I. What is it?
A. The biblical idea of witnessing.
1. It first of hall has a legal connotation to it.
a. To be an eye-witness to a certain transaction.
b. To be a witness to the selling of a certain piece of land.
c. To witness to the marriage of someone.
2. It means to testify to the truth of a certain fact.
a. To be in a court of law where we must testify to the innocenceor guiltiness of a defendant.
b. Jesus and Peter testified to their innocence and blamelessness before the Jews.
3. In the Bible it also carries the meaning of giving an answer to someone who asks us a question.
a. Job answered to his friend, Bildad, when he claimed that Job’s troubles were related to one of his previous sins, (Job 9).
b. Stephen the deacon answered the Jews who accused him of saying blasphemous words against the temple and the law, (Acts 7).
c. In these two instances notice their knowledge of the Bible, their concepts concerning God, and their sharp words, (How are these to be applied to our own witnessing today?).
B. So today witnessing for us, is:
1. To answer our questioners in a scriptural, experiential, and courteous manner.
a. Are our mannerisms important?
b. Or may we simply answer them who question us coldly with the Bible?
2. In our answer we must testify to the truth of the Word of God for all of our own lives.
a. Is our walk before the world in our every-day affairs important for this?
b. Must we strive more for a clearer and more definite understanding of the Bible?
II. How must we witness?
A. Several hypothetical situations in which you might find yourself in the future.
1. A recent convert comes to you with questions about such things as:
a. Predestination and man’s responsibility before God?
1) How do you harmonize the two?
2) How would you prove that they both are true from the Bible?
b. Give me several reasons why I should go to your church.
2. An ungodly man at work or school begins asking you about your Christianity:
a. Where would you begin to explain your Christian faith?
1) At Genesis One?
2) To follow the Apostle’s Creed and begin with God and who He is?
3) Or just use the New Testament?
b. Or do you think that it would be a waste of your time and something which the minister or elder must do?
B. Two important texts which show us the manner of our witnessing:
1. Colossians 4:5&6, refer to them on your own.
a. Who are they that are without?
b. What does ’redeeming the time’ mean for us as Christian witnesses?
c. Understand the word ‘grace’ as the word ‘thanksgiving’
2. 1 Peter 3:15:
a. How do we witness with meekness and fear?
b. Do we often witness with a haughty attitude?
C. Several important ingredients for witnessing:
1. We must believe what we are witnessing about to others.
2. We must know much about what we are testifying to.
3. We above all must live in such a way which would cause others to ask us questions about our faith.
III. For what purpose must we witness today?
A. Primarily for the glorification of god’s name.
1. Matthew 5:16, read on your own.
a. What is the light that we must shine?
b. What are our good works, (confer the Heidelberg Catechism L.D. XXXIII Question 91)?
2. Is our mistake of not witnessing enough due to the fact that we do not have this goal in mind?
B. Secondarily we must witness so that others may be gained to Christ and His Church.
1. This may even be to those who are very close to us.
a. The bible speaks of godly wives or husbands gaining their mates by their conversation, confer I Corinthians 7:16 and I Peter 3:1.
b. Young persons may do this to each other and to friends in the Christian schools which they attend.
1) We are admonished in the Bible to exhort one another whenever we fall into sin, Hebrews 3:13, 10:25.
2) Study Question and Answer 86 of the Heidelberg Catechism.
2. Is it wrong to have a longing to save sinners and to bring them back to the right way of holiness?