Writing Your Personal Testimony

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1 More Benefits of Knowing Jesus The Bible states that "every spiritual blessing in heavenly places" are available only "in Christ" (Eph. 1:3). But what, specifically, are the spiritual blessings that are available to a Christian? Here is a short list of spiritual blessings found in Christ: 1. Forgiveness of sins (Acts 2:38) 2. An abundant life of purpose (John 10:10; Ecc. 12:13) 3. Divine help in your prayers (Rom. 8:26) 4. Divine help in resisting temptation (1 Cor. 13:10) 5. Help from angels while living life (Heb. 1:14; Dan. 10:2, 12-13) 6. Divine protection from evil (2 Thes. 3:3) 7. Jesus serves as your "defense attorney" (1 John 2:1) 8. The Holy Spirit serves as "another" defense attorney (John 14:16; 16:7) 9. God ensures that your physical necessities will be provided (Matt. 6:33; Mark 10:29-30) 10. Divine help in living the righteous life (Rom. 8:11) 11. Divine help bearing the burdens of life (Matt. 11:28-30; Isaiah 42:3) 12. A heavenly inheritance reserved for you (Eph. 1:11; 1 Peter 1:4) 13. An indescribable inner peace (Philippians 4:7) 14. Trusting in grace instead of your own ability (Titus 3:5) 15. The ever-abiding presence of God with you (Matt. 28:20; Rev. 3:10) 16. Abounding love toward others (1 Thes. 3:12-13) Writing Your Personal Testimony A product of Rev. Tom Van Duzer Our Saviour Lutheran Church Kansas City, Kansas 12 by Tom Van Duzer with thanks to Dr. James Kennedy writer of Evangelism Explosion 1

2 Each Christian should be able to give an account of the faith that God has planted in them. This is called a personal testimony. Your personal testimony can be one of the most effective witnessing tools you can have. The testimony need not be a profound statement of theology. It can be simple, and it often is. Most Christians are familiar with corporate testimonies or ones done with other Christians. The best example of this is the Apostle s Creed. The word creed means I believe. When you say the creed you are stating what I believe. It is a testimony. God actually promises that great things will happen because of your testimony. In the book of Revelation (12:10-11) John heard a loud voice in heaven say: "Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Christ. For the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down. They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony... NIV 1. Who does a Christian tangle with when he/she gives a testimony of Christ? 2. What does God promise the outcome will be? 3. Testifying will not be easy. What happened to some who gave a testimony (Rev. 20:4)? Gospel Bible Verses He was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed (Isa. 53:5) God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16) All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name (Acts 10:43) He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification (Rom. 4:25) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8) God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not counting men s trespasses against them (2 Cor. 5:19) God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in him (2 Cor. 5:21) He gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good (Titus 2:14) He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed (Peter 2:24) Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God (1 Peter 3:18) This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10) 2 11

3 Writing Part III 4. Indeed the Greek word for one who testifies is marturion - yes, martyr. What you are about to do is serious stuff. A clear, effective testimony is one of the most important tools you have in sharing your faith with others. Indeed, it is not as important that you know the details on how and when you came to know Christ as your Savior, but that you know that Christ is your Savior. Anyone who does not know that Christ is his Savior is not a missionary but a mission field. You cannot give testimony to something you do not have. The testimony is yours. Only you can have your testimony. Certainly be truthful. And don t worry that your testimony is boring. It is your story about Jesus in you, and that has power when spoken. There are three parts to the personal testimony: Doing it! Pray for the opportunity. Have confidence that the Holy Spirit will guide you. Matthew 13:11 Make friends. It may take time, but people don t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Make a special appointment. Take your friend out to lunch or for a cup of coffee. Ask about their spiritual journey. It is easier to tell once you have listened. You may also be able to tailor your testimony to your friend s needs. Ask permission. I d like to share with you how I came to know Jesus as my Savior. Is that OK? Practice. Share with your family, your I. What I was before I came to know Christ as Savior. II. How I came to know Christ as Savior. III. The positive benefits of knowing Christ as Savior. Part I What I was before I came to know Christ as Savior. For some of us, this is the hardest part of the testimony. Perhaps you have heard the testimonies of people who came to know Christ as Savior later in their life. Perhaps they lived a very rough life that included many rather spectacular sins. They might have been addicted to drugs or alcohol. Perhaps they were involved in sexual sin You do not need to have lived 10 3

4 this kind of life to have a testimony of what Jesus has done for you. Many of us do not remember a time when we did not know Jesus Christ as our Savior. We were baptized as infants, our parents brought us to church regularly, and we have always remembered knowing that Jesus was someone special. If this is you, you may do two things in your testimony: Two options: A. Tell why you are glad that you have been a part of God s family from an early age. As you look at the consequences of not being part of God s family, why are you glad that this is something that you have had since baptism? What has God given you in these years that those who do not know Christ as Savior do not have? What might your life have been like if you did not have Christ as your Savior? Or B. Tell of a time when you perhaps did not appreciate what Christ had done for you. What did you take for granted? What did you not understand about God s great benefits to you? What made you realize with greater regard what it means to have Christ as your Savior? C. If you did not believe in Christ as your Savior until a later age, thanks be to God that you now believe! Your testimony should include answers to questions such as: What did you think about God before you were a Christian? Did you consider him mean, uncaring, kind, gentle? Part III The Positive Benefits of knowing Christ as Savior Certainly the promise of forgiveness of sins and eternal life is the best benefit of knowing Christ as your Savior. But there are many others, as well. This section will give you some suggestions. An additional list is on the back cover. Friendship God provides us with Christian fellowship and friends. Why do unsaved people attend church? The answer: friendliness. Friendship is significant to people because they are lonely. A basic human need is that of friendship. When people hear that God creates a fellowship, they find this a positive benefit. Love God fills us with love. Even though many of our friends have everything anyone could ever want, they do not feel truly loved. To know that God loves me despite who I am and what I have done, is a tremendous benefit. Friend in trouble Christ is a friend to lean on when in trouble, or just when you re down. Everyone has experience with fair weather friends. Jesus isn t life that, He s always there, and that is a positive benefit. Other positive benefits include: Joy in Christ God s plan for my future Answer to prayers The ability to forgive as I have been forgiven Freedom from fear Confidence in death Holy Spirit s control over your life 4 9

5 concentrate on one special aspect of His love. And that is His forgiveness of your sins and promise of life with Him in heaven. When you prepare this section of your testimony think of someone who has never heard of Jesus before. What would you have to explain to him or her about Jesus for him to become a Christian? Do not assume that anyone knows anything. Explain everything. Here are some questions that you may want to answer in sharing your testimony about what Jesus did for you. Who was Jesus, and why was it only He who could save us from our sins? How did you think you would get into heaven before you were a Christian? What was different with your life before you were a Christian? What is it about your sins that keeps you out of heaven? When Jesus died on the cross, what did that really do for me? Where did my sins go? What has God done with them? What do we mean when we say Jesus died for my sins? How does God look at my spiritual condition when I am a Christian that is different from when I am not a Christian? How can I be certain of going to heaven? Be sure and include one or more favorite Bible verses in your testimony, particularly one about what Jesus did for you. Think of the Bible verse as the muscle for your testimony. Without the Bible verse (the Word of God) your testimony is just your opinion. And everyone has their own opinion. When you include Bible selections to back up your testimony, your testimony packs a spiritual punch. Remember, the Bible is God s power of salvation. Anyone can say, Sure, he s a Christian, but he doesn t know what he s talking about or Why listen to her? But when you include Bible verses you call on God s opinion, and that has some punch to it. Writing Part II 8 5

6 Writing Part I Part II How I received Christ as Savior Part 2 of your personal testimony is not about you. It is about Jesus. This is where you get to share the wonderful news about the free gift of eternal life through Jesus. A personal testimony is about what Jesus did for you. Now, of course, there are many things that God has done for you, but in Part 2 of your personal testimony you want to 6 7

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