Summary: Principles of testimony
Tips from the Truth for Testimony [Part II]
When the Lord Jesus Christ made his special trip across the Lake of Galilee into Gentile territory, He was making one of the most significant moves of His three and one half year ministry, because, as soon as He accomplished this one thing, the deliverance and salvation of the Demoniac of Gadara, He promptly left the area, returning to the land of Israel. This action underlines the great love God has for just one soul that is in complete bondage to sin, and, in this case, totally possessed of the devil!
This mission of mercy may be the most powerful illustration in the Bible of how the Lord Jesus Christ can turn a soul from complete darkness into the glorious liberty of the sons of God! In one moment of time this demonized man, who was utterly without hope and abandoned by all, was transformed, miraculously changed both outwardly and most of all inwardly to become the missionary to those who had known him as the madman! This is the ultimate demonstration of the instantaneous, life-changing occurrence of being ‘born again’.
The Lord’s purpose was not just to deliver Him from the penalty and power of sin, but also to send, into those ten cities known as the Decapolis, a man that had one of the most powerful testimonies recorded in the Word of God! This man had been imprisoned by at least ten different demonic conditions which are recorded in Mark 5:1-10. But the focus of our study is his great testimony, and there are seven key principles which he demonstrated that we too can use when we give our own testimony to others.
First of all and probably the key fact we must emphasize when we tell others of our salvation, is our changed life (v.15). This verse shows that this man was changed in all areas, including his outward demeanor, ‘sitting’ no longer in a dangerous rage as before, but now the peace of God replaced the presence and power of Satan’s affliction.
He also was ‘clothed’ showing he had a new appearance and regard for morality now that he was saved. But, the main issue here was his mental condition. He now was ‘in his right mind’ illustrating the powerful, miraculous work the Lord had accomplished by restoring the man’s ability to think right thoughts!
Some of you were saved during childhood and do not have the evidence outwardly of a changed life. But, the change that God has wrought in your heart demonstrated by the Godly desires to do right, to love others, to live for the Lord are amply evidenced in your conduct. One need only to go to the local rescue mission and see the difference between the grace of God in the life of someone who was saved young and those who have chosen to go another route, the broad way that leads to destruction!
And so, we all have changed lives, His grace has kept us from the destructive effects of sin and we must thank Him for it each day and be ready to give an answer to every man that asketh us a reason of the hope that is in us with meekness and fear!
Secondly, this man was most effective with those who knew him. Jesus told him to ‘go home to thy friends’ even though the man’s desire was to be with Jesus! The Lord knew that he would have a rewarding ministry with those who had witnessed his powerful transformation into a ‘new creature in Christ’.
And then, the Lord told him what the content of his message should be: ‘Tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee.’ Two areas of emphasis we must focus upon in giving our own message and that is, first of all, the greatness of our God in salvation.
We could go on and on defining how great God is in His work of salvation, but the emphasis must be on the Lord’s mighty power to change the heart and soul of man, giving man His Holy Spirit and thereby guaranteeing that He will one day bring us home to heaven!
And secondly, his message focused on the compassion of the Lord Jesus Christ in His great love wherewith He loved us…how He made a similar journey to our own soul just as He did to this one in Mark 5. If we had been the only person on the planet He would have come for us because of His great love and compassion for us!
The fourth point shown here by the man’s conduct is his obedience to the Lord’s command. Obedience demonstrates our love for the Lord (John 14:15) and it also brings us into a position of His protective authority!