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“Witnessing” for Christ

June 3, 2014

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“… and you will be my witnesses…” – Acts 1:8

Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles - ~1310 - Duccio (1260–1318)

Christ Taking Leave of the Apostles – ~1310 – Duccio (1260–1318)

Acts 1:8 is one of the verses that have been turned into something more than was intended. Even among those that misuse it, they are inconsistent with what it means.

“Witnessing” in the worldly sense is an act of telling others what Christ has done for the “witness.” Through this testimonial, one is supposed to hear it and come to believe in Christ. Stories of single mothers surviving poverty or an alcoholic overcoming the drink move others emotionally. Who doesn’t love a good story?

This is not building faith. This is attracting followers with a carrot.

“If you just believe, good things will happen like they did for me!” – Witness

The problem is the Scriptures do not teach this!

Faith comes from hearing the word of God – Romans 10:17

Those who are out “witnessing” presume to put themselves in place of God’s word. Why would we be told to go “witness” when the Spirit says that faith comes from His word?

A properly grounded Christian is one that comes to believe in Christ through God’s word. This is also the only way he can know what to do next!

We are sent to teach the Gospel

Our responsibility is to teach the Gospel to others. (Mark 16:15, 2 Timothy 2:2 etc.) Nowhere does it tell us to go out witnessing.

The noise level and emotional pitch of the “witnessing” approach covers up the Gospel as it was taught by the Apostles. It is dishonest to build people up with emotional responses and then fail to teach them what the Bible says.

It is not about us

Okay, well it is a little bit, but the Gospel is about how we get to participate in the salvation of Christ. It is not about our physical fortunes.

While God does offer blessings and strength to get through our earthly lives, these things are not the focus of the Gospel. When those witnesses have people “coming to Christ” to cure their ills, they have set them up with false hope and not a properly sustaining faith in Christ.

They have set them up to believe something other than what the Scriptures teach.

They have become false teachers

Search the Scriptures

Acts 1:8 is the recorded instructions to the Apostles. They were the actual witnesses of Christ. We should read that as “they saw his life, death, burial, and resurrection.” They were now to take their eye-witness accounts and the things Christ taught them directly to the world.

Just like the Bereans, (Acts 17:11) our task is to find out what the Scriptures say on a matter. False ideas leak into the church when we forget to do that. When we hear a “new” idea, we should apply due diligence to test it (1 Thessalonians 5:21) before we accept it…

…and most importantly before we teach it!

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