Wednesday, November 08, 2006


The church grows as people come to faith in Jesus Christ. How do people come to faith in Christ? They hear the good news of redemption and reconciliation with God and they believe it. They put their faith in the work Jesus did on the cross and they are born again. How do they hear the good news? Somebody has to tell them. There are many ways this can happen but most often people hear the message from a friend.

How did Jesus expect that the church would grow? How did Jesus expect that people would hear his message? Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Jesus expected his followers to bear witness to what he did. As the church scattered around the world people gave witness to what they knew and the church grew.

So Jesus expects us to be witnesses. What does it mean to be a witness? What does
it mean to bear witness? It simply means to tell what you know to be true. This is what the disciples did. In his sermon on Pentecost, Peter said, “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.” (Acts 2:32) A little later, when Peter was preaching at Solomon’s Colonnade, he said, “You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.” (Acts 3:15) Later, at the house of Cornelius, Peter said, “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem.” (Acts 10:39) This is what it means to be a witness. It simply means to tell what you know.

There are many witnessing “tools” and witnessing “programs” and “strategies.” Most of these are designed to use the Bible to convince people to become Christians. I’m certainly not against using the Bible to try to persuade people to believe in Christ! But these are tools of evangelizing and they tend to frighten many Christian people away. Many people don’t think they can use these tools so they decide that telling people about Christ must be done by others. Being a witness is much simpler! It just means telling people what you know about God and about Jesus and about what God has done in your life! This is what we are all called to do!


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