Why should we talk about our Christian Faith?
Jesus commands us in Matthew 28:16-20 to go and teach others.
People desperately need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.
We feel an urgent desire to pass on the Good News. When we appreciate what good news the gospel is, we shall be bursting to tell others.
How do we go about telling others?
As we walk with God, it should be quite natural for us to talk to people about our relationship with Him. We have the Holy Spirit and the scriptures to help us. Avoid the dangers of insensitivity and fear. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and give you the boldness to share your faith.
Sharing your faith can be categorized under five headings: Presence, Persuasion, Proclamation, Power and Prayer.
Read Matthew 5:13-16
Jesus calls us to have a wide-ranging influence. We are called the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Salt is used to prevent decay, to heal injuries and it gives food taste. Being salt means being beneficial to your environment. Light is used when a room is dark, it helps you see and walk. Right now, those who are not saved, are walking around in darkness. Society is going bad because the sinful nature of people causes chaos. As Christians we are called to stop society from going bad, we have Christ in us and we are now world changers and influencers. In order to exercise this influence, we to need to be “in the world but not of the world”. The world describes our workplace, our neighborhood, our family and friends. Although we are in the world, we are now different, we live and think differently because Christ saved us.
We stop society from going bad by our words, as we speak out about moral standards and moral issues, we influence others to adhere to God’s standards because God’s standards is the best for all. We impact society by our words, deeds and character. We aim to create better social structures by working for justice, freedom, dignity for the individual, and to abolish discrimination in our community. In all these things, we do this with the love of Christ.
Our good deeds can be summarized as loving our neighbors as ourselves. Our actions are more influential than we realize, it is the most appropriate way of passing on the Good News to those who live in very close proximity to us. People are more likely to be affected by genuine love and concern. At work, people should notice our consistency, honesty, truthfulness, hard work, reliability, avoidance of gossip and desire to encourage other people. At home, parents, family and roommates will be influenced by our service to others, our patience and our kindness, far more than by our words.
This is of great importance if one’s husband or wife is not a Christian. Peter encouraged Christian wives that if any of them has husbands who “do not believe the word; they may be won over without talk by the behavior of their wives, when they see the purity and reverence of our lives” (I Peter 3:1).
Many people today have objections to the Christian faith, or at least questions they want answered before they are ready to come to faith in Christ. They need to be persuaded of the truth. When Paul went to Thessalonica he “reasoned”, “explained”, and “proved” from the scriptures that the Christ had to suffer and rise from the dead… some of the Jews were persuaded (Acts 17:2-4). In Corinth, while working on tents during the week, “every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks” (Acts 18:4).
People might raise objections or challenge you when you speak about the Christian faith but don’t be discouraged or offended. We can be equipped to deal with all obstacles. On one occasion, Jesus was talking to a woman about the mess in her life (John 4). He then offered her eternal life. At that moment she raised a theological question about places of worship. He answered it, but quickly brought the conversation back to the eternal issue. This is a good example for us to follow.
Proclaiming the Good News is apart of evangelism. As a New Believer you might want to share your new-found faith to those who do not now Christ as their Lord and savior. You can share your faith by bringing people to hear the gospel explained by someone else. This can often be more effective when you are in the early stages of your Christian life. Many who come to faith in Christ have lots of friends who have little or no connection with the Church. This provides an excellent opportunity to say to these friends, as Jesus did on one occasion, “Come … and you will see” (John 1:39). Andrew was always bringing people to Jesus (John 6:8; 12:22). But Simon Peter, his brother, went on to be one of the greatest influences in the history of Christianity.
Sometimes we are given the opportunity to explain the gospel ourselves. One good way of doing this is to tell the story of what has happened to us. We see a biblical model in Paul’s testimony in Acts 26:9-23. It falls in to three parts: he speaks about what he was like before (v 9-11), what it meant to meet Jesus (v 12-18), and what has happened since then (v 19-23). This is a framework on how to give your salvation story, your story is important and it is one way to share the gospel.
In the New Testament, the proclamation of the Gospel is often accompanied by a demonstration of the power of God. Jesus proclaimed: “The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15). Jesus went on to explain the power of the Gospel by expulsing evil spirts (Mark 1:21-28) and by healing the sick (Mark 1:29-34, 40-45). Jesus told His disciples to do what He had been doing. He told them to do the works of the kingdom – “to heal the sick who are there” and to proclaim the Good News and tell them, “The kingdom of God is near you” (Luke 10:9). Proclamation and demonstration go hand in hand, one leads to the other. On one occasion Peter and John were on their way to church. Outside was a man crippled from birth. He had been sitting there for years. He asked for money. Peter said in effect, “I am sorry. I haven’t got any money, but I will give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” He took his hand and helped him up.
Instantly, the man jumped to his feet and began to walk. When he realized he was healed, he leapt and jumped and praised God (Acts 3:1-10). Everyone knew that this man had been crippled for years, and a huge crowd gathered around. After the demonstration of the power of God came the proclamation of the Gospel through Peter, the apostle. People were asking, “How did this happen?” Peter was able to tell them all about Jesus; “It is Jesus’name and the faith that comes through him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see. (Acts 3:16)
Prayer is essential in the area of telling others the Good News. We need to pray for blind eyes to be opened. Many people are blinded to the Gospel (II Corinthians 4:4). They can see physically, but they cannot see their need for Christ and their bondage in sin. We need to pray that the spirit of God will open the eyes of the blind so they can understand the truth about Jesus. We need to pray for our friends. We also need to pray for ourselves. When we talk to people about Jesus, we may sometimes get a negative reaction. The temptation, at that moment, is to give up but don’t give up. When Peter and John healed the crippled man and proclaimed the Gospel, they were arrested and threatened with dire consequences if they continued. They got negative reactions but they did not give up. They prayed for boldness in preaching the Gospel and for God to perform more signs and wonders through the name of Jesus. (Acts 4:29-31) Both apostles were used by God to change the world forever, they were constantly in prayer.
It is vital for us as Christians to persevere in telling others about Jesus – by our presence, persuasion, proclamation, power and prayer. If we do, over the course of a lifetime we shall see many lives changed.