Lesson Five: Giving Your Personal Testimony

Body: 

Lesson #5:  Giving Your Personal Testimony    

 

Expectations:

 

  1. Realize the value of your personal testimony.  

  2. Learn how to effectively communicate your personal salvation experience.

  3. Understand the issues and points you must communicate in your personal testimony.

  • Develop your personal testimony into an evangelistic tool.

 

Three Reasons for Giving Personal Testimonies

    

  • When you use your testimony your audience cannot disagree with you. One cannot argue about another person’s experience and is powerless to challenge you. They can only argue about ideas.

 

  • In your testimony, you can subtly say things that would be offensive if stated propositionally. Below is an example of using a testimony as a vehicle for telling the truth without offending.

    • Proposition that may offend: “Mr. Jones, I understand that you go to church every Sunday. I must inform you that going to church won’t save you or anybody else.”

    • Testimony presenting truth: “All my life I had attended church faithfully. Yet my soul ached for a deeper reality. Then I heard the gospel. Suddenly I discovered that churches cannot save, only the Lord Jesus can!”

 

  • A testimony is designed to whet one’s appetite for more. Keep the testimony to three minutes because its purpose it to create an interest, incite curiosity about the faith, and serve as a bridge to link the listener’s personal and secular views to your presentation of gospel facts.

            

The Outline of Your Testimony

 

  • What your life was like before you became a Christian. Be honest without exaggeration, but be creative in our own way as you communicate that the unsaved life left you unfulfilled and wanting (afraid, restless, empty, enslaved, or hopeless).

 

  • What happened the day you trusted Christ. The mystery of conversion is fascinating, but is always accompanied by something that triggered the decision (Crisis, tragedy, special service, friend interaction, etc.).

    • What was the issue?

    • What was your response?

    • What made the difference

    • How did you pass from death to life?

 

  • How Christ has changed your life since that day. 2 Cor 5:17: Christ changes our lives! You demonstrate the truth of Christianity when you can tell someone about your peace, joy, new desires, and purpose for living in Christ apart from the old you. But don’t brag about yourself. Give God the glory for what he is doing and your thankfulness for a changed attitude and perspective.

 

Basic Issues in Every Testimony

 

  • The fact that you discovered that you were a sinner. Rom 3:23.

 

  • The fact that you discovered that Jesus Christ died for your sin. Rom 5:6-8; 6:23.

 

  • The fact that now you know the delightful certainty of faith. Rom 5:1; 8:1-4.

 

Six Facts My Testimony Was Designed To Communicate   

 

  • Religion doesn’t save. Only Christ can save, churches never can. Being a faithful member at church can be self-deceiving.

 

  • Most people have no purpose for living. Stress in your testimony that life apart from a saving knowledge of Christ has no ultimate satisfying purpose.

 

  • At a point in time, I passed from death to life. The humanist philosophy is that we evolve gradually into righteous human being, but that is false. We are born in sin and must cross the bridge and make a decision to be “in Christ”. John 5:24.

 

  • I placed my trust in the work of Christ on the cross. You must explain the substitutionary death and sufficient work of Christ alone as the source of your peace in your soul.

 

  • Things are different now. You recognize that you are a sinner saved by grace and glory in the fact that God has changed you. Be joyful as you share your consciousness that God is at work in your life.

 

  • I am going to heaven. This certainty of your testimony absolutely slays the unregenerate man. This is what separates the believers from the unbelievers. Christians know they are going to heaven. Others can only hope.

 

Issues to Avoid When Giving Your Testimony

 

  • Don’t get too complicated. Be clear with a logical progression, and don’t use run-on sentences.

 

  • Stick to the point.

 

  • Don’t ask questions.

 

  • Avoid denominational name-calling.

 

  • Your first sentence is crucial. Avoid clichѐs like, “before I got saved…”

 

  • Don’t glory in former depravity.

    

Closing thought:  As you develop your own personal testimony as a tool for evangelism, glory in the fact that you have the privilege to win souls to Christ. Thank the Lord Jesus that He has given you a testimony. Your life is changed! Ask Him for many opportunities to present your testimony to unsaved men and women.

 

Assignment:

1. Review your memory verses with your evangelism partner.

2. Learn Ezekiel 18:4 and Romans 6:23.

3. Write out your personal testimony. Do it carefully and prayerfully. Try to complete it on one side of a sheet of paper. Try to condense it into a three-minute presentation. Say it aloud (without looking at your paper) to your partner.

 

Prayer requests/Praise reports: