2018 09 30 Lorna Laister Witnessing for Christ
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Create DateOctober 5, 2018
Last UpdatedOctober 5, 2018

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Witnessing for Christ

Scripture reading: Read 1 Peter 3:18

Amos 8:11-12 talks about a famine of the word. Not a literal one but perhaps there is a famine in the land for hearing the TRUTH of God in words that people can understand. A hunger for clear, accurate practical teaching of the living words of God?

This study is look at how Paul teaches. What did he say in this next town that caused so many people to follow Jesus? How did he approach people who were not like him? What was the story he told them? Why did he start where he did?

And then – can we find a way to witness? A way to witness so that people get a clear picture of God. An accurate picture of what God is like, witness so that people are drawn to Jesus? Witness so that people can see what living in relationship with Jesus is really like?

Acts 13:14-16

Good teaching goes from the known to the unknown. Paul used this strategy. He went to the synagogue and started with what the people knew. Paul speaks kindly and with respect. He begins where his listeners are. And they are starving for the truth

Let’s read: Acts 13: 17-22

They love it! They know this movie. These Jews knew their scrolls. They KNOW THIS STORY!! This is the known. Paul is “playing their tune” they are lapping it up.

 

witnessing for Jesus chart

Then comes the punch. THE UNKNOWN. Verse 23---- WHAT!!!!!! Didn’t know this bit. NOW WHAT?

A SAVIOUR? WHO IS THIS JESUS? So, Paul continues to tell them about John the Baptist verses 24-25

He calls them brothers – and tells them what they are about to see. V26. It’s as if Paul is laying out a banquet. He lays the table with all the beautiful crockery and glassware. Now he offers the lush fruit/food.

Verses 27-29 = the crucifixion

Verses 30-34 = the resurrection

Verses 35,37 = David’s prophecy

Verses 38-39 = forgiveness and freedom

Wow forgiveness? Freedom? This is really new. AND Paul is asking for a response. He tells them that the Law chains them to failure and sin. But Christ’s forgiveness frees them to worship God and enjoy his benefits. NOW THEY MUST CHOOSE BETWEEN THE 2 = verses 40-41

Read Acts 13:42-43 The beautiful aroma of the banquet that Paul had set out was wafting through the synagogue. The people wanted more. V44 and the next Sabbath the synagogue was full.

But not everyone was happy about the good news. Some Jews were jealous. And tried to refute what Paul was teaching. It didn’t worry Paul. HE knew there was famine in the land – a famine where people were hungry for the truth of God. A lesson for us all. He didn’t waste his time on those who weren’t interested    --verses 46-51

Read V 52

So, what about us? None of us would hoard food while a friend starves, would we? Yet maybe we keep the truth to ourselves even though our friend may need it desperately. How do you tell your friend about Jesus? Let’s go back to the questions I asked about Paul’s teaching.

What did he say in this next town that caused so many people to follow Jesus? HE STARTED WITH WHAT THEY KNEW AND LOVED TO HEAR ABOUT

How did he approach people who were not like him? HE STARTED WHERE THEY WERE

What was the story he told them? THE STORY THAT THEY HAD HEARD OVER AND OVER SINCE THEY WERE CHILDREN

Why did he start where he did? BECAUSE HE KNEW HE WOULD GET THEIR ATTENTION

Paul tailored his message to the needs of the audience. He identified with them and grabbed their interest

Can we use a similar pattern?

There’s a need in everyone. We just have to find it. However, I am not alone in this. I have the Holy spirit and I have all of you. You can also identify the need. How can we grab a friend’s interest? When we discover that - we will find a way to communicate it.

What is it that we will tell someone?

As followers of Christ, we are called to be witnesses of what Jesus has done in us and for us. To point people to Christ, we don’t need to be able to explain every theological issue or answer every question. What we must do is explain what we have witnessed in our own lives through the cross and the resurrection of the Saviour. Even better is that we don’t have to rely on ourselves alone to do this. Jesus said, “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

As we rely on the Spirit’s power, we can point a hurting world to the redeeming Christ. With His help, we can witness to the life-changing power of His presence in our lives!

But at the beginning I said that people are hungry for THE TRUTTH

This is where we are the most privileged Christians in the world I really believe that GCI has got a special gift for explaining the truth – the gospel, theology. We try to make it “user friendly” and although it isn’t simple we can make it easy enough.

Our helper – the Holy Spirit - is right here in us and with us to enable this experience.

“I love to tell the story of unseen things above,

Of Jesus and His glory, of Jesus and His love.

I love to tell the story, because I know ’tis true;

It satisfies my longings as nothing else can do”.

 

Our testimony is the witness of what God has done for us. AMEN!



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