When Sharing Your Testimony

One of the additions to our mid-week Prayer Service this year is to incorporate salvation testimonies from our church family. Every week, when we gather, we’ll be able to hear how God has transformed the lives of our church membership by His grace. Here are some helpful principles on how to effectively share your testimony, especially in a public setting.

1 Timothy 1:12-20

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

The good news of the gospel is that God has the power to transform lives. In fact, our lives are testimonies of the power and the glory of the gospel working in us. This is what makes us, the church, different – we are group of ordinary people with an extraordinary testimony of grace.

Sharing your testimony ought to be an important part of your life. The Bible teaches us that the lost are given witness and believers are encouraged when we actively share our testimony.

In 1 Timothy 1:12-20, Paul is sharing his testimony, and we can learn some things from him about sharing ours in a way that is clearly effective, scripturally helpful, and Christ-honoring.

WHEN SHARING YOUR TESTIMONY, INCLUDE YOUR LIFE PRIOR TO GRACE.

1 Timothy 1:12-13

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

Before Paul met Jesus he not only denied the deity of Jesus Christ, but his war was to force others to do the same. He approved of the martyrdom of the first deacon, Stephen, and at his hands were murders in the church. Paul was capable of the most violent acts imaginable against those with whom he disagreed.

This was a continual aspect of Paul sharing his testimony as we see him sharing what he used to be while giving a testimony to King Agrippa in Acts 26:9-11.

I verily thought with myself, that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. Which thing I also did in Jerusalem: and many of the saints did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests; and when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them. And I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme; and being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities.

Remember, this is not being proud of your past, but rather thankful and amazed at the grace of God. People need to see and hear about where God has brought you from.

WHEN SHARING YOUR TESTIMONY, INCLUDE YOUR LIFE TRANSFORMED BY GRACE.

1 Timothy 1:14-17

And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

While sharing his testimony of life-change, Paul focused on grace and mercy. His sin was great, but God’s grace was greater. It was exceeding, overflowing, sufficient, and immeasurable. And this grace was possible because “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” Paul was living proof that God can save any sinner.

Verse 17 is unique because it’s Paul bursting out into a song, an anthem of praise. As he reflected on the grace of God his heart was overwhelmed at how God had transformed his life. The first person that ought to be moved by your testimony of grace is you.

This is such an important part of sharing our testimony. Yes, talk about your life prior to grace, but emphasis your life transformed by grace. Someone needs to hear you say “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners like me and like you.”

WHEN SHARING YOUR TESTIMONY, INCLUDE YOUR LIFE GROWING IN GRACE.

1 Timothy 1:18-20

This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

As Paul concludes his testimony he now addresses Timothy about the grace in which they were to grow. Here’s a simplified outline of what Paul says about Christian growth…

1. Fight spiritual battles – “war a good warfare”

2. Hold strong to God’s Word – “holding faith”

3. Live a pure and holy life – “a good conscience”

In essence, Paul says, with God’s help and grace, my life has been growing since the day He changed me. I am fighting spiritual battles rather than quitting, I am holding strong to God’s Word rather than myself, and I am living a pure life rather than one influenced by this world. He compares it to those who had not produced a good testimony (Hymenaeus and Alexander). They had shipwrecked their faith and were kicked out of the church – an example of a poor testimony.

The point is this: an effective testimony is one that is growing in grace, not abusing their grace. Hymenaeus and Alexander had abused grace by allowing sin to disrupt their testimony. Paul and Timothy were committed to having a testimony of growing in grace.

As the Lord gives you opportunities to share your testimony, follow this great biblical example: 1) Include your life prior to grace. 2) Include your life transformed by grace. 3) Include your life growing in grace.

Practical Items To Consider When You Are Asked To Share:

  1. Write your testimony down. The weakest ink is better than the brightest mind.
  2. Use Scripture to help share your testimony. Remember, this testimony is about God!
  3. Tell the story of the day you accepted Christ, the events that lead to it.
  4. Always point toward Jesus. Use your testimony to give the gospel.
  5. Talk about how God has blessed and is growing your life now.
  6. Tell YOUR story. This about God’s work in you.
  7. Be clear and concise when sharing publicly in a worship service.
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