Witnessing For Christ ~ Witnessing To Christ
Christian believers are Jesus' army!
When our Lord departed `this world' for a time, he left specific instructions to his band of dedicated followers: "Go into all the world ..." This was to preach, teach and baptise in his name. Believers are the body of Christ, and he is the head, the planner, the director, the motivator.
In the Western world, many are tired of religion with all its apparent limitations and weaknesses. The `Church' in general is quite culpable in generating this adverse image and outcome. Education, however, does not carry the same negativity. In fact, education is now a driving force, sought after with almost religion-like fervour ! Education provides a way in too many that church- based religion has turned off. The question is - how can we make good use of this situation ? We can offer Bible education !
In my lifetime I have witnessed the transition from Christadelphian lectures and publications to Bible Seminars and the Internet that have made good progress, the modes may change but the objective remains - to bring new members to the family of Christ. The apostles frequented the temple in Jerusalem and the synagogues elsewhere and built the first Christian community.
If we are to preach Christ, then we will do it his way. His WAY is unique. He focussed on God's love and concern for the fallen state of mankind, less on the impending judgement of sinners. He urged and facilitated serious conversation - not just `church' attendance. He went for the heart, too, not just the head. "The common people heard him gladly", we are told in Mark 12:37. We suspect they still do !
A witness is one who sees and tells!
If we are witnessing FOR Christ then we ought to do it his way, teach his words, his doctrine, his methods. Our motives are to be his motives - not ours ! It is a true observation that the only CHRIST many people may see is YOU ! Jesus wanted to change people, not just educate them. The book of Proverbs, chapter one sets out the process, first knowledge - the facts, then understanding - the logic and reason. Last comes - the wisdom, the sound application of both knowledge and understanding. "Wisdom is the principle thing - therefore get wisdom". We are wise if we preach his Gospel, his way, in the manner he would approve of.
A witness is one who defends truth!
If we are witnessing TO Christ then we ought to do it faithfully. Jesus' faithfulness to his God and Father is singular. Christ is termed "The Faithful" in Revelation - so also is John! We may not be sinless like Jesus, but we can be faithful - like John. Faithfulness involves honesty. If Jesus' teaching has become our `Hero', then we will seek to honour him - not ourselves. This is not easy, being burdened with the `weakness of the flesh', but it is achievable. How ? Why ? We will witness to the forgiving nature of our God that we have received and accepted. We can set our hearts to demonstrate this divine attribute for others.
With Christ, his love of God and his reciprocal love for men and women were total and show us the more excellent way! He - to his God and Father, we - to our God, Father - AND to our beloved Saviour and Lord.
Bro. Neil Todd