The Clear Word 

A Ministry Of Mid-State Ministries  

 

Evangelism For The 21st Century


Week Seven

Mid-State Bible Institute

Paul Dodson



In closing the lesson for last week, you were given the assignment to write down your salvation testimony in 375 - 400 words or less, and while doing so, include some Scripture to support what you are saying, and, answer the questions “who”, “what”, “when”, and “why”.  If you are taking this class on-line, try to find someone you are comfortable with to engage you in conversation.  While the two of you are talking, look for ways that you can now share this short testimony with them.  It is ok if you warn them ahead of time what you are doing, so they know what to expect.  This is simply for practice.

If you are taking this lesson in-class, we will now spend a few minutes practicing this on each other.  Remember, this exercise is to get you comfortable with, not only looking for ways to witness during casual conversation, but also in giving you some practice in witnessing to others by sharing your own salvation experience, and to do so clearly, and in as short a period of time.  Knowing that many of your witnessing opportunities will come and go in four minutes or less.


Now, I would like to turn our attention to tips that you can use while witnessing.  Sure, you can just walk up to someone and start throwing a bunch of Bible verses at them..tell them what a dirty rotten sinner they are, and just hope that they will stick around long enough to actually give them the Gospel.  OR….  You can do things the way Jesus did them.  After all, isn’t He suppose to be our example?  So, with that said, lets look at some tips that Jesus gave us…


Witnessing Tip #1: Draw Near


Christ was not aloof. He went to where people gathered. He “drew near and went with them” (Luke 24:15).  The root meaning of the phrase “drew near” is to come near in time and place. Christ sought out the hurting. He went where the people were.  (Luke 14:25, Mark 10:1, Mark 5:21, to name but a few)

While much of the gospel work can be accomplished from afar, ultimately, most people need a personal, real-time connection. They need someone who will reach them where they are and become acquainted with them. They need someone who will sympathetically apply Scripture to their specific situations.

But before we go too far, notice the next verse … But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. (v. 16).

What an interesting concept! Here Scripture indicates that the eyes of these two men were restrained and they did not know that it was Jesus. The Lord wanted them to be able to focus on what He was saying rather than who He was.


Drawing near to people and witnessing to them does not necessarily require that the first thing we do is adopt an in-your-face, full-disclosure approach; sometimes much more can be accomplished if we remain “undercover” and reveal things as souls are able to digest them. “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.” (John 16:12).


Witnessing Tip #2: Measure Your Approach


So don’t always make your purpose known unless the situation warrants it.
Of course, there are times when you must let people know who you are to avoid being counterproductive. For instance, if you knock on someone’s door, they have the right to know right away who you are and why you are there.


However, in other venues, for instance, when you are traveling, you have the luxury of letting things play out, which can provide big advantages for effective witness.

But for this to occur, we need to be aware of the “conversation” and “reasoning” that we hear people using.


The word “communed” in verse 15 comes from the Greek root for logos or “word.” The word “reason” comes from the Greek which means “to be in company with”  and the word “ reasoned”  comes from the Greek word “to investigate”.


We could take this to mean that instead of making Himself known right away, Christ chose to listen to and learn about those He was trying to reach.


Witnessing Tip #3: Listen to Them


Listen to the words people are using, listen to their logic, when you are witnessing to them. You can learn much about who they are and what their needs are. This can provide a foundation and direction for what you later share when it is time to make yourself and your purpose better known. It is easier to tailor your teaching to their specific needs if you listen to their concerns and take them to heart.  Knowing for instance that a person is talking about their Morman church will give you a good indication, when you start witnessing to them, how they are going to respond, and this gives you the ability to be ready and studied up.


What did Jesus do to gather more needed information?


“And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? ” (v. 17).


Here we see that Jesus was probing to find out what they were talking about, and, noticing that they were sad, questioned as to why.  


Witnessing Tip #4: Explore Their Hearts


Ask open-ended questions to better know your new friends and get additional background. It is simply amazing the amount of information people will volunteer once they begin talking. When you ask open-ended questions, people often don’t feel pressured and will share what’s in their hearts. They also feel valued because they are being listened to, rather than “witnessed to” or “preached at.”


But did you notice the other element in Christ’s question? He not only asked about their conversation, He also noted and asked about what their facial expressions and body language were communicating.  Noticing the mood that a person is in, how they are dressed, what they are doing, who they are with, and even learning where they are going, are all good things to know in order to better understand a person so that you can more effectively witness to them.


As we close this lesson, it is worth noting that none of this is any good unless you know enough about God’s Word to witness to them.  Knowing the Romans Road by heart (as listed below), would be invaluable to a person striving to evangelize others.  At the very least, having the first few verses committed to memory can help, and after that, if they stay and listen, you can pull out your “marked” Bible, or witnessing card to show them the other verses as you expound upon them.

Over the course of the next four weeks, you are going to be ask to memorize, or have available to read on a moments notice, the verses that pertain to the Romans Road.  They are listed below for you.



Romans 3:23  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”


Rom 3:10  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 


Romans 6:23  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”


Romans 5:8  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”


Romans 10:9  “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”


Romans 10:13  “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”


Romans 8:1  “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”


Romans 8:38-39  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”


Romans 3:23  “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”


Rom 3:10  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 


Romans 6:23  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”


Romans 5:8  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”


Romans 10:9  “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”


Romans 10:13  “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”


Romans 8:1  “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”


Romans 8:38-39  “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

 
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