Approaches to witnessing (2)

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Scripture provides teaching, supported by examples, concerning when believers should witness, the methods they are to use, and the manner of doing it.


When and where to witness

In the home and family

Mark 5:18–19 LEB
And as he was getting into the boat, the man who had been demon-possessed began to implore him that he could go with him. And he did not permit him, but said to him, “Go to your home to your people and tell them all that the Lord has done for you, and that he has had mercy on you.”
See also 2 Ki 5:1–3; Jn 1:41

To individuals

John 1:40–42 LEB
Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, was one of the two who heard John and followed him. This one first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah!” (which is translated “Christ”). He brought him to Jesus. Looking at him, Jesus said, “You are Simon the son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is interpreted “Peter”).
See also Jn 4:7–26; Ac 8:30–35

To assembled groups

Acts 17:17 LEB
So he was discussing in the synagogue with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there.
See also Ac 5:42; Ac 16:13; Ac 19:8–9

Methods of witnessing

Sharing personal testimony

John 4:29 LEB
“Come, see a man who told me everything I have ever done! Perhaps this one is the Christ?”
See also Ac 22:3–8 Paul uses the account of his conversion in witnessing.

Explaining the Scriptures

Acts 8:30–35 LEB
So Philip ran up to it and heard him reading aloud Isaiah the prophet and said, “So then, do you understand what you are reading?” And he said, “So how could I, unless someone will guide me?” And he invited Philip to come up and sit with him. Now the passage of scripture that he was reading aloud was this: “He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and like a lamb before its shearer is silent, so he did not open his mouth. In his humiliation justice was taken from him. Who can describe his descendants? For his life was taken away from the earth.” And the eunuch answered and said to Philip, “I ask you, about whom does the prophet say this—about himself or about someone else?” So Philip opened his mouth and beginning from this scripture, proclaimed the good news to him about Jesus.
See also Is 53:7–8; Ps 119:172; Ac 17:1–3; Ac 17:10–12

Using prophetic gifts

1 Corinthians 14:24–25 LEB
But if all prophesy, and some unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is judged by all, the secret things of his heart become evident, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God, proclaiming, “God is truly among you!”

Answering questions

Colossians 4:6 LEB
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how it is necessary for you to answer each one.
See also Jn 9:8–11; Jn 9:15–17; Jn 9:24–25; 1 Pe 3:15

Through writing

John 20:31 LEB
but these things are recorded in order that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
See also Lk 1:1–4

Through holy living

Matthew 5:16 LEB
In the same way let your light shine before people, so that they can see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
See also 1 Pe 3:1–2

Through acts of devotion

Matthew 26:6–7 LEB
Now while Jesus was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, a woman came up to him holding an alabaster flask of very expensive perfumed oil, and poured it out on his head while he was reclining at table.
See also Lk 7:36–38; Jn 12:1–3

The manner of witnessing

With love

Mark 10:21 LEB
And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: Go, sell all that you have, and give the proceeds to the poor—and you will have treasure in heaven—and come, follow me.”
See also Php 1:15–17

With urgency

2 Corinthians 5:20 LEB
Therefore we are ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as if God were imploring you through us. We beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
See also Eze 33:7–9


Ephesians 6:19–20 LEB
and for me, that a word may be given to me at the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for the sake of which I am an ambassador in chains, that in them I may speak freely, as it is necessary for me to speak.
See also Ac 4:29

Clearly and courteously

1 Peter 3:15 LEB
but set Christ apart as Lord in your hearts, always ready to make a defense to anyone who asks you for an accounting concerning the hope that is in you.
See also Ac 26:1–3; Col 4:4–6
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