Study 11: Tell your friends
The unity of believers, that can only come through a genuine God-given love, is the greatest tool for telling the world about Jesus that the Church will ever have. No wonder the devil does everything to divide Christians and have them at each other’s throats. Christians spend millions of pounds each year on conventions, outreaches, television and radio programmes; yet the world is not evangelised because the body of Christ is not united in His love. The love of God is the strongest tool for evangelism. Do not argue about His word; just love one another. People don’t need another argument; there are plenty of those in the world already, but they do need love.
Jesus clearly expressed the importance of every Christian being a witness to Christ in front of others. The Bible indicates that our salvation is secured as we are prepared to acknowledge and confess our allegiance to Jesus Christ. “That if you confess with your mouth “Jesus is Lord” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9
When something life changing happens to us we want to tell everyone, whether they want to hear all about it or not. Surely when we have come out of darkness into the marvellous light of Jesus we should make people aware of what has happened. Also when they can have the same blessing and have the same desperate need as we do, we should not hold back. If we had a cure for cancer it would be very selfish if we only shared with other people who already knew about the cure. We need to tell all the people with cancer. So for all those going to a loveless eternity we have the perfect answer, salvation is in Jesus Christ.
What does “witness” mean?
1. “One who testifies to the truth he has experienced, also one who has knowledge of a fact and can give information concerning it.” (See the “Spirit-filled life” Bible.)
2. “Those whose lives and actions testified to the worth and effect of faith, and whose faith received witness in Scripture” (See Vine’s Dictionary of New Testament Words) or
3. “One who bears witness by his death” (Vine)
By His death and resurrection, Jesus has brought us into a whole new dimension of life, but not an enhanced “old life”. Our “old lives” were buried and we have been raised to live this new life “in Him”. (Romans 6:4; Galatians 2:20). As we live this “new life”, we are all the time witnessing to the reality and power of Jesus Christ.
God’s word shows the importance of witnessing.
- We have been given the ministry of reconciliation and need to fulfil it, 2 Corinthians 5:17-21.
- We have been given instructions to take this gospel message all over the world, Matthew 28:18-20.
- We are baptised in the Holy Spirit so that the Body of Christ may continue the ministry that Jesus began. Acts 1:5-8.
- We have been chosen in Christ Jesus to be fruitful, John 15:16.
- Jesus is God’s faithful witness, as He lives in each of us. As we are made like Him, we will be faithful witnesses also, Revelation 1:5.
- Faith undoubtedly grows as we share the life of Christ with others, 1 Timothy 6:12.
The fact is that if people do not believe on the Son, they are lost. It is that simple. Many other scriptures speak of the need to witness for the Lord Jesus, because the witness to Him is in our hearts.
Who Should Witness?
Every Christian needs to get a real picture (Proverbs 29:18) of telling the world all about Jesus. Seeing others respond to the move of the Holy Spirit on their heart (Ephesians 3:5) and accepting what the gospel (the good news of Jesus) says and giving their life to Him is such an amazing thrill to any Christian.
Witnessing is for all people to do. We must realise that everything we do is a witness to who we are, so this can be a blessing to the name (reputation) of Jesus or bring Him into disrepute. We also must remember that witnessing is not just for church leaders or those who are able to talk well, but for all of us, Mark 16:15.
What is the gospel (The glad tidings of salvation)?
1 Corinthians 15:1-8 says:
- Christ the Messiah died for our sins.
- Jesus Christ was buried.
- Jesus rose on the third day.
- Jesus died and rose just as the Bible foretold.
- He appeared to over five hundred people to prove the resurrection.
This is good news to all people. Because Jesus has done all this, we know it is the truth and so we accept it and believe it. When we believe this, we realise that God wants us as whole people. So, if we are hard up and have bills that need to be paid, the good news to us is that God is our provider. (Philippians 4:19) If we are hungry, the good news to us is that God will feed us. (Psalm 146:7) If anyone is sick, the very good news for them is that they can be healed and never need to receive sickness again. (1 Peter 2:24) We walk in freedom to do what God wants us to do, which is nothing but good for us.
How do we share?
We can’t meet the needs of the ordinary person ourselves, only God can save them. Before going to speak to people about God, go to God about people.
- Be led by the Holy Spirit. Acts 1:8
- Lift up Jesus John 3:14
- Use the Name of Jesus John 3:17
- Be prepared
- Learn key Scriptures not the whole Bible
- Prepare your own story, how you met Jesus. Revelation 12:11.
- Use a tract if that helps you speak up. (For example, Best News; Why Jesus; Looking for God.)
11: Living with Jesus – Challenge Questions
1. Read the Notes ‘Telling your friends’, write down what excited and challenged you. What are you going to do about it?
2. Read the rest of the notes with Mark 16:15-18 and then carefully answer these questions:-
a) What is our commission?
b) What happens to those who do not believe?
c) What kind of people demonstrate God’s power with those miraculous signs?
d) Does this include you?
3. What change took place in the disciples between the crucifixion and their bold witnessing in Acts 3? Have you experienced this in your life?
Read Acts 8:1-7 and answer the following questions.
4. Was it the Church leaders (the apostles) who preached everywhere? (Note verse 1)
5. What did Philip proclaim?
6. Did miraculous signs inspire confidence in what he said?
7. What happened in the city after Philip had preached?
8. Write out Acts 5:32
9. Who else, in addition to the apostles, does this scripture say is a witness to Jesus Christ?
10. Does this include you?
11. Write one short sentence saying what has meant a lot to you in this study.
12. Have you shared Jesus’ life with someone from your personal experience of His working in your life, read 1 John 1:2-3. God wants you to, and has given you the Holy Spirit to help you do just that. Let Him work through you and enjoy the thrill of seeing others come to Christ (always remember that it is God who draws people to Jesus Christ, not you – John 6:44)
Answer the following questions with True or False. If you have a scripture from the study please add these.