Summary: A witness is someone who by explanation and demonstration gives audible and visible evidence of what he has seen and heard without being deterred by the consequences of his action. S. Briscoe
A No Fail Recipe - Acts 26:16-18
Acts 26:16 - But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
17 Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee,
18 To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.
Definition: Definition of a Witness
A witness is someone who by explanation and demonstration gives audible and visible evidence of what he has seen and heard without being deterred by the consequences of his action.
S. Briscoe, Getting Into God, p. 76
Elizabeth Elliot tells of two adventurers who stopped by to see her, all loaded with equipment for the rain forest east of the Andes. They sought no advice, just a few phrases to converse with the Indians. She writes:
“Sometimes we come to God as the two adventurers came to me—confident and, we think, well-informed and well equipped. But has it occurred to us that with all our accumulation of stuff, something is missing?” She suggests that we often ask God for too little. “We know what we need—a yes or no answer, please, to a simple question. Or perhaps a road sign. Something quick and easy to point the way. “What we really ought to have is the Guide himself. Maps, road signs, a few useful phrases are things, but infinitely better is someone who has been there before and knows the way.”
Elizabeth Elliot, A Slow and Certain Light
I. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God...
A. Re-Directing - A sudden change in consciousness (open their eyes) - Paul’s compliance with Christ’s command. We can only be blessed and have peace and sweet rest when we yield Him our body and soul. Paul showed trust and obedience in the Lord and His word realizing that Christ had the power to blind, wound as well as take away everything of value from us to get our attention.
B. Renouncing of that which is evil, salacious, and selfishly sinful. Until people come to a point of renouncing that which is evil in the world, the flesh and the devil, they will not be able to change allegiances.
C. Realizing their own sinful state precedes recognizing what Christ has done for us in offering a full pardon and release from the penalty and power of sin.
D. Repentance means changing one’s mind, emotions, behavior and spiritual master.
We always will have to repent from serving the old nature and seek to submit to the new nature we have in Christ. Otherwise, the old nature will tend to dominate the new nature and create in us a misery, conviction and realization that we are persecuting our Lord all over again.
E. Releasing from servitude to Satan, self and sin. A prisoner is not free until they acknowledge that they have released from one master and now are moving into the realm of a new King. Many remain in servitude to sin, selfishness and the world’s desires because they have not changed masters.
F. Returning to God. It is not enough to turn away from sin we must turn toward God in following Him fully. Jesus said, "If anyone will come after me let him deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever will save his life will lose it but whoever yields his life for my sake, the same will save it." (Luke 9:23,24)
G. Responding to God. We must respond the invitation given by the Lord Jesus or we will continue to be lost in our sins, self-destructive tendencies and salacious thinking.
H. Receiving of Christ as Savior. We begin our new life the moment we trust God to come in to our life and make us His spiritual child. "But as many as receive Him to those He gave power to become sons of God even to those who believe in His name who were born not after the will of the flesh, but after the Spirit (His power, authority and rights). (John 1:12,13)
I. Rights yielding - When we are seeking people to grow in Christ they will not mature in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior unless they give up their own agendas and relinquish their rights to Jesus and His plan for their lives. (Jer 29:11)
J. Refraining and Reframing - Gal 4:29- Gal 5:1) "Yet as at that time the child of ordinary birth (Ishmael) was born according to the flesh, despised and persecuted him (who was born according to the the promise and the working of the Holy Spirit, so it is now also. But what does the Scripture say? Cast out and send away the slave woman and her son (The old nature and its desires and tendencies) root them up and send them away (Our past patterns, lusts and selfish centered tendencies) for never shall the son of the slave woman be heir and share the inheritance with the son of the free woman. So brethren, we who are born again are not children of a slave woman, the natural, but of the free woman (the supernatural birth) . In this freedom Christ has made us free (completely liberated us) stand fast then and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to the hoke of slavery which you once put off."