The Merriam-Webster dictionary has several definitions of the word “witness” but one that captures the true meaning of witnessing as it pertains to the life of a believer is this- one who has personal knowledge of something. The word – knowledge being the keyword.
This definition means that it is not enough to stand as a proof or testifier that something is true, but having the requisite knowledge and understanding of the subject matter.
So with this in mind, I hereby define a witness as one who has a relationship with, and a knowledge of the truth (which is Christ), understands his high calling in Christ, and the eternal purpose of God sending His only begotten; he also has proofs of this relationship with Christ through the many infallible revelational truth that he knows about Christ, and is also willing to defend this truth in words and in deed to all and sundry even to the death!
This also goes to say that witnessing is not limited to teaching and preaching alone but bringing all the fivefold ministry to advance the kingdom of God. In other words, it means to become a living proof of what Christ did on the cross of calvary. Living the life that Jesus lived and would have continued to live if he were still bodily present on earth today so much so that an unbeliever would not have to search too far to see Christ but one look at a witness and Christ is revealed!
Its quite disheartening to know that some persons may never accept the gospel until there is a witness. Take for instance once on a mission, I and my comrade encountered a woman who had a sore in her leg. For the time we spent there, she would not listen to all we said but when I began to tell her that prior to my coming to that village, I too had similar accident which affected my feet and kept me bedridden for more than a month. I showed her the scar on my feet.
Then I told her of Jesus’s power to heal and deliver using myself as example. Oh the joy that flooded her countenance. And then she surrendered to Christ.
Using our lives and some of the encounters we have had as examples or pointers to what God has done and is still doing is a way of drawing souls to God.
Jesus himself as an exemplary witness bore witness of God the Father by his words and deeds. Likewise the Holy Spirit, who bears witness of the Christ. The church, which is the bride of Christ is supposed to bear witness unto Christ and His purposes.
Being a witness is not by choice but by the divine election of grace which is empowered by the Holy Spirit within and upon.
Jesus told his disciples that something was going to happen to them which will propel them to witness unto Him. This was fulfilled at Pentecost in the upper room and thousands of souls were converted in one day through the witnessing of Peter.
There is no age, tribal or social limitations to being a witness for Christ. We see young witnesses like Timothy, Stephen. Also Peter, John the elder who stood the limitations of age, Paul, Peter who withstood the limitations of tribal differences by witnessing to even gentiles who were by election of the law, not supposed to be partakers of the divine election.
REQUIREMENTS OF A WITNESS
For effective witnessing, a witness should possess the following:
1. An infallible knowledge of the one he is witnessing unto.( The proof of love is knowledge while the proof of knowledge is the time invested.)
2. Boldness and utterance.
In the world where the truth is not celebrated, one needs to be bold to utter the mysteries of God.
2. He must be a man of effectual fervent prayer.
3. Must be willing to use every gifts and talents to advance the purposes of Christ and not for selfish gratification.
4. One who is broken and is totally yielded to Christ and His purposes. Roman’s 12 vs 1
5. One who is born again and whose mind is renewed and whose reference is only based on Gods word. Roman’s 12 vs 2
All these requirements can only be assessed through the office of the Holy Spirit in Christ. ( Acts 4 vs 29 – 31, 1 vs 8, 4 vs 8.
WHERE CAN I WITNESS?
- Your local assembly, your family , community, and the uttermost part of the earth. Luke 16 vs 17
WHO CAN I WITNESS TO
- To believers
- To unbelievers
- To every creature. Mark 16 vs 15.
ARE THERE CONSEQUENCES OF WITHDRAWAL FROM WITNESSING?
Yes there is.
Examples are Demas, Hymenaeus and Alexander.
Hebrews 10 vs 26 – 31.
It is a fearful thing to fall into the hand of the Almighty!
This is the reason WPMI is engaged in reaching the unreached places. Overlooking the unreached but clamoring for places of personal interest, is seen as disobedience to God.
It is God’s utmost desire that all should come to the knowledge and that all should be restored to the glory of His dear Son.
Finally, witnessing for Christ is the bedrock of Christianity while Christ is the bedrock of our witnessing!
Written By Sis Abigail Ndubueze (Team Watchmen)