What is your testimony? I believe this term is so misused that most folks don't even know what is their testimony. In churches people are often asked to give a testimony. Usually someone will volunteer and say that their testimony is that God has healed them of some illness, or has helped them through some difficult crisis, or that God has provided for some particular need, or that God has led them into some particular ministry, and etc.
Well, these are really praise reports of answered prayer or of God's wonderful provision. And, we ought to give praise. But, technically, these are not a testimony.
Also, when people think of a testimony, they often point to your life. They talk about what you are doing or are not doing. They say that how you are living your life is your testimony. The Bible says that the way we live our lives should ADORN THE GOSPEL, but technically, our Christian life is not our testimony. Our Christian life is important and should adorn the testimony that 'has been confirmed in us.' "Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; 10Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things (Titus 2:10)."
What, then, is your testimony? In I Corinthians 1:6 we learn that the Corinthian believers had the testimony of Christ confirmed in them. "Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you (I Corinthians 1:6)." By the way, every believer has the testimony of Christ confirmed in him or her. Our testimony is really the testimony of Christ that we embraced when we trusted Jesus Christ as our Savior. Notice that Jesus warned Paul that he should "Make haste, and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem: for they will not receive thy testimony concerning me (Acts 22:18)." "Thy testimony [Paul's testimony] concerning me [Jesus is speaking]." Please note that Jesus told Paul that his [Paul's] testimony was concerning Jesus Christ [thy testimony concerning me], and what Jesus had accomplished at Calvary. Jesus told Paul that the Jews in Jerusalem would not receive his [Paul's] testimony, but later Paul tells us in his letter to the people at Thessalonica that the Gentiles at Thessalonica believed his testimony. II Thessalonians 1:10 says, "When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day." At the return of Jesus Christ many believers will admire Jesus Christ because they were saved hearing the testimony of the Apostle Paul.
Your testimony is therefore the message of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ that you embraced at the moment of your salvation when you trusted Jesus Christ as your Savior. Or in other words, the gospel is your testimony. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16)." The gospel of Christ was the testimony of Paul the apostle. Paul's testimony was the message that he preached, which was the testimony of Jesus Christ. This testimony is confirmed in every believer. See I Corinthians 1:6 where we read, "Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:"
When Paul the Apostle witnessed or gave his testimony, he gave the gospel. Note Acts 26:22,23; when giving his testimony Paul says that this is what he would do. "Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come: 23That Christ should suffer, and that he should be the first that should rise from the dead, and should shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles."
In the Book of Revelation, we learn that Satan who is the accuser of the brethren is cast down. The believers overcome Satan by the Blood of the Lamb and by or because of the word of their testimony. "…for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; (Revelation 12:10,11)."
Their testimony was that they had trusted in the blood of the Lamb as their only means of salvation. If I were to ask you how you were saved, hopefully you would give testimony to the fact that you trusted in the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ.
John the Apostle tells us that his testimony is the testimony of Jesus that he received. "I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10)."
Paul the Apostle when giving his testimony said to the elders of the church of Ephesus that he "kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publickly, and from house to house, 21Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:20,21)." When warned that his life might be in jeopardy for preaching the gospel Paul said, "But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24)."
Every believer since the day of Pentecost is a witness for Christ. Jesus said, "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8)." Your testimony is to testify about Jesus Christ and proclaim the Scriptural record concerning Him. "11And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. 13These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God (I John 5:11-13)."
When you give your testimony you should tell how the Lord saved you by His grace through faith. How that this salvation is not of yourself; but is the gift of God. And how this salvation is not of works, lest any man should boast (Ephesians 2:8,9).
Your testimony ought to include some of the essential points of doctrine related to the plan of salvation. As you give your testimony you can tell your story of how you came to understand the gospel and then give the gospel. The Apostle Paul when he gave his testimony told how religious he was, how he persecuted true believers, how he was on the way to Damascus to persecute more true believers when the Lord interrupted his journey, and then he tells of how a man named Ananias in Damascus led him to Christ by giving him the gospel. Your story about how you came to understand the gospel is unique, but everybody has the same testimony when you come to the heart and core of the gospel story. Your testimony ought to include some of your unique story of how you came to trust Christ. But, the most important part is a clear presentation of what you must do to be saved. Use the information below to formulate your presentation.
STEPS IN LEADING A SOUL TO CHRIST:
A. Establish the fact that all men are sinners. Romans 3:10; 3:23; Isaiah 64:6; Jeremiah 17:9; James 2:10
B. Establish the fact that the penalty of sin is death. Romans 6:23; Ezekiel 18:20
C. Establish the fact that you must be perfect to enter heaven. Revelation 21:27; Habakkuk 1:13; Psalm 5:4
D. Establish the fact that a man can do nothing of himself to obtain this perfection. Ephesians 2:8-9; Galatians 2:16; Romans 4:5
E. Show how God provided a sin-bearer and imputes to man His righteousness. II Corinthians 5:21; Philippians 3:9; Isaiah 53:6; I Peter 3:18
F. Establish the fact that man needs only belief in the Lord Jesus Christ as his personal Savior for salvation. John 3:16; Romans 10:9-10; John 1:12; Acts 16:31
G. Establish the fact that man can be certain of his salvation now, and that his salvation cannot be lost because eternal life is eternal. John 6:37-39; 10:28; I Peter 1:5; Hebrews 10:10-14; I John 5:13