Friday, September 3, 2010

Your Personal Testimony

In conjunction with my two previous posts on sowing the seed which is the Gospel, I wanted to provide a post on preparing your personal testimony. The following is excerpted from the book Tell the Truth by Will Metzger.

The content of our message is Christ and God, not our journey to faith. Our personal testimony may be included, but witnessing is more than reciting our spiritual autobiography. Specific truths about a specific Person are the subject of our proclamation. A message has been committed to us – a word of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:9).

Why is it important to distinguish between Gospel truths and testimony? In an age of religious pluralism, we find many who are testifying. I’ll never forget the time when I had been speaking to a young man about the change Christ had made in my life. His sincere response was, “Listening to New Age music does the same for me.” What would you have said in reply? If our witness has no truth content, we can expect the typical response: “That’s interesting. I’m glad for you, but what you have isn’t for me.” Can you imagine the apostle Paul saying, “I just have this warm feeling in my heart”?

Preparing Your Testimony

This is your spiritual biography. Many Christians do not always know the date when God brought them into His kingdom, but this does not mean you have nothing about which to testify. Be winsome, honest and wholesome. Never go into details about sins. After a person has heard your story, will they know truths about Christ or only know you better? Good evaluation questions to keep in mind after hearing a testimony are “How much did I learn about Christ? How much about the speaker? Which was more prominent?”

Use some of the phrases under each heading to help you focus on important things.

1. What I Was Like:

My family, friends, interest were…

My most important value was…

My religious background and attitude about Christ were…

2. What God Used to Begin to Open My Eyes:

I was awakened to my need (people, books, circumstances)…

What I thought or noticed (about myself, God) at this point was…

3. What I Saw/Understood:

The aspects of the Gospel that touched me were…

I came to understand that Christ…

I saw my need was…

4. How Christ Has/Is Affecting My Life:

What changed was…

My desires now are…

I’m now doing…

A difficult area of obedience is…


Believers are called to pray for the lost to be saved (1 Timothy 2:1-6 ). Charles Haddon Spurgeon provides us with a fantastic example of that. He was one of the greatest preachers of the 19th century. He pastored a church in London that actively evangelized its community. The following is quotation is from Spurgeon’s book The Soul Winner which is still in print. It may also be read online at this link - http://www.spurgeon.org/misc/soulwinr.htm. This particular quote has to do with praying for lost souls to be saved. Pleading with God for lost souls to be saved should be high on every believer’s prayer list.

One more thing, the soul-winner must master the art of prayer. You cannot bring souls to God if you go not to God yourself. You must get your battle-axe, and your weapons of war, from the armoury of sacred communication with Christ. If you are much alone with Jesus, you will catch His Spirit; you will be fired with the flame that burned in His breast, and consumed His life. You will weep with the tears that fell upon Jerusalem when He saw it perishing; and if you cannot speak so eloquently as He did, yet shall there be about what you say somewhat of the same power which in Him thrilled the hearts and awoke the consciences of men. My dear hearers, especially you members of the church, I am always so anxious lest any of you should begin to lie upon your oars, and take things easy in the matter’s of God’s kingdom. There are some of you – I bless you, and I bless God at the remembrance of you – who are in season, and out of season, in earnest for winning souls, and you are the truly wise; but I fear there are others whose hands are slack, who are satisfied to let me preach, but do not themselves preach; who take these seats, and occupy these pews, and hope the cause goes well, but that is all they do. (Emphasis in the original.)

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