Summary: A sermon that wraps up a morning of personal testimonies - giving biblical references on how to testify and why we must testify.
We all have a sphere of influence in our lives. That sphere is made up of those people in our lives that we have some influence over. And one of the strongest ways we can influence someone is through a personal testimony. That is when you tell someone else how something, or somebody, has affected your personal life.
Have you ever noticed how most of the commercials on TV are made to look like personal testimonies? It’s true. When you see someone advertising a product, most likely it will not be a scholar or scientist or in most cases, even a professional. When you see a commercial on TV, you normally see someone who is supposed to be just like you’ average, hard working, and honest. They will tell you what it was like before they used the product and what the product has done for them. And then, they will gently urge you to try that product. And then, what do we do? We listen to somebody on TV, a total stranger, tell us how great the product was for them and since we think we can identify with them, we run out and buy the product. That is what you call a sphere of influence!
We just heard some awesome personal testimonies here this morning. I can safely guarantee you that if you would take your personal testimony and start telling others as you have the chance, you would do far more to win people for Christ than you ever have before. We must remember that the sole reason to give our personal testimony is to affect others for the cause of Christ, and there is no better way than to tell someone what Christ did for you.
‘Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.’
I want to give you some things that might be able to help you enhance the effectiveness of your testimony. When you give your testimony, you need to break it down into three distinct parts. Start by telling them about your life …
1. BEFORE CHRIST
This world is a wicked and sinful place. The Scriptures tell us that the evil one runs herd over this planet for a season. Establish some common ground with the person you are talking to by telling them that we are all born into a world that has already become depraved and sinful. As we grow, two things work against us. We were not born saved in Christ, and we are under the sway of the enemy while we live on this planet. So, until we come to a saving knowledge in Christ, we are sinners living in a sinful world.
Paul tells us “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” He also tells us “the wages of sin is death.” Jesus tells us very clearly in JOHN 3:3, that nobody will enter Heaven unless he becomes born again of Him. That means that every person who has ever lived on planet Earth was a sinner one point in his life.
So, when we give our testimony, we must start with how we were once of the world, steeped in sin and reaping the benefits of sin. If we look to the Apostle Paul as an example, we see that even though he talked of his sinful past, he never glorified it. I have heard people give so much detail about their past that I didn’t know if they were trying to glorify Christ or their own past. So when you tell others that you were lost in sin before Christ, do not go into a lot of detail, as that will be perceived as your trying to glorify yourself to that person.
Tell them that you were a sinner, and as such, you were never fully satisfied or happy. Tell them that how your focus was always on you and what you wanted or expected, never on God, even though you thought you were a Christian because you were a good person.
Then, we tell them the circumstances of how you came to …
2. MEET CHRIST
Every conversion is not as powerful or as dramatic as Paul’s was, but every testimony is a “before and after” story of the grace of God, through Christ. Paul says being saved changed his life, but he does not tell them things have been great since he was saved. That is the difference between actual Godly testimony and today’s “easy to believe” stories.
In ACTS 9:1-19, we find out Paul came to know Christ. He was still trying to search for Christians to have them killed when he was on the road walking near Damascus. While he walked with others, a great light shone on him so bright that he fell face down on the ground. He heard a great voice ask him why he was persecuting Jesus. Then, Jesus told him to get up and go into the city where he would receive further instructions.