S58P2 – This precious light: those who bear witness

John 1:6-9

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world.

Evangelism was never his strong suit.  All of the unsaved people who knew him knew that he was a Christian, and he tried his best to witness to them.  For him, the process was uncomfortable because he was pretty much reciting rules.  His way of reaching out to the world was to tell them what was wrong and urge them to start doing what was right. Unfortunately, his words had no context.  He came across as one who just pushed living a biblically moral life but never went deeper to explain why or how one would make that change.  His ineffectiveness in reaching the lost was the result of a lack of a true foundation.  He tried to be a witness to morality and rules and forgot to simply be a witness to Christ.

The foundation of our faith is Christ and him crucified. Even Paul said that, if he were to know only one thing, it would be that.  All else is counted as worthless without the knowledge of the sacrifice of Christ. When we witness to the world, we are bearing witness to Jesus and what He completed.  Yes, the process of sanctification is part of that. We must be changed over time so that we have the heart and mind of God.  There is a cleansing and renewal that we continually experience in this life.  However, our witness is incomplete if we do not make sure that the focus is first on Jesus Christ instead of everything that comes after a saving knowledge of him.  Salvation starts with knowing Jesus, and our witness starts with exposing people to his light.

Effective evangelism is not about trying to bring conviction.  Effective evangelism is about bringing the light to people and allowing that light to convict.  What we are doing is we are bringing Jesus to the lost so that they can see him.  We speak of what we know about him and how He has impacted our lives.  We speak of his sacrificial love and forgiveness.  We speak of our need for that sacrifice.  If we have but one moment to share our faith with someone, let it be that we bear witness to the Savior himself, the light of life.  Father, remind us to keep your Son as the focus of our testimony to others of our faith, and help us to daily show his light to others.