Anatomy of a Witness

Peter seized the opportunity of the crowd gathered in amazement of the lame man’s healing to witness regarding Jesus Christ. Christians are to seize opportunities to witness to others regarding Jesus Christ.

Scripture

Acts 3:9-26 (NASB)
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God; 10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. 11 While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement. 12 But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? 13 “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14  “But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses. 16 “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all. 17 “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also. 18 “But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled. 19  “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time. 22 “Moses said, ‘THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. 23  ‘And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ 24 “And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. 25 “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED .’ 26 “For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift and power of the Holy Spirit You promised us in Acts 1:8. Without Jesus’ atoning work and the power of the Holy Spirit, our witness would be empty and lacking. Thank You for making our witness such a powerful tool in spreading the Gospel. Through Your Word, pease identify for us the components of an effective witness so that we might be better prepared when we are called to give ours. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Proposition

Christians are to seize opportunities to witness to others regarding Jesus Christ.

Probing Question

What are the components of a witnessing event?

Transitional Sentence

A witnessing event is composed of…

Main Points

1. A Transformed Life

Acts 3:9-10 (NASB)
9 And all the people saw him walking and praising God; 10 and they were taking note of him as being the one who used to sit at the Beautiful Gate of the temple to beg alms, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

We are no longer the same

  • We are reborn… talking to Nicodemus…

John 3:1-3 (NASB)
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

  • We are new creatures

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

We are commanded to be different

  • Holy (Hebrew: qādôsh) – Set apart, distinct from the common or profane

Leviticus 19:2 (NASB)
2  “Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘You shall be holy, for I the LORD your God am holy.

  • Church (Greek: ekklēsia) – Assembly of “called out” ones

Matthew 16:18 (NASB)
18 “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.

The lame man was different

Peter and John were different

Acts 4:13 (NASB)
13  Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and understood that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus.

2. A Story

Acts 3:11-12 (NASB)
11 While he was clinging to Peter and John, all the people ran together to them at the so-called portico of Solomon, full of amazement. 12 But when Peter saw this, he replied to the people, “Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk?

Sometimes our story is about something witnessed in someone else… something God has done in another’s life

  • Healing
  • Filling a need

Most of the time our story is more personal… our own testimony… something God has done in our life

  • Salvation
  • Chastening

Either can be effective; however, we are most qualified to tell our story

The story credits Jesus, rather than ourselves, with power of the transformation

3. An Identification

Acts 3:13a (NASB)
13 “The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus,

“our fathers” – Peter identified himself with his audience

Our story is more readily received when our audience can identify themselves with us or the situation being discussed

As our audience begins to identify with us, our story begins to remind them or bring into focus their personal condition or predicament

4. An Association and Acknowledgment of Guilt

Acts 3:13b-15 (NASB)
13 … His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him. 14  “But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15 but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.

Many of Peter’s audience had been physically present at

  • Jesus’ trial
  • Jesus’ scourging
  • Jesus’ crucifixion

Peter’s audience AND ours… EVERYONE… is guilty for placing Jesus on the cross

Romans 3:9-10 (NASB)
9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks are all under sin; 10  as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS , NOT EVEN ONE;

Romans 3:23 (NASB)
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Romans 6:23 (NASB)
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Peter 2:24 (NASB)
24  and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.

5. Salvation by Grace through Faith

Acts 3:16 (NASB)
16 “And on the basis of faith in His name, it is the name of Jesus which has strengthened this man whom you see and know; and the faith which comes through Him has given him this perfect health in the presence of you all.

Primary Spiritual Need: Salvation

Galatians 2:16 (NASB)
16  nevertheless knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the Law but through faith in Christ Jesus, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law; since by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified.

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NASB)
8  For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Other Spiritual and Physical Needs

  • Woman with the “blood” problem

Mark 5:34 (NASB)
34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”

  • Blind Bartimaeus

Mark 10:50-52 (NASB)
50 Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus. 51 And answering him, Jesus said, “What do you want Me to do for you?” And the blind man said to Him, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.

  • The One Thankful of the Ten Lepers

Luke 17:19 (NASB)
19 And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”

6. An Acknowledgement of Ignorance

Acts 3:17 (NASB)
17 “And now, brethren, I know that you acted in ignorance, just as your rulers did also.

Jesus Acknowledged His Persecutor’s Ignorance

Luke 23:34a (NASB)
34 But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”

Stephen Acknowledged His Persecutor’s Ignorance

Acts 7:59-60 (NASB)
59 They went on stoning Stephen as he called on the Lord and said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” 60 Then falling on his knees, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Having said this, he fell asleep.

We ARE NOT acknowledging that ignorance is an excuse

We ARE acknowledging that they might have attempted to act differently if they truly understood the magnitude and consequences of their actions

7. An Acknowledgement of God’s Promises

Acts 3:18 (NASB)
18 “But the things which God announced beforehand by the mouth of all the prophets, that His Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.

We also acknowledge that Jesus had to suffer and die, in fulfillment of God’s Will, in order to pay for our sins, for those who will believe

John 3:16-17 (NASB)
16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

1 Peter 1:10-11 (NASB)
10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, 11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.

Romans 5:8-9 (NASB)
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9  Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him.

1 Peter 3:18 (NASB)
18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (NASB)
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4  and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

1 Peter 1:3-5 (NASB)
3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5  who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

8. A Call to Repentance

Acts 3:19-21 (NASB)
19  “Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord; 20 and that He may send Jesus, the Christ appointed for you, 21 whom heaven must receive until the period of restoration of all things about which God spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets from ancient time.

Now that their “ignorance” has been replaced by knowledge, they must act

Revelation 3:19 (NASB)
19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

John 6:40 (NASB)
40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

Romans 10:9-11,13 (NASB)
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.” … 13 for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.”

9. A Final Warning

Acts 3:22-23 (NASB)
22 “Moses said, ‘THE LORD GOD WILL RAISE UP FOR YOU A PROPHET LIKE ME FROM YOUR BRETHREN; TO HIM YOU SHALL GIVE HEED to everything He says to you. 23  ‘And it will be that every soul that does not heed that prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’

Now that their “ignorance” has been replaced by knowledge, there is no excuse for failing to act

John 3:17-18 (NASB)
17 “For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Hebrews 10:26-31 (NASB)
26 For if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a terrifying expectation of judgment and THE FURY OF A FIRE WHICH WILL CONSUME THE ADVERSARIES. 28 Anyone who has set aside the Law of Moses dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29  How much severer punishment do you think he will deserve who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded as unclean the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY.” And again, “THE LORD WILL JUDGE HIS PEOPLE.” 31 It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

10. An Invitation

Acts 3:24-26 (NASB)
24 “And likewise, all the prophets who have spoken, from Samuel and his successors onward, also announced these days. 25 “It is you who are the sons of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with your fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘AND IN YOUR SEED ALL THE FAMILIES OF THE EARTH SHALL BE BLESSED .’ 26 “For you first, God raised up His Servant and sent Him to bless you by turning every one of you from your wicked ways.”

Offer them an opportunity to respond

Acts 2:39-40 (NASB)
39 “For the promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call to Himself.” 40 And with many other words he solemnly testified and kept on exhorting them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation!”

John 1:12 (NASB)
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,

Revelation 3:20 (NASB)
20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me.

Conclusion

Christians are to seize opportunities to witness to others regarding Jesus Christ.  The components of a witnessing event are:

  • A Transformed Life
  • A Story
  • An Identification
  • An Association and Acknowledgement of Guilt
  • Salvation by Grace through Faith
  • An Acknowledgement of Ignorance
  • An Acknowledgement of God’s Promises
  • A Call to Repentance
  • A Final Warning
  • An Invitation

Matthew 9:35-38 (NASB)
35 Jesus was going through all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. 36  Seeing the people, He felt compassion for them, because they were distressed and dispirited like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then He said* to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. 38 “Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”

Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB)
19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Closing Prayer

Heavenly Father, give us boldness to witness, relying upon the strength and power of the Holy Spirit to guide us in sharing with others how You have changed our lives through Jesus Christ. And may You receive all the glory, praise, and honor. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

Gospel Invitation

Is the Holy Spirit stirring within your heart? Is He convicting you of the need to make changes in your life and/or calling you to take action? The Bible says:

James 4:17 (NASB)
17 Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.

1 John 5:3 (NASB)
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.

If the Holy Spirit is urging you to take action, it is important to respond with immediate obedience. Delayed obedience is disobedience. Please read the following sections that apply to your current situation and prayerfully consider the suggested course of actions.

I am lost. I need to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

John 3:16-18 (NASB)
16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 "He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Action

  • To learn more about Jesus and His gift of redemption, read God's Plan of Salvation. If you are already familiar with the Plan of Savation, skip forward to section How to Become a Christian.
  • If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I am saved; but, I have sin in my life that I need to confess and repent.

1 John 1:8-9 (NASB)
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Acts 3:19 (NASB)
19  "Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord;

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially confess the sin in your life and your desire to repent. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

I am saved; but, I need to rededicate my life to the Lord.

Praise the Lord.

Action

  • In your own words, pray a prayer similar to the following:

Heavenly Father, I have fallen short of Your glory and have failed to live up to Your expecttions for me. Please forgive me. Lord, I rededicate my life to You. Not my will; but, Your will be done. Thank You for being a God of second chances. Use me Lord. Shape me and mold me into the person You would have me to be. I pray this in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. Amen.

  • If you just rededicated your life to the Lord, please let us know by participating in our poll located on the top left column of the page and filling out the Contact Form below.

I benefit from this ministry and want to become a member and/or make a donation.

Praise the Lord. We are glad you find Saved by Grace edifying.

Action

  • If you would like to become a member, please click "Register" in the "Log In" section on the top right column of the page. Members are allowed to comment on posts and other comments and may also provide Feedback.

Malachi 3:10 (NASB)
10  "Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the LORD of hosts, "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows.

  • If you benefit from this ministry and would like to support its efforts, projects, and missions, please consider making a tax deductible donation, of any amount. May God bless you for your generosity.




I need to discuss my situation confidentially.

James 5:16 (NASB)
16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.

Action

  • Fill out the Contact Form below to confidentially discuss the situation in your life that is troubling you. The information you send will not be shared with anyone else. Your privacy will be protected.

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