Written by Paul J. Bucknell on May, 09, 2019
The New Birth & Evangelism: Another Look at How to Share the Gospel or Witness
Evangelism and the Christian
Evangelism or witnessing is often thought of as an arrogant intrusion of one’s will upon another. There are many misleading assumptions seeded in our cultures leading to this misunderstanding. This approach, however, has nothing to do with what we do when we share the hope and life that comes from telling others of the precious gospel of Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, not many Christians actually evangelize. But even then, those who do, often witness by focusing on winning an argument, trying to persuade another of God’s truth. I do believe in God’s truth as expressed in the Scriptures but have found this means not very useful when witnessing to those persuaded by the lies of secularism or the New Age. Sometimes this confrontation is needed, but many in our cultures no longer believe in absolute truth.
Another problem with this kind of persuasion evangelism is that the love and grace of God are not easily seen. Sometimes it is hidden by a forceful argument. The Lord has led me to another kind of evangelism, perhaps it can be called “confessional evangelism.”
I share the gospel by testifying of God’s great work of mercy and grace in my life. Instead of parading my arguments before a person, I paint the ugly picture of my life without Christ. This is not because I have a particularly lousy past compared to others, but because I have begun to really understand what I am like without God’s saving grace (i.e., the flesh, the old nature). The topics of shame and guilt, need of forgiveness, hope, and life just naturally come up. This enables me to share of how Jesus Christ is a great Savior.
People do not mind hearing of my failures. When I witness in this manner, I gain a magic key to another’s heart. You see, we all share many of the same personal problems. When I see them intently listening, it is at that precise point that I slow down and see if they would like to hear how the Lord wondrously worked out my problem through Christ’s work. More than often, they like to hear of this kind of God’s work in my life for they face similar problems.
Notice the Psalmist’s response to God’s work in his life.
“But I have trusted in Thy lovingkindness;
My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation” (Psalms 13:5).
What about all the arguments? I bypass them, at least for now. How? Well, I find most people only bring up the arguments that they have heard from others but do not really care about. Speak to what they are interested in: bad relationships, loneliness, debt, lack of self-control, etc. They can identify with these. These other questions are secondary to them. Important ones will still come up but at least they are important to them.
In any case, this is just a starter kit. I encourage you to describe the new life through a Bible study passage on 1 Peter 1:23-25 and speak on how I witness or share the gospel with people in our modern society.