THINGS THAT KEEP YOU FROM BEING A WITNESS
Answer: “I can’t share the gospel with others when my own life isn’t where it needs to be. I don’t want to be a hypocrite.”
I can remember several occasions when I was spending time with a friend who didn’t know Jesus and an opportunity came up for me to share the gospel, but I felt the weight of my own sin and shortcomings bearing down on my tongue, keeping me from speaking.
That worry rings true in our hearts so often, doesn’t it? We know the gospel and we believe it! Jesus has come into our lives and made us new. And yet we still fall short in so many areas of our lives.
Before He went to be with the Father, Jesus commanded his disciples in Matthew 28:18-20…
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The book of Acts, recording this same challenge, gives us the last words Jesus spoke while on earth:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” – Acts 1:8
I want to share with you three lessons we have from Jesus in these verses to encourage you to be a witness to the people around you, even though you still have lots of hang-ups, baggage, and room to grow.
Lesson #1: Jesus Has Authority
When Jesus gave the command to make disciples it wasn’t a suggestion or a recommendation, it was a command from authority. But it wasn’t a distant set of orders handed down from above for us to manage on our own. It was Christ Jesus, your personal Saviour, giving you a mission of love—the salvation of the world. And because Jesus has all authority, He will ensure that you have everything you need to accomplish His will. In the words of Elizabeth Elliot, “God has promised to supply all our needs. What we don’t have now, we don’t need now.”
God knows all about you, every strength and weakness, every shortcoming and every virtue. He knows you, and he calls you to accomplish this mission. It’s not about your ability because he has the authority to accomplish it through you.
Lesson #2: You Have Received Power
If you are a Christian, you received the Holy Spirit the moment you believed (Eph 1:13). Jesus made it clear that the power we receive when the Holy Spirit comes upon us is given to us to be a witness!
When we think of evangelism, so often we forget that becoming a Christian means God raising us from spiritual death. That’s a miracle that only God could do, so it’s not about your own power, your own persuasiveness, your own intelligence. It’s about the Holy Spirit at work. His power is unlimited; His persuasiveness is complete; His intelligence is perfect. So when Jesus calls you to be a witness, you can say, “Yes, Lord!” and know that God is the one who changes hearts. People will be impacted, not because of what you are, but because of who he is!
If that’s the case and God is doing all the work, then what do we do when we share the Gospel?
Lesson #3: You Are a Witness
You have been sent by God into the world. You have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ and received salvation and power. But that power is not your own—it’s God’s. So if it is God’s mission for you to be a witness and God’s power you’re accomplishing it with, how do you go about it?
The answer is to do the job of a witness! When a judge calls a witness forward to give their account of something that happened, does the judge require the witness to have a law degree for their testimony to be accepted? Does a witness need to be a professional speaker or writer for the judge to understand what they are saying? Does the witness even have to have a clean criminal record?
Of course not! If the testimony is true, the judge can use it. You are a witness for Jesus, with people judging what you say to find out the truth about Him. But God gives us a supernatural power to our testimony. The Spirit convicts people of their sin, Christ’s righteousness and eternal judgment from God, and their need to turn to Christ (John 16:7-11). He uses your words and the actions that go with them to do so.
We are called to live godly lives, but everyone will fall short of God’s standard until Jesus returns. Part of your being a witness is showing people God’s forgiveness in your life, and the power of the gospel for transformation.
Think back to the ‘woman at the well’ in john 4. She was living a life that did not honour God when she met Jesus. She had been married five times and was living with a man who was not her husband. Jesus shared the gospel with her and the first thing she did after believing Him—even before she went back home—was to be a witness for Jesus:
“So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ? … Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, ‘He told me all that I ever did.’” – John 4:28-29, 39
Jesus has the authority to accomplish His will, and He has given you power through the Holy Spirit so that you can be an effective witness for Jesus! Don’t let the fact that you haven’t been made perfect yet stop you from sharing Christ with the people around you.
If you and your Christian friends want to learn to be an effective witness for Jesus, head to myLife2Life.com and start a Life2Life huddle!