Laymanointing

…. they were unschooled, ordinary men …. they had been with Jesus …. the crippled man healed standing with them – Acts 4:13,14

A simple, easy way to share the gospel of Jesus with family & friends

How to  share the gospel, the good news of Jesus?
How to introduce others to Jesus?

How much training is required?
Do we need a lot of Bible knowledge before we begin?

What if they don’t believe?

friendlychat

If one recently came to the Lord, and would like to share the gospel,
or if one would like the share Jesus, but don’t know how,
or feel inadequate,
please read on …

We’ll be covering the following thoughts:

*Go, tell,
*Invite
* Pray
* In love
* Opposition?
* Grace and Truth


Before we begin, its good to remember that minimal Christian-talk jargon is better.

Imagine if a listener had no background in the Bible
or never heard of Jesus,
and heard someone say:

“Let me share the Gospel with you.”

“I got born again … the Lamb of God was sacrificed on the cross, … and His blood washed away my sin .. and now I am sanctified for His glory … and now I have eternal life “

“Jesus blood can wash your sin away … would you like that?”

Would the listener be able to understand the literal meaning of what was just said ?

lamb … cross … blood … sanctified … born again … Gospel … eternal life … glory …  ?!!?

Who is Jesus? … God?

Acts 8:30,31 (ICB)
30 So Philip ran toward the chariot.
He heard the man reading from Isaiah, the prophet.
Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”

31 He answered, “How can I understand?
I need someone to explain it to me!” ..

Let’s use simple words that are clear, .. and meaningful to our listerner/s.
(Try imagining ourselves in the listener’s shoes, …. listening to our sharing.)


Go, tell

In sharing our faith with others,

we’re introducing our personal friend,
Jesus to others,

and inviting them to personally know Him as well.

Hence, its personal, down-to-earth,
… a friendly conversation,
being real & authentic

rather than
a duty,
religious,
or academic — conceptual, abstract , a set of arguments
or persuasive marketing or hard preaching.

41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon
and tell him,
“We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ).

42 And he brought him
to Jesus. …

John 1:41, 42 (NIV)

 … find Simon, … tell him, … brought him to Jesus,
first thing

(just like the enthusiasm of sharing the good news of expecting one’s first child, … or getting married 🙂 )

In Mark 5, Jesus gives us a  simple way to share the good news (gospel).

Mark 5:18-20 (ICB)
18 Jesus was getting ready to leave in the boat. The man who was freed from the demons begged to go with him.

19 But Jesus would not allow the man to go. Jesus said,

“Go home to your family and friends.
Tell them how much the Lord has done for you
and how he has had mercy on you.”

20 So the man left and told the people in the Ten Towns about the great things Jesus had done for him. All the people were amazed.

Jesus instruction to the man was

Go home to your family and friends.
Tell them
how much the Lord has done for you
and how he has had mercy on you”

Simply, share our testimony story of
how much the Lord has done for you
and how he has had mercy on you”

Interestingly, ,,,
on the day the man met Jesus,
and right after the man was delivered by Jesus,
he was … commissioned, ordained, anointed, etc … to share the good news.
Jesus ‘fully qualified’ him 🙂 .

A new believer has the full anointing of the Holy Spirit to share his testimony of Jesus with others.  Amen, Praise God!

Once I heard a businessman share his testimony in a marketplace fellowship.
As he shared his testimony of coming to know the Lord in the last 12 months, he joyfully shared how the Lord led him to lead others to Christ in the course of his work and business; eg. stopping his car to help a stranger in need.  In his first year of knowing the Lord, he led about 10-20 people to the Lord.  Praise God!

The man obeyed and went.
Amazingly, … he went beyond his family and friends,
… to all the  Ten Towns (Decapolis).
He was just bursting to share how the Lord miraculously turned around his life.

Like Andrew, the first thing he did was find his brother Peter to tell him, and brought him to meet Jesus, … and the rest was history, … His-story.

On a side note, the Ten Downs (Decapolis) is a predominantly Gentile area, sited around present day Jordan and Syria (wikipedia click here).  Hence, this anonymous man was probably the first evangelist to the nations (Gentiles).

Similarly, jn Acts 3,
when the man who had never walked in his life,
suddenly walked in an instant
when he encountered Jesus
“… In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

he went into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God,

… the people saw him walking and praising God,
they recognized him
… they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.
Acts 3:1-10 (NIV)

He was bursting with praise and thanksgiving to the Lord for God’s grace and mercy upon his life.

Imagine,
if we’ve never walked before in our entire life,
and one day Jesus healed us,
and we suddenly, .. instantly walked
how would we respond, … what would we do ?

1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may
declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness  into his wonderful light.

Like the 2 men in the Bible,
sharing  Jesus with others is
.. declaring the praises of him
who called you out of darkness
into his wonderful light.

which spontaneously overflows from a heart of gratitude and thanksgiving for
how much the Lord has done for you
and how he has had mercy on you”

Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.
—  
Johnson Oatman Jr

Hence,

we express our love for Jesus,
by sharing His love with others.

What has the Lord clearly done in our lives
that we’re grateful for?
today, … this week, … this month ?


The Bible is full of stories of people, and their personal experiences with the Lord.
Jesus introduced the Kingdom of God through everyday stories of everyday people in simple language through his parables.

For example, what better way to describe
God’s grace & love
than by the parable of the prodigal son,
or the parable of the lost sheep,
or the woman caught in adultery

Like Jesus’ parables, and the wonderful creations God has made all around us, … our personal testimony story helps others grasps the tangible reality of Jesus in the everyday lives of ordinary people,
and makes Him visible;

not a God far away, but a God who is near,
a God who personally cares, who loves, who reaches out and who saves.
Jesus our savior and friend.

For ever since the creation of the world
His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature,
have been clearly seen,
being understood
through His workmanship
Romans 1:20 (AMP) 

Also,
everyone,
young and old,
love to listen to a good uplifting story,
that reinforces the goodness and conscience of our hearts.

What more,
if … its a real-life true story
from someone
they personally know? 🙂


Go home to your family and friends.
Tell them
how much the Lord has done for you
and how he has had mercy on you”

Jesus instruction to the man was to simply share his testimony, story, experience.
That’s our part, our focus.

There’s no mention about the outcome, results, numbers or KPIs.
Only God can touch our hearts to turn to Him.

Tell them


An Example

When Paul addressed the crowd in Jerusalem after his arrest (Acts 22), and later in his defense for his arrest before King Agrippa (Acts 26), … he shared his testimony;
his life-changing experience of meeting Jesus on the road to Damascus with them. This encounter dramatically changed him
from a persecutor of Jesus followers,
to a passionate messenger of faith in Jesus.

28 Agrippa replied to Paul,
“In a short time you will persuade me to become a Christian.”  

29 And Paul said,
“I would wish to God, that whether in a short or long time, not only you, but also all who hear me this day, might become such as I am, except for these chains.”

Acts 26:18 (NASB)

Sharing one’s testimony consists of 3 parts:
* before one met Jesus,
* how one met Jesus,
* and after one met Jesus, what happened.

In a sense, its like people who dramatically lost weight,
their before photo,
their after photo,
and what steps they took.

Taking the example of this man in Mark 5:

Before he met Jesus, (the old me, before photo)
— When Jesus got out of the boat, a man came to him from the caves where dead people were buried. This man, who lived in the caves, had an evil spirit living in him. No one could tie him up, not even with a chain. Many times people had used chains to tie the man’s hands and feet. But he always broke the chains off. No one was strong enough to control him. Day and night he would wander around the burial caves and on the hills, screaming and cutting himself with stones.

How he met Jesus
— While Jesus was still far away, the man saw him. He ran to Jesus and knelt down before him. 7-8 Jesus said to the man, “You evil spirit, come out of that man.”
But the man shouted in a loud voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, promise God that you will not punish me!”
Then Jesus asked the man, “What is your name?”
The man answered, “My name is Legion, because I have many spirits in me.” 10 The man begged Jesus again and again not to send the spirits out of that area.
11 A large herd of pigs was eating on a hill near there. 12 The evil spirits begged Jesus, “Send us to the pigs. Let us go into them.” 13 So Jesus allowed them to do this. The evil spirits left the man and went into the pigs. 

After he met Jesus (the new me, after photo) —
15 They came to Jesus and saw the man who had had the many evil spirits.
The man was sitting there, clothed and in his right mind

All done in 5 minutes.
Rather than an epic story with lots of details.

Focus on Jesus.

Our testimony can also include recent situations we faced,
and how Jesus stepped in
and turned the situation around, … or made the difference,
… or helped us through.

Perhaps, it may be helpful for us to write down our testimony, in a clear and meaningful manner.
Succinct.  Use simple words.  Avoid Christian jargon.

Also, having an “elevator pitch” version, may be helpful when time with our friend is tight.


Invite

At some point in our conversation with our friend or family,

introduce who Jesus is as revealed by the Bible.

By this gospel you are saved, …
… Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
that he was buried,
that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures
1 Corinthians 15:2-4 (NIV)

Focus on Jesus, who He is and what He’s done.
This is the good news, the gospel.

And remember to share how one can become a child of God .
.. today!
Invite and provide an opportunity for them to pray with you to believe in Jesus and have a personal relationship with Jesus,
if they so desire.

Romans 10:9, 13 (AMP)
because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that 
Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God],
and believe in your heart that
God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved.

Acts 16:30,31 (NKJV)
30 And he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” 

John 1:12 (NIV)
Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name,
he gave the right to become children of God

If they respond with prayer, then follow-up with discipling them yourself, or someone from your fellowship circles.

In the 4 Gospels, not everyone whom Jesus spoke to was ready to immediately receive Him into their hearts,
eg. the rich young ruler in Mark 10.

21 Jesus looked at him and
loved him.
“One thing you lack,” he said.“Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 At this the man’s face fell.
He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

26 The disciples were even more amazed, and said to each other, “Who then can be saved?”

27 Jesus looked at them and said,
“With man this is impossible,
but not with God;
all things are possible with God.”

Mark 10:21-23, 26, 27 (NIV)

Jesus kept on loving them, praying for them.

Ultimately, this is God’s work.
God is the one who draws others back to Himself.

With man this is impossible,
but not with God;
all things are possible with God.

Keep praying, keep loving, … trust the Lord.

Perhaps our friend has no interest at the moment,
its best to change the topic, and wait for future opportunities.
(don’t be pushy)

Perhaps our friend is not ready to respond to Jesus,
…. keep praying, … keep loving,
being helpful, supportive gracious.

Be a friend,
rather than a preacher.

… if any of them (husbands) do not believe the word,
they may be won over without words
by the behavior of their wives

1 Peter 3:1 (NIV)

a humble, Christ-like spirit.

Share with them that no matter when or where
they can always call upon the name of the Lord, and he will save them.

Romans 12:13 (AMP)
For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord [in prayer] will be saved.”


A government official was once asked a question about his faith at a lecture in a prestigious university.  Here’s his testimony of how he came to Jesus, … how he shared the gospel to his wife, and led her to the Lord a year later.

Simple, down-to-earth, honest, relaxed.
Just share your story.


Our role is to humbly sow the seed of His Word,
live out His Word and love.

36 And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together.
37 For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’
Jun 4:36 (NKJV)

One sows and another reaps
Perhaps down the road, someone else may lead them to Jesus
from the seed we’ve humbly sown,
Similarly, we reap what others have sown.

Consider,

… how skeptical we were when we first heard the gospel,
how long we took before we came to the Lord,
and how patient the Lord  waited for us to respond to Him.

Let’s be patient with our loved ones.
God is.

2 Peter 3:19 (NASB)
 The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness,
but is patient toward you,
not wishing for any to perish
but for all to come to repentance.

Or, … perhaps for some,
they aren’t sure if God exists, or which god/God to believe in,
we may perhaps suggest them to pray
God, if you are real, … show me who you are, … I would like to know you.”

Follow-up discussions, or an invitation to read the Bible together to know Jesus better may be helpful.

Isaiah 55:11, 12 (NIV)
10 As the rain and the snow
    come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
    without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
    so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
11 so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
    It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
    and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

If they have personal needs, offer to pray for them,
and see what God will and can do.
Some have come to the Lord through receiving physical healing or seen their situations turned around.  The same God who is at work in the early church in Acts is at work today.  Amen.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.  
Hebrews 13:8 (NASB)
Personally, I’ve seen a few people receive God’s healing first, and through their healing, believe in Jesus.
(see also John 9 – healing of the man born blind)

It may also be helpful to give them a copy of the New Testament, and encourage them to read further.  (eg New Testaments from Gideons, Bible League)


Pray

We must talk to God about men
before we talk to men about God.

— Bill Bright

Focus on Jesus.
Pray and depend on the Lord

Colosians 4:3 (ERV)
Also pray for us. Pray that God will give us an opportunity to tell people his message. I am in prison for doing this. But pray that we can continue to tell people the secret truth that God has made known about Christ.

Ephesians 6:19 (NLT)
And pray for me, too. Ask God to give me the right words so I can boldly explain God’s mysterious plan that the Good News is for Jews and Gentiles alike.

Acts 4:29-31 (NASB)
29 And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence,
30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.

Pray for opportunities to share, for the Lord to lead us,
with the right words, boldness;
to explain clearly, and share with confidence;
with the Holy Spirit working with us.

Pray for our family & friends,

John 6:44 (AMP)
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him [giving him the desire to come to Me]; and I will raise him up [from the dead] on the last day.

Luke 24:31, 45 (NIV)
31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.

45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

Acts 16:14 (NIV)
One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message.

Pray that the Lord will draw them to Himself,
open their eyes, minds and hearts
to Himself and His truth.

Our role is to share,
only God can work in their lives to convict them to believe in Him.
This is God’s work.

John 16:8, 9 (NASB)
And He (
Holy Spirit) , when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me;

The Holy Spirit gives the conviction, and
stirs up faith in hearts to reach out to the Lord.

Conviction of the heart,
and by faith … stepping out to trust in Jesus,
… goes beyond just being mentally convinced.
This is God’s work.

John wrote,  “but these have been written
so that you may believe that
Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God;
and that believing you may have life in His name.
John 20:31 (NASB)

Interestingly, John noted that what he wrote was to stir up faith,
rather than just knowledge
in his readers.

A faith response — believe, trust, conviction in our hearts,
beyond just head knowledge.
God’s work.

Jesus said,
“I am the vine; you are the branches.
If you remain in me and I in you,
you will bear much fruit;
apart from me you can do nothing.”  
John 15:5 (NIV)

Amen, we cannot do anything without the Lord’s help.

Sharing our testimony overcomes the enemy,
i.e. spiritual warfare,
hence, its always good to begin with prayer.

Revelations 12:11 (NIV)
10 Then I 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 Messiah.
For the accuser of our brothers and sisters,
    who accuses them before our God day and night,
    has been hurled down.

11 They triumphed over him 

by the blood of the Lamb
    and by the word of their testimony;
they did not love their lives so much
    as to shrink from death.


In Love

Focus on Jesus and His love ,

*Love the person we desire to reach out to
in a Christ-like manner, with His help.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NCV)
Love is patient and kind.
Love is not jealous, it does not brag,
and it is not proud.
Love is not rude,
is not selfish,
and does not get upset with others.
Love does not count up wrongs that have been done.

Love takes no pleasure in evil but rejoices over the truth.
Love patiently accepts all things. It always trusts, always hopes, and always endures.

God desires to minister to their hearts and minds through us.

Its best to maintain a healthy friendship with our friend.
and not just only to win an argument or point of view.
… kind, patient, not rude, not get upset, does not brag, always hopes, always endures

*Speaking the truth in love

Ephesians 4:15 (NASB)
but speaking the truth in love,
we are to grow up in all aspects into Him
who is the head, even Christ,

truth – avoid exaggeration

Address their questions and doubts
to the best of our understanding
based on the Truth, the Word of God.

Avoid appearing elusive by dodging some questions/doubts.

When we are asked about something
beyond our knowledge or understanding,
if not sure, say “not sure, … this is my understanding …”,
if don’t know, say “don’t know, … I will find out.”

Treat such moments as opportunities for us to grow, to find out, to question our faith, to ponder, … to search for answers.

Ultimately, this is God’s work of touching hearts
to respond in faith to Him.

Hebrews 11:1 (NCV)
Faith means being sure of the things
we hope for
and

knowing that something is real
even if we do not see it.

Faith  — knowing the unseen as real,
being sure of our hope,
as revealed in God’s word.

When we first came to Jesus,
none of us completely understood everything in the Bible
or had answers to all our  questions.

Hence,  don’t be too hard on ourselves, if we do not have all  the answers in our sharing.

 A step of faith is required for anyone to come to Jesus.

in love, … grow up in all aspects into Him
in a Christ-like manner

Luke 6:31 (NASB)
Treat others the same way
you want them to treat you.

Imagine if we were in our listener’s shoes.

If we approach them or present to them
in such-and-such a manner,
how would we feel
if others did the same thing to us.

Jesus loved us into His Kingdom.

*Whatever happens, keep on doing good, blessing others.

Matthew 5:16 (NIV)
14 You are the light of the world.
A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.

16 In the same way, let your light shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your Father in heaven.

Others see His visible light shine through the good deeds of believers,
beyond just mere words.

May they hear the gospel,
because they first see it in us.

1 Peter 4:19 (NIV)
19 
So then, those who suffer according to God’s will

should commit themselves to their faithful Creator
and continue to do good.

Many have come to the Lord, through the practical kindness of others.
… Freely you have received; freely give.   Matthew 10:8 (NIV)

Preach Jesus, and if necessary use words
— Francis of Assisi

Paul humbly shared:

Romans 15:18-19 (AMP)
18 For I will not [even] presume to speak of anything
except what Christ has done
through me [as an instrument in His hands],
resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles [to the gospel],
by word and deed,

19 with the power of signs and wonders, [and all of it]
in the power of the Spirit.

So [starting] from Jerusalem and as far away as Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel [faithfully preaching the good news] of Christ [where it had not before been preached].

Paul fully preached the gospel,
of what Christ has done
by word and deed,
with the power of the Spirit in signs and wonders.

And like Paul, let’s remember that we are just
an instrument in His hands
as He graciously works through us by His Spirit.

*Share with gentleness and respect.

1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)
But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.
But do this with gentleness and respect,

Be prepared.

*Conversationally share … and … listen,
take time to listen, acknowledge
… not merely to win an argument.

Its interesting that in Luke 10:25-28, when the teacher of the law asked Jesus,
“Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus did not straightaway give him a 4-step or 7-step presentation, or a fiery sermon.

Instead Jesus asked him a simple question
“What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?”

Jesus respected the man,
He engaged him in a conversation,
He wanted to know what he thought, his views,
He expressed His interest in knowing him personally.

And through the man’s own soul searching,
Jesus led him to discover the answer for himself.

Jesus led the man from what he knew,
and what he felt he needed to do,
…. to who He needs to know and love … personally.

Win a friend.

Let Jesus win their heart.

2 Timothy 2:24 (NIV)
And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome
but must be kind to everyone,
able to teach, not resentful

No matter how good or well-intentioned,
don’t argue
or be aggressive or manipulative.

Jesus gave the teacher of the law time to express his views.
Jesus listened to his views and thoughts.
Jesus was interested in him as a person.
Don’t offend anyone of their belief system, worldview, customs, culture, etc.

Colossians 4:5,6 (MSG)
… Make the most of every opportunity.
Be gracious in your speech.

The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation,
not put them down, not cut them out.

*Depend on the Holy Spirit.
Certainly Paul was highly intelligent, very knowledgeable, and articulate,
however he shared,

1 Corinthians 2:3-5 (NIV)
I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.
My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

Paul acknowledged his sharing was not with wise and persuasive words, and not resting on human wisdom,
but on God’s power.

Serving God in our weakness,
with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Hence, don’t worry if we are not articulate or eloquent,
or our sharing is not so polished or slick,
or if we feel inadequate.

Just share in a manner that’s most comfortable for you.
Be yourself.

Be honest, authentic, real.

On a side note,
we live in a world that’s highly marketed and highly advertised.
Hence, people look for products that have brand authenticity and keep their brand promise,  …. beyond the hype, packaging, imagery and marketing.  An internet search quickly reveals if its truth or hype.
People can spot fakes, or insincerity.

that your faith might rest on God’s power.
Ultimately, this is God’s work,
He works through our human weakness,
and also in spite of human weakness;
as can be seen through the characters in the Bible.

He works through us by the Holy Spirit,
as we step out in faith.

I know of a brother who moved to a foreign country.
His ability with the local language was very limited.  However, he strongly desired to share the gospel. So, he memorised his personal testimony and an evangelism script (of about 10 pages), in the local language.  In faith, he went to the streets in the city to share the gospel of Jesus.  As he shared from his heart, … the locals listened, and helped him improve his grasp of their language.
And, …
he led quite a number of people to the Lord.
Praise God!

Serving God in our weakness,
in faith,
with the power of the Holy Spirit.  

not with wise and persuasive words,
but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power
so that your faith might rest on God’s power.

In summary,
sharing Jesus in love implies a respectful, caring dialogue,
listening, acknowledging the thoughts and concerns of others,
and allowing the conversation to move at a comfortable pace for both parties.

Focus on meaningful dialogues, conversations,
not conversions.

Its not a monologue preaching session,
or scripted formulas.

Speak to others, & listen to them,
rather than
speak at others.

Be a friend,
rather than a preacher.

Whatever happens, keep on consistently loving, blessing others in words and deeds,
and focus on Jesus.


Opposition?

As we share the good news, we may encounter some opposition.
Jesus and the disciples also encountered it too.

Here’s how they responded:

After the lame walked and many believed in Jesus,  the apostles were arrested and interrogated by learned religious leaders.,

Acts 4:13, 14, 18-20 (NASB)
13 Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood
that they were uneducated and untrained men,
they were amazed,
and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.

14 And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them,
they had nothing to say in reply.

18 And when they had summoned them,
they commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.

19 But Peter and John answered and said to them, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge;
20 for we cannot stop speaking about
what we have seen and heard.”

By the evidence & data
provided from the witnesses,
of who the disciples were, what they have seen and heard,
and the lame man healed,
the interrogators were amazed, and had nothing to say.

 After Jesus healed the man born blind, the man was interrogated with some difficult technical questions against Jesus.

John 9:24-27, 30-33 (NIV)
24 So a second time they called the man who had been blind, and said to him, “Give glory to God;
we know that this man is a sinner.”

25 He then answered,
“Whether He is a sinner, I do not know;
one thing I do know,
that though I was blind,
now I see.”

26 So they said to him, “What did He do to you?
How did He open your eyes?”

27 He answered them, “I told you already and you did not listen;
why do you want to hear it again?
You do not want to become His disciples too, do you?”

30 The man answered and said to them, “Well, here is an amazing thing, that
you do not know where He is from,
and yet He opened my eyes.

31 We know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and does His will, He hears him. 32 Since the beginning of time it has never been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind.
33 If this man were not from God, He could do nothing.”

we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard
one thing I do know … I was blind, now I see

Hence, a real-life experience and conviction
is tangible evidence
that’s hard to be refuted by an argument, or opinion or point of view.

Romans 1:16, 17 (NIV)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel,
because it is the power of God
that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—
a righteousness that is by faith
from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

In the midst of opposition, the early disciples prayed for boldness and the Lord’s help to continue sharing.

Acts 4:29-31 (NASB)
29 And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence,
30 while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.”
31 And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness.



Grace and Truth

John 1:16, 17 (NASB)
14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,
and we saw His glory,
glory as of the only begotten from the Father,
full of grace and truth.

Jeremiah 31:3 (AMP)
The Lord appeared to me (Israel) from ages past, saying,

“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you
and continued My faithfulness to you

On a final note,
in the conversation between Jesus and the Samaritan woman,

John 4:16-18 (NIV)
16 Jesus told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.”
17 “I have no husband,” she replied.

Jesus said to her, You are right when you say you have no husband.18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.

To her answer about husbands,
Jesus replied,  You are right
… What you have just said is quite true

Even though Jesus knew perfectly about her imperfections, her lifestyle, her past … Jesus did not pounce on them, or condemn her in any way throughout their conversation. Neither did He shame her by saying her answer was wrong.

Jesus respected her, … affirmed her,
and had a meaningful conversation with her.

Similarly, Jesus was also respectful to the woman who was caught in adultery.
He affirmed her.

John 8:10,11 (NIV)
10 Jesus straightened up and asked her,
“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared.
“Go now and leave your life of sin.”

She was not defined by her sin,
but by her Savior.

… the kindness of God leads you to repentance
Romans 2:4 (NASB)

When others says … look at her sin,
God says … look at my Son, Jesus.

woman&jesus

John 3:17 (NIV)
17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but to save the world through him

Jesus, a friend of tax collectors and sinners (Matthew 11:19 )

Let’s focus on sharing Jesus, and His love, Truth, mercy & grace.
Magnify Jesus.


Conclusion

Back to John 4, Jesus and the Samaritan woman.
Interestingly,
Jesus spoke plainly and directly to the Samaritan woman who He is.

John 4:25, 26 (NIV)
25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

26 Then Jesus declared,
“I, the one speaking to you
I am he.”

As a result of receiving the word from Jesus firsthand,

John 4:28-30, 39-42 (NIV)
28 So the woman left her waterpot, and went into the city and *said to the men, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?” 30 They went out of the city, and were coming to Him.

39 From that city many of the Samaritans
believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, “He told me all the things that I have done.”
40 So when the Samaritans came to Jesus, they were asking Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days.

41 Many more believed because of His word; 42 and they were saying to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world.”

On the same day that the woman met Jesus,
she immediately went back to her city and shared about her meeting with Jesus.

She was so blessed with meeting Jesus, and discovering who He is, … she was bursting to tell the others to come and meet Him, … that she even forgot her pot of water.
She didn’t want her family and friends to miss out on the opportunity to personally meet Jesus, the Messiah.

Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done

many of the Samaritans believed in Him
because of the word of the woman who testified

Amazingly, this unknown woman sparked a revival in her city,
on the very day she met Jesus,
by simply sharing her testimony.

Her testimony touched the people in her city.

Many more believed because of His word

Her testimony brought them to the Word
and personal faith in Jesus.

for we have heard for ourselves and know that this One is indeed the Savior of the world

Praise God,
God used her mightily
in spite of her weakness, & her forgiven lifestyle.

Through this anonymous woman, the Samaritans welcomed Jesus into their hearts.

Acts 1:8 (NASB)
but you will receive power when
the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and
you shall be My witnesses
both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,
and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Praise God,
… any new believer, and all believers are empowered with the full anointing of the Holy Spirit to confidently share testimonies about Jesus with others,
pray for others, and receive answers from the Lord.

Serving God in our weakness,
in the power of the Holy Spirit,
with a grateful heart,

Go home to your family and friends.
Tell them
how much the Lord has done for you
and how he has had mercy on you”

… let’s go fishing.


Erwin W Lutzer —

“Perhaps one of the most encouraging compliments I’ve received is from a man who was seated at a table next to me in Elly’s Restaurant across the street from The Moody Church.  After greeting him, we talked about a variety of things.  I discovered that he was a retired doctor whose specialty was tropical diseases.  I mentioned to him that my sister had been a missionary nurse in Africa for thirty years and had encountered such challenges among the people, and that she herself had to be treated for malaria.  He was very interested, and we continued to talk until the conversation drifted to his granddaughter, who had by now joined in at his table.

Finally, he asked me,”What do you do?”  When I told him I was the pastor of The Moody Church, he could scarcely believe it.  He said he never expected that the pastor of The Moody Church would be so open and accessible.  He ended by saying,
“If you are the pastor, I might actually come to your church sometime.”

I’m not sure exactly what this man expected the pastor of The Moody Church to be like, but I suppose he did not expect him to be friendly, open, and in general, a pleasant dinner partner.  How tragic that we have so often not made Jesus look attractive in a world that desperately needs to know that there is a Savior who can bring us into the presence of God.

As the Father sent Jesus into a needy world, so we are sent to represent Jesus in a world that needs hope.  Whether in public or private, we are privileged to be His representative.

— E.W. Lutzer, He will be the Preacher, Moody Publishers, 2015, pg 157, 158.


Further reading, related posts :
Sin … & sharing the gospel (click here)

Cross culture keys, sharing gospel with people of other religions – Paul in Athens

Cross culture, sharing gospel: Jesus & the Samaritan woman at the well


 Sharing Jesus | Ministry

by 林弟兄, bro Lim
June 30, 2016
laymanointing.wordpress.com

Copyright © 林弟兄 bro Lim, Laymanointing, 2014-2016 – All Rights Reserved
Creative Commons License


 

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