Being a Witness

I have been in churches, and have seen how Christians are taught to evangelize. It all seems very mechanic: People are taught a formula, steps to memorize and go through, get into a small group and practice the formula, and some probably forget it all a month later. I am not saying that formulas are useless, but it does in a way condition and move us toward pragmatism. Spurgeon is right on when he said, “A man who is really saved by grace does not need to be told that he is under solemn obligations to serve Christ. The new life within him tells him that.”

The Gospel has both the [objective] truth and the [subjective] experience. To be saved, one must affirm and stand on the objective truth of the Gospel—that Christ died for our sins, was buried, was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. Not everyone who affirms the Gospel truth will have the same experience. But those that affirm and believe in it will be saved (regardless of our educational background). For the porn addict, he might no longer be a porn addict. For the one with a hot temper, he might no longer has a hot temper. Both are saved and [experienced the Gospel] differently, and personally. We must keep this in mind lest we wrongly judge another believer for not having the same experience or zeal as ours.

What’s in you will ultimately flow out. For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. The key to being a witness is not a specific formula or doing it out of guilt, but the Gospel: “Whoever [believes in me], as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’” (John 7:38). As our faith in Him increases (“whoever believes in me”), out of our hearts will flow rivers of living water. Or to put it another way, “to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little.” (Luke 7:47). Paul Washer once said something along this line: A reporter came up to me saying, “why you always talking about sins.” I said, “because I want you to love God.” He said, “what do you mean you want me to love God?” I said, “have you never read ‘she loved much because she was forgiven much’? Sir, you don’t love God much because you don’t know how much you have been forgiven. And the reason you don’t know how much you have been forgiven is because no one ever told you have sinful you are.”

It’s not possible to have the living Christ in us and not have a heart that is flowing with rivers of living water. That’s what we have forgotten, and when that happens, we turn to the wisdom of man and pragmatism. We need to give people the biblical Christ in all of His glory so that the Spirit can move in his or her life organically. For out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth will speak. A person whose heart is filled with Christ won’t be able to keep his or her mouth shut. It will come out, one way or another, sooner or later (Jeremiah 20:9).

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