Commentary on "Evangelism and Witnessing as a Lifestyle"
Day 1: Sabbath Afternoon, April 21, 2012 - Introduction
The Quarterly lessons for this week focus on the “lifestyle” (meaning: behavior or conduct) of a person who desires to be a Christian evangelist but does so without giving appropriate attention to the source of the lifestyle laid out in these lessons. Certainly, Christians should reflect who they really are by how they live and act. It is well known however that most anyone can put on an act and fool those around them at least some of the time. But, who you really are will most honestly be seen when life is unguarded, hard, difficult or simply painful in some way. For your “lifestyle” to be a true expression of who you really are it must not be self-generated for a Christian because in that we all fail at some point in our lives whenever we attempt to depend on our own strength.
The commentary this week will focus primarily on the supernatural joy and power that God intends for the suffering souls of a sin filled world to witness in the lives of real Christians.
For the most part each day’s lesson in the Quarterly does offer helpful advice on the appropriate behavior for a Christian who desires to obey 'The great Commission’ of Jesus Christ as found in Matt. 28:16-20. However, outward conduct that does not reflect what is real within your heart is not good enough. Is what another person sees in your conduct reflect the real you or is it just an act? By diverting us onto the proper behavior of a Christian who wishes to be a good witness and proclaimer of the gospel of Jesus Christ the Quarterly lessons fail to focus on the critically important source and motivation for a person being such a witness in the first place.
You cannot give testimony concerning something that isn’t real in your own life. For the source of this internal joy to be true in your life you must be born again before you are invited into the kingdom of God. You cannot honestly tell others of the kingdom of God if you are not part of the kingdom of God yourself. Furthermore, Jesus made it clear he was referring to the birth of our human spirit which has been dead since the moment Adam sinned. He also stated that this new birth is something impossible for sinners (all of fallen mankind) to do by their own volition. The message of the completed gospel, what Jesus has done for us on the cross, is the only possible answer to this human dilemma.
The central testimony of any Christian points to their Savior and the effects of the gospel message on their personal life. You can only be an honest witness of what is real in your life. Your 'right Christian conduit’ should simply reflect the reality of the change within your inner life brought on by the atoning blood of Jesus Christ.
Copyright 2012 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised April 17, 2012. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Casa Grande, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
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