What It Means to Be a Witness for Christ

WitnessChrist says that we will be witnesses for him. “You shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).” Some of us balk at the idea of being witnesses for Christ. Perhaps it’s because we have a false concept about what being a witness really means.

The word “witness” conjures up negative images of Christ being on trial in a court of law and we must testify that he is innocent. But Christ does not need us to defend him. However, He does want us to attest to what He has done in our lives if someone asks. The Bible says to be ready to give an answer – to those who ask (1 Peter 3:15). It doesn’t say to go out and cram the gospel down everyone’s throat. And, yes, people do that.

Many think this passage in Acts commands us to go out and witness for Christ. But not every scripture written in the Bible is a command. Some state facts. Let’s reread Acts 1:8. “You shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and all of Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.” Could it be that Jesus is stating a fact here? The gospel will spread to the ends of the earth and as it does Christians will be witnesses for Christ – not by trying to persuade skeptics to follow Him, but by showing how the fruits of God’s spirit can be manifest in our lives so others will want to follow Him.

If we call ourselves Christians then our lives are a witness for God. Our lives are either good witnesses or bad witnesses – but they are witnesses just the same. Hopefully our lives are a living testimony for God’s goodness, so others might say something like, “WOW! That person has a peace that passes all understanding. I’d like to have that kind of peace in my life.”

Being a witness for Christ is not as difficult as we may think. We don’t have to convince others to follow Christ. Christ does that. We don’t even have to go out looking for people to “witness” to. God will do that. God will make sure we come in contact with the people he wants us to know. He will put it in their hearts to ask us questions about Him that we can answer.

The early church knew this. They continued steadfastly doing what they had been taught. They met together, ate together, worshipped together, and prayed together. They were happy and got along with all the people (Acts 2:42-47). “And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” The early church members devoted themselves to living a Christian life. That’s how they witnessed for Christ. They didn’t talk people into becoming Christians. They didn’t “lead” people to Christ. They allowed the Holy Spirit to transform them into what Christ would have them be and then…God added to the church.

With this kind of witnessing God gets all the glory. You see, it’s all about Him – not about us. That’s what witnessing for Christ is all about.

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