My hopes are that by the end of this essay I will have demonstrated that I have a functional and usable comprehension of Hess topics that I will be able to use throughout my life. The value of personal testimony in evangelism There Is no question to whether or not a Christian should evangelize. As a matter of fact all one would need to do to verify that they should evangelize the gospel would be to open the Bible and look at what God tells us about evangelism. There are 96 different verses in the Bible that speak to the topic of evangelism (Evincible. Info).
And while I obviously can’t mention all of them due to time and space limitations for this essay, I can however touch base on some of the ones that I personally feel are reticent for the topic that I have chosen to speak about which is the value of personal testimony in evangelism. Let me begin with what Is In my opinion the most Important part of this topic; which I feel is evangelism. So what is evangelism? Well, it could be said that Evangelism is when a Christian takes advantage of any opportunity they are presented with to share with others what they know about Jesus Christ and the good news of what He has done.
I cannot begin to emphasize enough the importance of this task. As a matter of fact this is an essential part of The Great Commission as found in Mathew 8:18-20″ And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.  Go therefore[al and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and 10, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. ” Amen. To give you an idea of the importance of this consider this; the great commission is recorded five separate times In the Bible. It was Included as some of the very last words Jesus spoke to his disciples before His ascension. It Is at the heart of what our focus should be as individual Christians” (Taste and Guttering 2012) So with that being said, let’s look at some verses from Paul the Apostle; someone whom I feel is perhaps one of the best examples of the point that I am attempting to make about personal testimony In evangelism.
Throughout the NIT Paul uses his a way that they would understand. 1 Corinthians 9:22 Paul writes “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. ” Note that while this verse in its original context is art of a broader discussion about foods being offered to idols that it still ties directly into my topic because Paul is speaking about his own personal character as a means to bring others to our Lord Jesus.
Another similar example by Paul can be found in 2 Corinthian 1 1:16-17 where Paul writes “say again, let no man think me a fool; if otherwise, yet as a fool receive me, that I may boast myself a little. That which I speak, I speak it not after the Lord, but as it were foolishly, in this confidence of boasting. ” Here again Paul speaks freely about his own character in an effort to spread the gospel in a manner that those receiving IM would easily understand. He doesn’t make an effort to speak down to anyone as if he is in any way better than them.
In fact he is seen doing Just the opposite as can be seen here in 1 Corinthians where he writes “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. ” Notice how Paul said “not with words of eloquent wisdom” I believe this is important to note because Paul was known for having a brilliant mind, a commanding knowledge of philosophy and religion, and could easily abate with even the most educated scholars of his day.
And yet he chooses not to so that he could provide clear and understandable explanations of the gospel in his letters to the church. The point I am trying to make is that I believe that evangelism through testimony allows us the unique opportunity to share with others the amazing and life transforming power that Jesus has blessed us with in a real life manner that people can relate with. Personal testimony also allows us the opportunity to make sharing the gospel with others a personal experience.
In other words by giving testimony that s directly related to your own life experiences you are better equipped to answer questions that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to answer; or at least not without further research. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing; in some cases not knowing allows you and the people you are speaking with a chance to learn about the gospel together. However, I personally don’t feel that responding with “great question, I don’t know the answer to that at this time” has nearly the value as “great question, here’s what the answer was to that question in my life”.
But I would add that this is Just my arsenal feelings on the matter and that I am sure there may be some people that feel Just the opposite and would rather have the one on one learning experience. The transforming power of Christ While there are perhaps many different ways that I could go about speaking to you about the transforming power of Christ, I don’t believe any of them could compare to my personal experience. So with that in mind please allow me a few moments to share with you my own personal experience of the transforming power of Christ. Before I had accepted Jesus into my life.
And I can recall how happy some of the Christian acquaintances I had at the time always seemed to be. They seemed to have a certain peace about them that Just shined through regardless of what was going on around them at the time; no matter if it was good or bad. For example if it was raining they would say “Praise Jesus for this rain! ” And if it wasn’t raining they would say “Praise Jesus it’s not raining! ” Looking back I can recall thinking how that never made any sense to me. How could someone praise Jesus for everything regardless of whether it was something good or something bad?
I had no idea at the time that I loud later in life discover the answer to that very question. The date was July 4, 1999 and it was 7:18 a. M. When I first met and accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior. Here sum fourteen plus years later I can still remember it as if it happened yesterday. All my life I was an addict of one sort or another. At this particular time in my life I had finally hit my “rock bottom” (a term used to describe a point that some addicts needs to reach before they are truly ready to sober up) and I was literally ready to give up on life. In my mind’s eye I could see no reason to continue.
I had attempted to sober up on numerous occasions unsuccessfully and had lost everything in my life that I had ever loved as a result of my addiction. I couldn’t hold a Job because I was unreliable and untrustworthy. My family had (in my mind) completely turned away from me. My wife divorced me. Even my own children were ashamed to call me their father. However, despite all of my obvious shortcomings as an addict, there was one person that still loved me and wanted to help me, His name is Jesus. Let me back up Just a little bit so you will better understand what I am about to share with you.
As a child I grew up in a broken home with my alcoholic mother and my younger sister. We lived in low income trailer park communities and life back then was a far cry from stable by any definition of the word. However, despite my mother’s drinking problem and the lifestyle that went along with it, she always made sure that my sister and I went to church every Sunday morning. I would later learn that her reason for doing this weren’t because she believed it would better our lives, but rather because it gave her half a day free of children.
But regardless of her motives, every Sunday morning at 9:00 a. M. He church bus would pull up to the playground located directly across the street from our trailer and honk the horn; and off my sister and I would go to hang out at church until about 1 p. M. In the afternoon when we would get dropped back of at the same playground. And while I am sad to report that I didn’t accept Jesus into my life as a youth, I did however have the opportunity to learn about Him and the Bible. And that knowledge would stay with me throughout my lifetime.
I believe that it was that same knowledge that was instilled in me as a child that gave me my basic feelings of what was right and wrong. Unfortunately, I didn’t choose to live my life accordingly. Prompted me to say “Jesus forgive me. ” as I went to pull the trigger on shotgun that I had resting under my chin that morning. And it was at that very instant that I heard a voice saying “Stop! I forgive you… ” Instantly I felt an inner peace unlike anything I had ever felt before. For a brief moment I thought that I surely must have pulled the trigger and that I was no longer of this world.
That was the only explanation I could come up with to explain the instant relief from the overwhelming misery I was feeling just mere moments earlier. I recall faintly hearing the sound that the metal of the gun’s barrel made as it fell to the hardwood floor. It was loud and yet at the same time it seemed as if it was way off in the distance. The only way I can describe this would be to liken it to being submerged under water; I could hear the sounds around me, I knew what the sounds were, but they were somehow muted.
Then, once again I heard the voice in my head “l forgive you” only this time the voice was thunderously loud and it rang clear and true as the ring off bell on a brisk winter morning! This time I had no doubt in my mind whatsoever who the voice belonged to. Without warning my legs gave way from beneath me as I dropped to my knees; I was crippled by the love that God was showing me at my darkest hour. For the first time in my life I felt as if I was whole and I cried out “dear Jesus, I can’t do this anymore. ” And the voice replied “l am here for you”.
And as I sat there on my knees with a tear soaked face I knew in my very essence what I needed to do, and I asked Jesus into my life and into my heart; and He came. In an instant I felt hope where before there was none, I felt purpose where before I had none, and I felt love where before I felt unworthy of being loved. I sat there on he floor for several minutes crying uncontrollably until for no apparent reason I began laughing. And as I stood up clearing my eyes from the tears I looked at the clock on the wall while making a mental note to myself “its 7:18 in the morning on independence day… Hat’s what time Jesus saved my life and made me anew. ” Independence Day for me would now and forevermore hold a whole new meaning and importance. While everyone else looks to the skies to marvel at the fireworks in celebration of the anniversary of the publication of the declaration of independence from Great Britain in 1776 1 will look to the heavens to give thanks for my independence” from my broken former life and from an addiction to drugs and alcohol that had all but ended my life.
More importantly though, this day would mark the day that I was by the grace of God made anew as a Christian and given a second chance to live. Ever since that morning I have never again touched drugs or alcohol again. Nor have I even had the urge to. And at the risk of bragging I can even go one better and report that by the grace of God I have also given up cigarettes after being a smoker for 33 years. My life today is without question far greater than any life I could have ever imagined.
I am happily married to an amazing woman; I now have a relationship with all of my children and grandchildren; I am a senior at a college that I love; and I continue to grow on a daily basis in my walk with Jesus. And ALL of these things, plus In closing I would say that I hope that I successfully shared with you why I chose these two topics for this assignment. And that I fulfilled the objective that I made in my opening statement of demonstrating that I have a functional and usable comprehension of these two topics that I will be able to use throughout my life.