A Legion of Andrews

A personal testimony does not replace a biblical proclamation about Jesus, but it is an important complement. And it requires that we have a close relationship with the Lord. If we are not excited about God’s Word, if we are not warmed by close fellowship with God, and if we are not humbled by Christ’s suffering on the cross for our sins, we will not be very effective witnesses. Yet it is essential that we be able to give such a witness. MacArthur is right when he says:

Most people do not come to Christ as an immediate response to a sermon they hear in a crowded setting. They come to Christ because of the influence of an individual…. In the overwhelming majority of [new believers' testimonies], they tell us they came to Christ primarily because of the testimony of a coworker, a neighbor, a relative, or a friend…. There’s no question that the most effective means for bringing people to Christ is one at a time, on an individual basis.

Between [Peter and Andrew] we see the two main kinds of witnesses God provides in the church: the public preaching of the Word and the personal testimony of individual Christians. Every church needs a Peter who will preach the gospel publicly, and God greatly uses faithful preaching. Peter’s sermon at Pentecost, when three thousand people believed on Christ, is one such example. But as important as preaching is, it is at least as necessary that a church have a legion of Andrews: those who bring people to Jesus one by one through their heartfelt testimonies.

Richard D. Phillips, Jesus the Evangelist (Kindle Edition, location 573)

  • http://blog.hillsbiblechurch.org/ Don

    My mother passed away this past January. At her memorial service, a woman came up to me whom I vaguely recognised.

    “Do you remember me?” she asked. I confessed that although familiar, I was unable to place her.

    She identified herself and it turned out that she was a neighbourhood girl who was a friend of my sister who is twelve years younger than I. So, when I was twenty she was about eight years old and I felt relived that she was only a child when I became a man.

    All this is to tell you what she said next. “Your mother lead me to the Lord” she proclaimed. Wow! My mother? I was incredulous because my mother, though a dear saint, was incredibly reticent to speak about her faith to others – or so I thought.

    It turns out that one Saturday afternoon when this woman was a young girl, my mother spoke to her about Jesus. My renewed friend told me that she really didn’t understand all that my mother told her, but she remembered praying with my mother and the strange warmth she felt when “God talked into my heart”.

    She told her parent later that day what had happened, and being atheists, they discouraged her from mentioning the ‘weird incident’ again. She told me that she was surprised and disappointed with her parents reaction, but soon put the talk with my mother to the back of her mind. “But God didn’t let me forget”, she said, and through a number of circumstances that occurred later in her life, she grew in her knowledge that God had made a claim on her life. She and her cross-cultural husband as a result of different influences became committed followers of Jesus. They are both involved in full-time ministry.

    “But,” she told me, it was your mother’s brief witness to me as a child that started my journey with God”

    What an encouragement this was to me at many levels.

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