Tinshill Free Church

Principles of personal witness

This outline of a recent Bible study at my home church may be helpful for some readers. It was entitled Principles of Personal Witness and delivered by one of the church deacons, Martin Sellens.

Biblical examples of personal witness

  1. Philip (John 1:43-51)
    Philip was called by Jesus (v43) and had a desire for others to meet Jesus (v46), so he found Nathaniel, told him he had found the Messiah, and invited him to come and see. Christ promises great things for believers.
    So, you found the secret message?
  2. Samaritan woman (John 4:29-30)
    Again, the invitation is to come and meet Jesus. The question is asked “Could this be the Christ?” and investigation is encouraged.
    It’s just because I want a blank line in the formatting, that’s all!
  3. Demoniac (Luke 8:38-39)
    In v38 the healed demoniac begs to stay with Jesus, naturally enough, but is told to go and share with others what Jesus has done in his life.

Four principles for personal witness

  1. Let your light shine (Matthew 5:13-16)
    The Lord commands us to let our light shine so much that God is glorified. The light will be attractive to some, because it is godly, but others will prefer darkness because the light reveals their sin. We live in dark times, and if our witness is weak, what will show the world their need for the Saviour? We need a living relationship with God for our light to shine, just as a torch needs batteries for it to work. We need to ensure our spiritual batteries do not go flat.
    This will really muck things up if the background colour of this blog is changed!
  2. Be ready to give an account
    We not only need to believe in our hearts, but also confess Christ to the world (Romans 10:9). A readiness to speak about Christ is part of our preparation for life (Ephesians 6:15). It is a vital part of who we are, and it is as foolish not to prepare as it would be to go for a long walk without shoes. We need to be ready for this with reverent meekness and fear of God (1 Peter 3:15).
    To be honest, I’m running out of things to write in these gaps
  3. Recognise the need of people to be saved
    We will only reach people if we see their plight. Jesus was moved with compassion, seeing people like sheep without a shepherd (Mark 6:34) and weeping for a whole city (Luke 19:41) because He saw the urgency of the situation. The reason Christ came to earth because He saw our lost and helpless state. We need a Biblical sense of urgency (1 Corinthians 7:29-31) and must make the best possible use of our time (Colossians 4:5).
    If you found these messages, please post a comment so I know about it!
  4. Pray
    We need to pray for ourselves and others (Colossians 4:3), making use of practical planning such as prayer partners. We must be watchful to pray continually (Ephesians 6:18-20). Paul knew his responsibility as an ambassador of Christ, and knew he was to “go and make disciples”. This responsibility requires prayer for the Lord’s strength, opportunities and boldness.

I hope you find that interesting and, more importantly, helpful.

hullabaloo dilemma

At the moment I have a bit of a dilemma regarding the best use of a Wednesday evening. On the one hand is the Leeds juggling club, Hullabaloo. On the other hand, my home church has moved the Bible study and prayer meeting to a Wednesday. I don’t know a great number of people at Hullabaloo, but that’s a situation I want to rectify. There is a great mix of people, some of whom are very friendly, and some of whom are surly to say the least.

The Bible study has been a regular commitment for the last several years of my life for good reason. It gives me a focus on the spiritual while Sunday is still days away. It provides an opportunity to learn from the Bible and enjoy the fellowship and wisdom of older believers. It is the only time the whole church can come together for regular prayer. It helps form the habit of prioritising God (and the local church) above other aspects of life.

My dilemma arises because I rarely see my non-Christian friends. I’m notoriously bad at keeping in touch with people at the best of times when I don’t see them on a regular basis, and changing school before A-levels made it much harder. My friends at the school I studied GCSEs at changed a huge amount over the next two years, and became completely different people. I daresay the same happened to me. The friendships which had been built were never destroyed, but simply disappeared. The friends I made at the school where I did my A-levels were great guys, but only knew me for two years before we parted, and given they had known all their other friends for seven years I was never as close to them. I’m on good terms with my neighbours, but don’t see them too frequently.

Combine this with a full time job and chances to chat become much scarcer. This results in a distinct scarcity of opportunities to share Jesus with others. The Bible study benefits me; evangelism benefits both me and others. Having said that, evangelism will surely be most glorifying to God coming from a life of dedication to sanctification. My dilemma is not between studying the Bible and evangelising. My dilemma is between a church meeting and building friendships from which evangelism can arise. I don’t want to be a hit and run evangelist, but a genuine friend speaking from love for the Lord and concern for the souls of my fellow jugglers.

I’ve had varied advice from people I respect, so it wouldn’t hurt me to have more if people have opinions they want to share. The comment box is waiting.

Further reading on evangelism: http://joshsendlessthoughts.blogspot.com/2009/07/what-hast-thou-done.html