Our D6 family theme yesterday at Victory Church was "missions". Every Sunday school class studied the life of the Apostle Paul in Acts 24-26; we then gathered in the auditorium and I shared a message titled: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A WITNESS FOR CHRIST? Below is my sermon outline:
Memory Verse: Acts 24:16 (HCSB) I always do my best to have a clear conscience toward God and men.
In our Sunday school lesson this week we discovered through the life of Paul that…WHEN GOD CALLS, HE PROVIDES!
1. God uses unusual circumstances to make missionaries of us. (Acts 24)
2. Even false accusations may open doors to witness for Christ. (Acts 25)
3. Your personal testimony is a powerful tool that will create interest in others. (Acts 26)
QUESTION: Have you ever wondered why, when God saved you, he left you on the earth? If God had wanted to, he could have taken you directly to Heaven the moment you trusted Christ as Savior. But he didn't, which means that he left you on the earth for a particular purpose.
William Arnot, a distinguished Scottish pastor in the last century, put the matter this way: "To every true Christian these two things may be said: you have need of Christ and Christ has need of you." He then adds this thought: "The simple fact that a Christian is on earth and not in heaven, is proof that there is something for him here to do; and if he is not doing it, the neglect shows either that he is not yet a Christian or that he is a Christian who grieves Christ."
Acts 1:8 (HCSB) But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Now, when Jesus told this to his followers, do you know where they were? They were in Jerusalem. So here's the point. He is saying:
- Jerusalem: I want you to start at home. I want you to start with the people closest to you, right there in your own city, your own community.
- Judea/Samaria: That's like the county next door, and Samaritans happen to be different culturally and different racially. So He said, “I want you to go to people nearby, but they are different from you.”
- Ends of the earth: I want you to go reach everybody else.
Acts 1:8 emphasizes two things we need to know: 1) The Holy Spirit empowers disciples, and 2) Spirit-filled disciples witness about Jesus around the world.
- Our greatest need today is not for political power but for the power of the Holy Spirit.
- Political power can change leaders but it can't change hearts.
- Political power can win an election but it can't save a life.
- Political power can pass righteous laws—or repeal unrighteous ones—but it can't make men righteous.
- Political power cannot change the way people think because it touches the outside of life.
- Only the Holy Spirit can change hearts, restore families and save an entire nation from destruction.
Jesus said, "You will be my witnesses." What did he mean? In its basic sense it means to declare the truth to another person. What is a witness? A witness is somebody who just tells what he knows, and what he has experienced or what has happened to them.
- He doesn't say, “You will be my defense attorney.”
- He doesn't say, “You will be my prosecutor.”
- He doesn’t say, “You will be my salesman.”
- All God wants you to do is He wants you to be a witness.
1. A WITNESS TELLS WHAT HE KNOWS!
The dictionary defines the word "witness" this way: "One who has seen or heard something; one who furnishes evidence."
In a court of law a witness swears on a Bible and promises to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. A witness is a person who tells the truth about Jesus Christ.
- You don't have to be a theologian to be a witness for Christ.
- You don't have to go to Bible college or seminary to be a witness for Christ.
- You don't have to be a missionary to be a witness for Christ.
- You don’t have to have a college degree or a high IQ.
Just tell the truth about Jesus to anyone who is willing to listen. That's where witnessing always begins. That’s exactly what Paul did…
A) He spoke of what he knew about Christ (READ: Acts 26:22-26)
B) He spoke of what he knew mankind must do (READ: Acts 26:19-20)
2. A WITNESS SHARES WHAT HE HAS EXPERIENCED!
Once again, this is exactly what Paul did, he shared what he had experienced…(READ: Acts 26:12-18)
If you know Jesus, you can…
- Talk about what He has done for you.
- Share how He's changed your life.
- Tell how He guides you day by day,
- Tell how He gives you strength to face your trials and courage to conquer your fears.
- Tell how He found you in your sin and gave you a brand-new life.
3. A WITNESS REMAINS LOYAL TO THE END!
We get our English word martyr from the Greek word translated “witnesses.” It means being loyal to Jesus no matter the cost and speaking up for Him even when others oppose you. How many of us are willing to do that?
1 Corinthians 15:58 (HCSB) Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
I'm asking each person to do three things.
- Pray that God would give you a chance to witness for Christ this week.
- Commit to speaking up when God gives you the opportunity you prayed for.
- Sign up for FAITH evangelism training and gain more confidence in being a witness.
Will you join us at Victory as we strive to reach our world for Christ?