Witnessing in the Power of the Holy Spirit
By Mark A. Finley
Have you ever longed to share Jesus with a friend, but were at a loss to know what to say? You certainly did not want to offend them by misspeaking, but you felt guilty at not saying anything. Perhaps you have wanted to be a witness for God but felt powerless. Has your Christian experience become stagnant? You long for something more but just do not know how to find it. There is something missing in your spiritual life. There is a sense of emptiness. Maybe you have been thinking that there must be more to Christianity than what you are currently experiencing. Perhaps you have to become actively involved in sharing with others Jesus’ love through your words and actions. Sharing our faith is a “spiritual vitamin” that gives new life to our souls. This month’s lesson will examine the role of the Holy Spirit in empowering us to be effective witnesses for Christ.
1 What promise did Christ give to His New Testament followers? What impact did that promise have upon their lives? Read Acts 1:8.
Witnessing is not something we do by memorizing a canned speech or a mechanical formula. Witnessing is the result of Christ empowering us through the Holy Spirit. We witness in His strength, not ours; in His power, not ours; in His wisdom, not ours.
2 What does it mean to “witness” for Jesus? What did New Testament believers do? Compare the following Scripture passages: 1 John 1:1-3; Acts 4:20; 5:30-32.
The disciples shared how they had personally experienced Christ. Jesus had changed their lives, and they could not be silent. Witnesses tell what they know; they share what they have seen; they testify about what Christ has done in their lives.
3 Read the story of the Samaritan woman Jesus met at Jacob’s well (John 4:5-42), and the man Jesus delivered from demons (Mark 5:2-20). After they were converted, what did they have in common? What was their first response to the gospel?
Ellen White observed, “No sooner does one come to Christ than there is born in his heart a desire to make known to others what a precious friend he has found in Jesus; the saving and sanctifying truth cannot be shut up in his heart. If we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ and are filled with the joy of His indwelling Spirit, we shall not be able to hold our peace.”*
4 What did Andrew do when he found the Messiah? Read John 1:40-42.
When we come to Jesus, and our lives are changed by His grace, we cannot help sharing what Jesus has done for us. The Holy Spirit places within our hearts the desire to tell the story of Jesus to those with whom we come into contact.
5 When we are afraid we might say the wrong thing, stumble over our words, or misrepresent Christ because we have nothing meaningful to say, what assurance does the Holy Spirit give us? Read 1 Corinthians 2:12, 13; Luke 21:15; and Isaiah 51:16.
6 What word did Jesus use to describe the ministry of the Holy Spirit in our lives? Read John 14:16; 15:26; and 16:7.
The Holy Spirit is our “helper.” From our New Testament Greek we get the word paraclete, which means “one who comes along side for the purpose of helping.” When we share our faith with others from a sincere heart, the Holy Spirit stands beside us, prompting our words, guiding our actions, and empowering our witness.
7 Read Matthew 28:18-20. What promise did Jesus give all believers to the end of time?
As we witness in Jesus’ name, sharing with others what He has done for us and what He can do for them, He promises to be with us. Through His Holy Spirit He stands by our side. Christ, through His Holy Spirit, flows through us to bless the lives of others. There is no greater joy, no higher privilege, no greater calling, than to be transformed by His grace and witness to others the saving grace of our Lord. n