Lesson 11 We Are His Witnesses

Is the average person in danger of losing his soul for eternity? The Lord Jesus said, “The gate is small, and the way is narrow that leads to life, and few are those who find it” (Matthew 7:14 NASB). What is the condition of a friend or neighbor who gives no evidence of knowing Christ? “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God” (John 3:18). These are awesome words which should not leave us passive or silent. How can we reconcile them with the common observation that perhaps 95% of all Christians do not share the gospel with others as an essential part of their Christian calling? The Lord Jesus said 2,000 years ago, “The harvest truly is plenteous, but the laborers are few” (Matthew 9:37). Note that there is no lack of need or opportunity. The laborers are few.

The concern of the Lord Jesus for the souls of men was so great that He wept over a city that had rejected Him (Luke 19:41-42). He was “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). He desired that all men should be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4). Jesus poured out His life going from village to village preaching the kingdom of God. He was the great Personal Worker, winning most persons individually, insofar as the gospel record shows. He faced His listeners with the dread of a Christ-less eternity and told them to fear the God Who had power to consign souls to hell (Matthew 10:28).

Call to Witness

There is no mistaking the Lord’s call to His followers. “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). He wanted them to let down their nets, and He was more interested in the sea of living men than in fish (Luke 5:4, 10). He called on them to go forth as spiritual farmers. “Look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal” (John 4:35-36). They were to sow the Word of God in the hearts of men (Mark 4:14). They were to water it with their prayers and they were to reap souls for the kingdom of God. They were witnesses in the courtroom of an often unfriendly world (Acts 1:8). The Spirit of God was given to enable them to speak God’s message to the perishing. Thus the early believers went everywhere, preaching the Word (Acts 8:4).

It is amazing that God should have entrusted so crucial a work to weak men. Leroy Eims writes, “God could have written John 3:16 across the sky every day. Or He could have spelled it out in the stars. Instead, He has assigned the momentous mission of communicating the Gospel to us!”6 The gospel is a sacred trust (1 Thessalonians 2:4). It should be a burning concern, a life or death issue for us (Romans 9:3). The “redeemed of the Lord” are to “say so,” not keep silent (Psalm 107:2). The man called Legion manifested his demon-possession by a wild life among the tombs. When saved, Jesus sent him out immediately as a witness (Mark 5:19). An immoral and Scripturally-untaught woman was also saved and became His principal evangelistic witness in a foreign area (John 4:28-29, 39). The blind man, whom Jesus healed, did not know much, but he could say, “One thing I know, that whereas I was blind, now I see” (John 9:25). No verse of Scripture classifies the confession of Christ as a spiritual gift assigned to the few, or to professionally trained believers. If we cannot speak like Peter, then we can bring others to Jesus like Andrew (John 1:40-42). No one can reach our particular circle of contacts in the way we can. It is our responsibility, not that of someone else, to warn those who are yet in their sins.

Hindrances To Our Witness

It is evident that there are powerful hindrances keeping so many believers from the important task to which God has called them.

1. Fear. We shrink from offending others, stirring controversy or being called “fanatics.” Sometimes we are simply afraid of failing. But Scripture says, “The fear of man bringeth a snare” (Proverbs 29:25). It blocks the blessing of God and stands against His frequent reminder, “Fear not.” What can we do? We can pray for boldness (Acts 4:29). Even such a man as Paul knew fear in this regard and God blessed his determination to witness anyway (1 Corinthians 2:3). Other believers are encouraged when we are bold (Philippians 1:14). Courage acts in spite of fear.

2. Lack Of Power. If our life does not demonstrate the gospel of Christ, then we will not succeed (Philippians 1:27). The Lord did not want His followers seeking to be witnesses without the power of the Spirit in their lives (Luke 24:49). The witness of godly believers is “in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4).

3. Lack Of Training. The Lord spent a great deal of time training His disciples. If we feel awkward and do not know the proper Scripture to use, we may flounder and give up. It behooves us therefore to have a well-prepared personal testimony. We should memorize a few simple gospel verses in which the way of salvation can be made clear. A simple sequence often used is as follows:

a. God offers us eternal life (John 5:24).

b. All are sinners (Romans 3:23).

c. Death is the penalty for sins (Romans 6:23).

d. All men are called to turn from their sins in repentance (Acts

e. Christ bore our sins on the cross (1 Peter 2:24).

f. Christ is God manifest in flesh (John 1:1, 14).

g. Salvation is by grace, not works (Ephesians 2:8-9).

h. To receive Christ is to have eternal life (1 John 5:11-12).

i. We are invited to receive Him (John 1:12).

j. We are to confess Jesus as Lord (Romans 10:9-10).

k. We can know that we have eternal life (1 John 5:13).

4. Lack Of Action. This can continue after other lacks are corrected. New converts often witness more fervently in the first few days than later when they have learned more. Needless delay is pictured in Ecclesiastes 11:4, “He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.”

Witness Of The Word

Bearing witness requires telling others about Christ: here is what we can do to make a start.

1. Get Excited About Jesus Christ! Be enthusiastic about Him before others. Though He is the most controversial man in all history, He is the most fascinating. He is the main issue, not the churches or the failing Christians.

2. Take The Initiative. Jesus was a seeker; He did not wait for people to come to Him (Luke 19:10). He went to many homes and communities to find lost souls. Seek to build bridges of understanding with others and to converse freely with them. Be interested in them.

3. Establish Common Interests. We must learn to be good listeners. Common ground can be found which does not involve us in the world or its defilement. Important events are happening constantly in the world and can provide an entry into spiritual conversation. People’s aspirations or needs can also be openings.

4. Pray For Divine Appointments. God wants to lead us to seeking souls (Acts 8:26-39). Each individual person is important to Him and He will lead workers a great distance to speak to even one (John 4:3-7). Pray to win at least one soul to Christ!

5. Use The Word Of God. The seed is the Word. It is the means by which men are born again (1 Peter 1:23). We are to hold it forth to others (Philippians 2:16). God will see to it that it accomplishes His purpose (Isaiah 55:10-11).

6. Share Your Personal Testimony. You must be clear about your own salvation and be able to make the way clear to others. Write it, rehearse it and then use it. The next lesson will be devoted to helping you do this.

7. Use Good Questions. This was the method of the Lord Jesus. Ask, “Are you interested in spiritual things?” Those using questionnaires in general contact work ask, “We are out talking to people about how Jesus Christ relates to life today. Do you have a few minutes?” Probe their attitudes about what is happening in the world today and where it is heading. A popular subject, due to a number of recent books, is the question of whether there is life after death.

Witness Of The Life

Our witness is not confined to words but extends to the life we lead. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). The complaint about “too many hypocrites in the church” is one of the most common objections against Christianity. Even though this is often an excuse, rather than the real reason for not becoming a Christian, we can agree that if there is even one hypocrite in the church, that is too many. Our Lord also disapproved of religious hypocrites (Matthew 23:13-29). We are to lead such good lives that others will be ashamed to say anything evil about us (Titus 2:8; 1 Peter 3:16).

Though all believers are called to witness, not all have made themselves available to be the person God uses. These life traits should be evident!

1. Life That God Is Nourishing. Being fruitful depends on abiding in Christ, the true Vine, daily drawing from Him. “Without Me ye can do nothing,” He said (John 15:5). A key element in this nourishment is a fruitful daily devotional life. The Word of God must dwell in us richly (Colossians 3:16).

2. Life That God Is Controlling. Yieldedness is the best quality that clay can have in the Potter’s hand (Jeremiah 18:6). With the Spirit of Christ in control, we will be led to Divine appointments in speaking about the Lord.

3. Life Flowing Out To Others. Others are touched and refreshed when the Spirit flows out of our lives like a river (John 7:38). Effective witnessing “is the overflow of the life of Christ.”7 Everyday actions of kindness impress others more than quoting verses or letting them know about our programs. We must be available to them, not isolated from them (Luke 15:1-2). He was aware of their problems, ailments and sorrows. He ministered food, healing and comfort, while sowing the seed of the Word of God (Matthew 13:37).

Many people know facts about Christ, but this is far from salvation. To believe on Christ requires commitment that brings us into a living relationship with a real person. Unsaved people do not realize this. That is what we want to talk about. We want to share Christ as a way of life. We best do that when He is a vital part of our life. In fact, Christ is our life (Colossians 3:4).


Our greatest motivation in sharing our faith should be the love of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:14). He died for us and gave us a commandment that should move us to act. Our next greatest motivation should be the loving concern for others. Both are linked in Matthew 22:37-39. Should we need further motivation, however, we should consider this challenge from an unbeliever: “Did I truly, firmly, consistently believe, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another, religion would be to me everything. I would cast aside earthly enjoyments as dross, earthly care as follies, and earthly thoughts and feelings as less than vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought and my last image when sleep sank me in unconsciousness. I would labor in her cause alone. I would not labor for the meat that perisheth, nor for treasures on earth, but only for a crown of glory in heavenly regions where treasures and happiness are alike beyond the reach of time and chance. / would esteem one soul gained for Heaven worth a lifetime of suffering. … I would strive to look but on eternity and on the immortal souls around me, soon to be everlastingly miserable or everlastingly happy. I would deem all who thought only of this world, merely seeking to increase temporal happiness and laboring to obtain temporal goods—I would deem all such pure madmen. I would go forth to the world and preach to it, in season and out of season; and my text should be ‘What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?’8

6 LeRoy Eims, Winning Ways (Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1974), p. 26. Used by permission.

7 LeRoy Eims, What Every Christian Should Know About Growing (Wheaton, Illinois: Victor Books, 1976), p. 103. Used by permission.

8 Quoted by J. Oswald Sanders, The Divine Art of Soul Winning (Chicago: Moody Press, n.d.), pp. 13-14. Used by permission.

We Are His Witnesses

1. Read Mark 5:2-20. What did Jesus tell the man whom He had just healed to do (v. 19)?

What was the purpose of Jesus’ request?

How did the man react to Jesus’ request and what was the result (v. 20)?

What personal application can you make from this passage?

2. Paraphrase (rewrite in your own words) 2 Corinthians 5:18, 20a.

What is your obligation and how do you intend to fulfill it?

3. How would you respond to the statement, “Witnessing is for evangelists”?

4. What do the following verses state about the eternal destiny of the unbeliever (Matthew 7:13; 13:41-42)?

How would you apply Ezekiel 33:1-9 to your responsibility to witness to the lost?

5. Sometimes we put off witnessing to a friend because we fear rejection. Are we in any way held accountable to witness to our friends (Ezekiel 33:1-9)?

6. A highly important aspect of evangelism is witnessing with our life on a daily basis. What evidence is there that the Thessalonians witnessed with their lives (1 Thessalonians 1:5-9)?

Name some specific things you can do to apply Matthew 5:16 in your neighborhood, school or workplace.

7. Some believers state that it is not really necessary to say anything about the Gospel since our life is a witness. How would you answer this according to Romans 10:14-17?

8. We can effectively combine the life witness and the verbal witness by simply telling others how Christ changed our own lives. What did the blind man of John 9:25 say when he was questioned about Jesus?

How did the woman at the well share her testimony (John 4:28-29)? What was the result (v. 39)?

9. The personal testimony is not only an excellent tool for the new Christian, but it is also effectively used by the seasoned veteran. Read Acts 26:1-29 and notice how Paul used his own personal testimony.

What does Paul do at the beginning of his testimony to help gain a hearing for the Gospel (vv. 2-3)?

In telling about his life before he met Christ (vv. 4, 5, 9-11), why does Paul mention both the good and bad aspects?

How does Paul use detail to effectively describe how he became a Christian (vv. 12-15) and what his life was like after he met Christ (vv. 19-22)?

How does Paul include the Gospel in his testimony (v. 23)? Why is this important?

10. Name one person you will pray for and witness to within the next week:______________

Do a good deed for this person (a word or note of appreciation for some kindness, a favor, assistance with a need, an invitation for tea, etc.). Record below what you did and how the person responded.

The good deed I did this past week was_________________________________________ .

The response was______________________________________________________