Monday, October 14, 2013

Your Christian Story

Last week - "The Christian Message" - ie:  the gospel/good news that we've received and are to pass on.

Also noted our reluctance to Proclaim one on one - (because is offensive, confrontational, invasive)

So, today:  an effective tool to help in sharing.  IE:  your Personal Testimony - Your Christian Story

According to the Bridge Illustration in last week's sermon, Christ did it all.  Man did nothing.  And, not reconciled to God until cross the bridge.
BUT, when you do cross,  #1.  it becomes your story and #2. is a powerful witness to THE story.

Example:  Legion - Mark 5:18-20 - go share your story = powerful Personal Testimony!
Contrast:  Mark 5:14-17 - point being:  the miracle didn't open the hearts of the people, a transformed life and personal testimony did!!

Common objection:  My personal testimony is not so amazing!   
However, it is your story of your encounter, experience, walk with God.  IF it rings true, it can open the hearts of many people!!!

Illustration:  The simplicity of your Personal Testimony with a "timeline" - (3 events/4 chapters)
born                  born again                                           today
         #1                 #2                              #3                                  #4

Chapter 1 = the Process (of coming to Christ)
Chapter 2 - the Event (of receiving Christ)
Chapter 3 - your journey (since receiving Christ)
Chapter 4 = Your Expectations, after today, after death, at time of death (Christian hope)  (because you received Christ)

This is your story - no rehearsal necessary!!   It can be questioned/challenged/disputed, but it cannot be disproved!!!!!
Illustration:  healing of the blind man  John 9:1-38

2 Aspects of Personal Testimony:
#1.  This is what I know.
#2.  This is what I believe (think about what I know.

Note:  Blind man illustration:  1)  knew he was healed  2)  believed God  3)  healed through Jesus.
BUT, he couldn't point to Jesus as Messiah until was told that Jesus was Messiah!!!

Point/Distinction:  Your Personal Testimony prepares the ground for the gospel, but it IS NOT the gospel!!
Is a way of opening the door for the gospel to be presented.
So, Rom. 10:13-14  Illustration/Comparison:  lame man healed  Acts 3 & 4.  Personal Testimony doesn't replace the gospel, but compliments it.  The gospel is essential along with Personal Testimony.

Some Considerations:
1)  Your Personal Testimony is simply your story (no rehearsal necessary) - it's uniquely yours.
2)  It needn't be dramatic to be effective  Example:  "I was saved out of bad stuff" = good story
                                                                              "I was saved from bad stuff" = better story. 
Let the Holy Spirit use your story.
3)  Personal Testimony is not the gospel!  It is an excellent tool to prepare for gospel message, but the gospel MUST BE INCLUDED!!

Some IF's:
1)  IF you don't have a Personal Testimony, you need to ask "why?"

2)  IF your Personal Testimony doesn't match your current lifestyle, you need to ask "why?"

3)  IF your Personal Testimony doesn't match (is contrary to) Scripture , you need to ask "why?"

4)  IF your Personal Testimony has to omit "today", you need to ask "why?" - Today is Chapter 5 in the Timeline.

No comments: