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Background Considerations

The legal implications of the world “witness” are well known. In a courtroom a witness must be able to say, “I was there. I saw what happened.” Otherwise he has nothing of value to contribute to the case. The same is true in the Christian life. We must be able to say, “Yes, I know Jesus. He is my Friend and Savior and He changed my life.” When we can say that, we have something of value to share with others.

Note Peter’s emphasis on the idea. “For we did not follow cunningly-devised tables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye witnesses of His majesty.” (II Peter 1:16)

Ellen White makes plain our responsibility as witnesses for Christ. “Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience… These precious acknowledgments to the praise of the glory of His grace, when supported by a Christ-like life, have an irresistible power, that works for the salvation of souls.” (D.A. p. 347)

Key Passages and Questions

  1. Using Reason, Logic and the Q & A Method — Acts 17:1-3
    • Does a dichotomy exist between faith and reason in our understanding and acceptance of the gospel?
    • Is the message of salvation logical or illogical?
    • Why is it important to respond to the objections of those who are learning about Christ?
    • How do you tell the difference between an objection and an excuse?
  2. Public Proclamation of the Gospel — Acts 5:41-42
    • What are the advantages of preaching as opposed to teaching?
    • Is this method losing its effectiveness in today’s society?
    • What principles should be followed in order to make preaching useful and effective?
  3. Christian Persuasion — Acts 28:23-24
    • How much and what kind of urging is appropriate for the Christian witness to use and how much should be left to the work of the Holy Spirit?
    • How do we tell the difference between persuasion and manipulation?
    • What methods of appeal are most effective in today’s society?
    • How do you tell when a person has been persuaded?
  4. Life-Style Evangelism — Matt 25:31-46
    • Are our words or our actions more effective in leading others to Jesus?
    • How are the activities described in this parable related to our eternal destiny?
    • Based on this week’s lesson, define a Christian witness.

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