Seven Elements of an Effective Testimony

Posted by Matt Postiff September 25, 2013 on Matt Postiff's Blog under GospelĀ 

Notes from a message by Pastor John O'Dell, September 22, 2013

  1. What was my religious background before I was saved?
  2. What was my previous attitude toward Christ or Christians or Christianity?
  3. What stirred my interest to have a relationship with Christ?
  4. What were the circumstances surrounding my salvation? Where was I and what was I doing?
  5. Who did God use to explain the way of salvation to me?
  6. How was I saved? What did I do to be saved? I must be clear that I trusted Christ as Savior and nothing else.
  7. What difference has salvation made in my life? What is different now than before?

Take these questions and study the personal testimonies of Paul the Apostle (Acts 22, 26) and also Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4). In the latter case, you need to make some obvious adjustments to the questions because Nebuchadnezzar could not have known Jesus Christ. Rather he became a believer in the God of Daniel.

Pastor O'Dell also emphasized that we should be brief and to the point. Do not extol the sin of your past but rather focus on the glorious work of God. Do not try to tell someone else whether he is a Christian or not, because you do not know. Remember that evangelism is a process, but salvation is instantaneous. Salvation is by grace without works, but there is something I did to be saved—namely, I responded to the gospel by faith. Take care not to use terminology or indirect phrases that will confuse an unchurched person. Make sure not to confuse what is necessary for salvation: it is not walking an aisle or saying a prayer or keeping track of a special date or time. We are saved by trusting in Christ as our own personal Savior.

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