How to witness:
I think the Holy Spirit is most important thing in witnessing. Dad tells how the Holy Spirit brings him to people who need help. God can do so much more than we can. Our message is Jesus. The power is the Holy Spirit.
John 6:44 (ESV):
No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.
I went to church all my life, but I wasn't listening. I found Jesus when I came to the end of myself and started looking for answers. Many people just aren't open to spiritual things. They don't see a need. Preaching at someone is different than getting asked, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" (Acts 16:30 ESV). Dad tells how The Holy Spirit tells him when to ask for the sale and when to let it go.
Matt 7:7 (ESV):
"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you."
The Bible is a witness.
The message of the Bible is Jesus. It's God witnessing to us.
Keeping it Real:
A courtroom witness is supposed to tell what they've seen. I'm not responsible to answer everyone's questions or to know everything. It's also pretty fake to talk about stuff you don't understand. Keep it real. Say you don't know if you don't. We all have a skill or specialty. Mine might be the bible. It isn't evolution or homosexuality or climate change or sex. There are evolutionary biologists. They probably know more about evolution than me. It's my job to tell them about Jesus, not run down evolution. Sometimes people are hung up on a specific issue. Jesus is the answer to everything, but only the Holy Spirit can show them that.
You're witnessing all the time. You're witnessing to everyone.
Psalms 22:22 (ESV):
I will tell of your name to my brothers;
in the midst of the congregation I will praise you...
How did I find Jesus?
I felt an important question to ask in relation to this assignment is, "How did I find Jesus? Did someone witness to me?".
Long story short, I was at the lowest point of my life right after I graduated. I was depressed, confused, guilty, embarrassed, afraid of dying, and just generally unchristiany. So I asked a friend what it meant to get saved and ask Jesus into your heart. She mentioned Romans, so I started reading Romans. I got to chapter 3, verse 20, where it says...
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.
And I understood. You know, I had gone to church all my life, but it just didn't make sense till this moment. In the Old Testament God required animal sacrifice as a penalty for sin. The animals were to be perfect. God gave Jesus as a sacrifice for our sin. Jesus was the perfect, sinless lamb of God given to save us. And all I had to do was believe that and trust Jesus, instead of trying to save myself.
I didn't really understand it. I prayed something like, "I don't really understand why I'm bad enought to go to hell. I don't really understand why Jesus takes care of that, but I believe it. Help me to understand." And I had peace. The world doesn't know what peace is. The only time you hear about peace is when they're talking about the absence of it. Jesus brought me peace. I don't have to worry anymore--about death or about answering all my questions or deciding what I wanna be when I grow up.
the gospel for dummies:
The gospel is simple. Don't make it all churchy.
Here's my understanding of the gospel:
Scripture to go with the Jesus Roadmap:
I had to google or look up most of these scriptures. I guess to be most effective I should memorize them.
John 1:1-18 (ESV):
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 ( John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, 'He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.' ") 16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known.
John 14:25-27 (ESV):
25 "These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you
Gen 1:26-27 (ESV):
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth."
27 So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
Genesis 3 - The Fall
Romans 6:23 (ESV):
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.