me be your Guide, follow Me – and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). The basic principles involved within this verse will give further understanding of the pattern for our becoming a fruitful, witnessing Christian in carrying out the desire of our Lord to evangelize the world. The command of Christ is for us to follow Him. The promise is that when we do, He will make us fishers of men. We cannot follow Christ without fishing for men; we cannot fish for men unless we are following Christ. If we are walking in Christ, we will witness; if we are not witnessing, there is something wrong with our walk.
The foremost question each of us must ask, “Am I following the Lord Jesus? Am I walking daily with Him?”
Use Your Personal Testimony
The personal testimony is at the heart of Christian witnessing. Throughout the book of Acts, Paul made much use of his personal testimony. He told about his life before he was converted; how he felt when the Lord spoke to him and how he called upon the Lord to come into his life; and how the Lord affected his life from that moment on. Paul always magnified the Lord Jesus Christ. He said, “For me, to live is Christ-His life in me; and to die is gain – (the gain of the glory of eternity)” (Phil. 1:21).
Many people do not feel that their testimony is interesting enough to tell. Yet anyone who has come to know Christ has something to share with others that is vitally interesting.
One of the problems is that most have never clearly thought through their testimony, or formulated it in a way in which it could be told easily. One of the best ways to do this is to write out your testimony (1) giving adequate details, (2) and using words which would be understood by a person not familiar with church talk. For example, instead of only using the word “convicted” explain the word by telling how you felt when you were convicted. Write out your testimony, and then rewrite it, leaving out points which do not seem essential and adding facts which will come to your mind which seem more important. Writing out your testimony several times will prove extremely helpful in clearly formulating your experience.
Suggestions for Writing out Your Testimony
1. Tell about your life before you were saved: where you were born – where you grew up -where you attended school. Relate any time you felt convicted and impressed that you ought to become a Christian. Tell what hindered you most from becoming a Christian. (Those who were converted at an early age will not have as much to share from this point as others. Of course, they should rejoice that they found Christ so early in life.)
2. Describe your experience of accepting Christ. Was it in revival, regular service, or elsewhere? If someone helped you to know how to pray, relate this. Write down what you asked the Lord to do for you.
3. How has Christ affected your life since you have been saved – at home, at work, or school; through problems and difficulties; attitudes toward others; desires; feelings for the lost?
Suggestions for Using Your Testimony
1. Share your testimony with lost friends by weaving basic Scripture verses into your experiences with the Lord. An example would be: “Bill, here in Romans 3:23 God says that all have sinned. I remember when I realized that my life was lived for self. I knew I wasn’t giving God any place in my life. I came to know that I was included in ‘all have sinned.'”
2. Share your testimony with Christian friends. Emphasize what has helped you the most in your Christian life to grow and develop spiritually. Point out how Bible study, prayer, church attendance, etc.., have helped you. Many have testified that through the testimony of Christian friends they have learned how to overcome problems in their lives, how to study the Bible more effectively; what they needed to do to grow spiritually, etc..
Using a New Testament
God has promised to honor His word, not our arguments. It is the instrument God uses to convict of sin and to reveal Christ to the unsaved. “For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power making it active, operative, energizing and effective; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and (the immortal) spirit, and of joints and marrow (that is, of the deepest parts of our nature) exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart” (Heb. 4:12).
“The sword the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God” (Eph. 6:17). If we have a working knowledge of some basic verses, the Holy Spirit will be able to make us more effective witnesses.
1. Carry a small New Testament which may be concealed in the pocket or purse. This will enable you to be ready at the proper moment to reach for it and use if for the glory of the Lord.
2. Mark or underline the basic verses if you feel this will help you to be more effective.
3. Use it! Don’t defend it! It is the Word of God whether the unsaved believes it or not. It alone points to the way of salvation.
1. Sets of Verses
Discover the verses which you are able to use easily and naturally, and master them.
(1) Verses from Romans
Romans 3:23-“Since all have sinned and are falling short of the honor and glory which God bestows and receives.”
Romans 5:8-“But God shows and clearly proves His (own) love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, died for us.”
Romans 6:23-“For the wages which sin pays is death; but the (bountiful) free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Romans 10:9,10-“Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses and confirms (his) salvation.”
Romans 10:13-“For every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” Joel 2:32.
(2) Verses from John:
John 1:1-“In the beginning (before all time) was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God Himself.” (Isa. 9:6) (Who Christ is).
John 1:14-“And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled – fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile – among us; and we (actually) saw His glory – His honor, His majesty; such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving kindness) and truth.” (Isa. 40:5) (What Christ became).
John 3:3-“Jesus answered him, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see-know, be acquainted with (and experience ) the kingdom of God.” (What man needs.)
John 3:16-“For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He (even) gave up His only begotten Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts, clings to, relies on) Him may not perish-come to destruction, be lost-but have eternal (everlasting) life.” (Who God provided for man’s need.)
John 3:36-“And he who believes on-has faith in, clings to, relies on-the Son has (now possesses) eternal life. But whoever disobeys-is unbelieving toward, refuses to trust in, disregards, is not subject to-the Son will never see (experience) life. But instead the wrath of God abides on him.” Hab. 2:4. (What man must do.)
(3) A. B. C. Plan
A. All have sinned – Romans 3:23, 6:23
B. Believe on Christ – John 8:16, 1:12; Acts 16:30, 31
C. Confess sins and Call upon Christ – Romans 10:9,10,13
2. Soul Winning Interviews of Jesus
Many are finding that using only one passage of Scripture is less confusing than turning from book to book. The following passages point out (1) man’s great need and (2) God’s provision.
(1) Luke 18:18-30 – Rich Man
This passage points out that not even the Lord Jesus successfully won everyone with whom He dealt. The rich young ruler loved money more than he loved Christ, and this kept him from being born again.
But it also reveals that, with God’s power, anyone can be saved.
(2) John 4:6-29 – Woman at Well
(3) John 3:1-16 – Religious Leader
(4) John 8:1-11 – Sinful Woman
(5) Luke 19:1-19 – Dishonest Business Man
(6) John 12:20-50-Certain Greeks
Using Your Testimony with Scriptures
Here is an illustration of a typical way to use the scriptures as you tell what Christ has done for you personally. This should be done after using a basic approach technique which will prepare the unsaved for your witness.
Witness: “Bill, God says here in Romans 3:23 that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. I remember when I realized that my life was lived for self. I knew I wasn’t giving God a place in my life. I came to know that I was included in ‘all have sinned.’ Don’t you feel, as I, that you have sinned?” (Point to the verse and allow his eyes to see it also.)
Witness: “Now, Bill, over in Romans 6:23 we find that the result of sin is death, separation from God. I suppose all of us have thought about what this means. I remember when I came to realize that there was no hope at all apart from this experience called salvation. It was then that I realized if I was to ever know any real happiness in my life, I had to call upon Jesus to take care of my sins.
“Now look at the last part of this verse, Bill: ‘…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’ I’ll never forget when I began to realize that God really loved me, personally. I had always thought of God’s loving everybody in such a general way. But I realized He loved me!
Witness: “Let me read another verse of Scripture in Romans 5:8, `But God shows and clearly proves His (own) love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One, died for us.’ You see, Bill, even though you and I were sinners, God still loved us and sent Jesus to die for us on the cross.
Witness: “Bill, do you know John 3:16? I’m sure you have heard it read or quoted. `For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He (even) gave up His only begotten Son, so that whoever…’believes in (trusts, clings to, relies on) Him may not perish – come to destruction, be lost – but have eternal (everlasting) life.’ What does it say we have to do to have everlasting life?” (Pause briefly for an answer. If he doesn’t answer soon, continue.)
“Now, I don’t know about you, but I used to wonder just what that word `believe’ meant. I always thought I believed in Jesus before I ever became a Christian. I believed that He lived, and died, and even that He died on the cross for me. But I came to realize that to believe means so much more than that.
Witness: “Look at these verses in Romans 10:9,10: `Because if you acknowledge and confess with you lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses and confirms (his) salvation.’
“In other words, Bill, you must believe with your heart as well as your head. You must trust yourself to Him as a real person, not just an idea. I remember the year when I called upon the Lord to come into my life. I realized that being saved was more than knowing about Jesus: it was personally having Him come into my life because I asked Him to come in.
Witness: “Bill, I didn’t know how to ask the Lord to come into my life, and maybe you are like I was. Let’s turn to one other verse if you don’t mind because it tells us how to call upon the Lord. In Revelation 3:20 the Lord Jesus says, `Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears and listens to and heeds My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will eat with him, and he (shall eat) with Me.’ This verse says that Jesus lets me know He wants to come into my life. He speaks and He knocks to get in. But it also tells me that I have to open the door of my heart, listen to Him as He speaks, and then invite Him to come into my heart. This is the most important decision that I have ever made, Bill. And you can make it also.
“A while ago, we knocked on your door, and you opened it and invited us in. We wouldn’t have come in if you hadn’t asked us in. Now, Bill, Jesus loves you, He died for you, but He will not force His way into your life. He must be invited.
“If Christ is knocking on your heart right now, I pray you will open it to Him and ask Him to come in.
Witness: “Bill, let’s have prayer.” (Pray a simple prayer that the Holy Spirit will speak to this dear man’s heart and that he will have the courage to ask the Lord Jesus to come into his life.)
Witness: “Now, Bill, ask the Lord to come into your heart and life.” (Pause! Give him time to think. Don’t force. If he hesitates very long, ask him if he knows what to pray. You may help him to know how and for what to pray. If he doesn’t make his decision at this time, leave the door open for future visits.)
Witness: “Bill, let’s thank the Lord for coming into your life.” (Always have a prayer of thanksgiving when the person receives Christ. Take time to give him assurance by talking about this experience which he has just had. Talk with him about the importance of “following through” with baptism and church membership.)
Witness: “Now, if someone at work tomorrow asks you if you are a Christian, what will you say?”
Article “How to Share Christ with Others” excerpted from “Follow Up Evangelism”. Written by W. Hal Brooks.
“This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes, “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”