Acts 1:8 “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
According to the dictionary a witness can be defined as someone who sees, hears, or knows by personal presence and perception. As believers and followers of the Lord Jesus we are commanded to be witnesses for Him to everyone on the earth. The book of Acts is a great place to look for examples of disciples who were witnesses of the Lord to the many people they encountered. The believers in Acts seem to simply rely upon the Holy Spirit for what to do and say and for the opportunity to share the reality of having a relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Although there are many stories to choose from in Acts, one instance in particular encourages us to live out our faith as stated in 1 Peter 3:15 “always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” A simple study of this portion of scripture will reveal the following four tips for witnessing to the world around us:
- Showing a true genuine concern for and love towards those we are reaching for Christ
- Doing good works
- Giving credit to the Lord for any good thing accomplished through us
- Responding to questions by speaking the Truth from the Scriptures
In Acts chapter 3 we read of the man who was lame from birth and would ask for alms daily at the temple gate. One day Peter and John were about to enter the temple and it’s recorded that the man opens the conversation by asking them for alms. Peter responded by performing a miracle in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth and commanding the lame man to rise up and walk. This amazing event grabbed the attention of those surrounding the temple and ones who knew this lame man!
Peter was then able to identify the opportunity to share the gospel and witness to the people that were gathering around marveling at the good work of giving bodily restoration to a lame man. Beginning in verse twelve of chapter three he assures the crowd that the power to heal this man is only attributable to the Lord Jesus. Not only did he give credit to the true power Source, but he told the people about their sin against a Holy God and how they needed to repent and be converted. As he continued to preach he later revealed to them that “God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.” Once the people heard this good news and of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead many believed and it was recorded that about five thousand men believed that day.
Wow!!! What an opportunity the Lord provided to Peter and John soon after the Holy Spirit was given to the church. They seized this opportunity and not only showed the power of the Lord to the lame man but to thousands of additional bystanders. Peter and John were eye witnesses of the Lord (1 John 1:1-3) and they told of and displayed that fact to the world around them. Although we haven’t yet seen the Lord Jesus face to face, we have seen His power the moment we received Christ as our Savior. We’ve seen His power shown in our hearts through the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives to convict us of our sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:8-11) and to preach this gospel in both word and deed to the lost sinners of the world.
Peter and John had this man’s full attention and that of the people because of the good work that was performed. May we be more inclined to DO good works for others, not only because we are commanded to do so by the Lord and were created in Christ Jesus to accomplish (Ephesians 2:10), but also because people will be more willing to listen to our message when they see the love shown in our hearts through our deeds. The concept of good deeds with a motive of love is so foreign to many people that they will be hungry to learn of the source of this unconditional love.
Our privilege, honor, duty, example, and command is to speak of the goodness of the Lord that we’ve experienced in our lives. Once sinners see the true genuine goodness of God shown by His followers, they will be more likely to repent and believe the gospel. May we make it our aim to daily ask the Lord by His Spirit to show us the opportunities that lay before us and to use His wisdom for the actions and words required to show the love of God to the lost.
* Editorial note: We would love to hear of any stories of those who have shown kindness and goodness to others which have opened up the doors to presenting the gospel. Fill out our contact form.