This is lesson twelve in a 12 lesson discipleship training for new Christians. This material goes over the essentials of the Christian faith including Jesus, the Bible, God’s Word, God, assurances, and what God expects of believers after they come to Christ. This study can be used to teach new believers, to brush up on your Bible basics, or to study on your own. The end of each lesson contains a list of questions and Bible references for further study on the topic of that lesson as well as a suggested memory verse. For more lessons in the series, see the links at the bottom of this page. All lessons can be printed, shared, copied, or distributed.

Discipleship Training for New Christians – Lesson Twelve – Witnessing

The Great Commission

Before Jesus ascended to heaven, He left a very important command for believers. We call it The Great Commission and it is recorded in Matthew 28:19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” And in Mark 16:15, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”

       We are given the great privilege of sharing the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection to the world. It is exciting to share about what Christ has done for us and see others join His family and experience all of the blessings that He has shown to us.

It’s also our duty. Romans 10:14 says, “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Christ has chosen us for this most important mission. One way our lives can be fruitful is by taking this task seriously and making use of every opportunity to witness (John 15:16, Ephesians 5:16).

Witnessing by Actions

       In order to be an effective witness our lives must be a righteous example to others. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father who is in heaven.” If our lives are not a good example and good testimony to others, they will probably not want to listen when we share the gospel. After all, why should they believe something we share if we aren’t following it ourselves? The biggest excuse many give for not going to church or believing in God is that Christians are “hypocrites”.

       Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” And 1 Peter 1:16 says, “Be holy, because I am holy.” We must be set apart from the world and to God by following His principles from the Bible. If we are living a holy life to God others will naturally want to know what makes us different. They will want to know how we can be content in difficult situations, how we can resist temptation, how we can be so patient with others, etc. (Philippians 2:15-16) What we do is often examined more closely than what we say. Don’t just “talk the talk”; you should “walk the walk.”

       From John 15:5 we know that if we don’t have this close relationship to Christ we will not be successful in spiritual things including witnessing. This doesn’t mean we have to be perfect before we can witness. The disciples

were far from perfect and they had a huge impact for Christ. But we should be committed to following God and willing to confess when we do wrong.

Witnessing by Words

       As important as a righteous example is, by itself it is not enough to reach someone for Christ. They can’t know why our life is different or the good news of Jesus unless we open our mouths and tell them. Where do we start?

The best place to start is with the people around us (Acts 1:8). Share with your family, friends, colleagues, classmates, etc. Paul says in Romans 1:16, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ for it is the power of God.” We should not be scared or ashamed to tell others about Jesus. It is God’s truth. And it is important! Just as we would tell a person infected with cancer the cure (if we knew it) we should also be bold to tell people how their sins can be forgiven.

You don’t have to be an expert or know all the answers. If you know enough to trust in Christ yourself you know enough to begin sharing with others. If they ask a question you can’t answer, tell them you will try to find it out and give an answer later. In addition to sharing, you can do simple things like invite them to church or give them a Bible. What if they aren’t interested?

Don’t lose heart! Galatians 6:9 says, “Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.” It may take a long time and many people may reject it, but if we continue to faithfully share the good news God will bring fruit from our efforts. Pray for God to work in their heart and persist in witnessing through both word and action.

Follow Up & Reproduction

       After sharing the gospel with someone, our job is not yet over even if they believe. Going back to the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19,

Jesus says to “make disciples” and then teach them to obey Christ. If we share with someone who believes we must then follow them up to help them grow into a mature relationship with God.

This can include a lot of the things we discussed in the previous lesson such as: encouraging them to go to church and fellowship, meeting to share thoughts on the Bible, helping to answer their questions, challenging them to apply Biblical principles in their lives etc.

2 Timothy 2:2 says, “And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others.” The idea of this command from Paul to Timothy is spiritual

reproduction. This means that every believer should share with others and then help the person they share with to be able to do the same thing.

We encourage you to begin faithfully witnessing through both word and action to others and praying that they will receive God’s great gift of salvation!

Bible Study Lesson 12: WITNESSING

1.   What is the central theme we should focus on when witnessing? (1 Corinthians 2:2, 15:3-4)

2.   What did Andrew and Philip do as soon as they had come to Jesus? (John 1:40-42, 45, 46)

3.   Whose ideas should we use in witnessing to others? Our own or God’s? (John 7:18, 3:34)

4.   When should we be ready to share the gospel with others and with what attitude should we do it? (1 Peter 3:15-16)

5.   What kind of Christian will bear fruit? (John 15:4)

6.   If we are unsure how to witness to others, what should we do? (James 1:5-8)

7. What task does God give us to do? (John 15:16)

8. How effective will you be able to witness for Christ if you are not living for Him? (Matthew 5:13)

9. What are we supposed to do with our light? How does this relate to witnessing? (Matthew 5:14-16)

10. What attitude should we have if the people we share with disagree with us? (2 Timothy 2:25-26)

Memory Verses

John 14:6 – Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Revelation 3:20 – Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

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