One of the most fearful things for most Christians to do is to share their faith with others. They fear rejection. They fear not knowing what to say or stumbling over their words. They fear being accused of hypocrisy. So how can we overcome those fears and fulfill the Great Commission to go into all the world and share the Gospel (Mark 16:15)? There is a wonderful story in the Bible of an ordinary man who was used of God to share his faith in Jesus Christ to an unbeliever and lead that man to salvation. It is found in Acts 8:26-40. Here are seven different steps to take in sharing your faith in a way that won’t scare you to death:
- Obey the prompting of the Holy Spirit. 8:26, 29. Philip was one of the seven deacons of the Jerusalem Church. He had been on an evangelistic crusade in Samaria where many were saved and now he is travelling to his home in Caesarea. An angel of the Lord speaks to him on his road home. First, the angel tells Philip which road to take. It isn’t the normal road to Caesarea. In fact it’s a desert road and is the long way home. Philip simply obeys without dispute. The Bible says, “And he arose and went” (8:27). When the Lord prompts you to speak to a person about Jesus, don’t dispute or disobey that prompting. Be like Philip and simply obey the inner prompting of the Holy Spirit.
- God prepares people to be open to the gospel. 8:28. The Ethiopian eunuch was stopped. This is significant for it would have been difficult for Philip to catch up to a moving chariot on foot. The eunuch is not only stopped so Philip can approach him but he’s reading a Messianic prophecy, Isaiah 53:7, 8! The eunuch needs help to understand the gospel. So do many of those whom you know. They simply don’t understand the gospel and how much God truly loves them. You won’t know if they’re open to learning unless you follow step #3.
- Ask questions. 8:30. Philip, in Spirit-prompted boldness, asks the eunuch if the eunuch understood what he was reading. The eunuch was reading the passage from Isaiah aloud and Philip heard it. That was how Philip knew to ask the question. Questions are discussion starters and door openers to presenting the gospel. Just as Jesus constantly asked people questions to draw them deeper in their understanding of God and His Messiah, so should we. Questions are less threatening and confrontational than direct statements.
- Wait to be invited in. 8:31. The eunuch invites Philip to join him in his chariot as he studies scripture. It’s important that we be invited to share the gospel with someone. We don’t want to kick down a door in the flesh nor do we want to ignore an invitation. An invitation to share the gospel shows a hungry, prepared heart (see #2 above). Questions knock on the door of the heart. Invitations are the door opening. Have you found that to be true in your experience? An example might be when someone responds to your question, “Have you discovered the secret to life?” with an invitation such as, “I’m not sure. Tell me more.” At that point share the good news of Jesus Christ.
- Open your mouth.8:35. Philip opened his mouth. He preached the gospel. There is no substitute for a courageous, verbal witness. Emails, texts, YouTube videos, tracts are poor substitutes for face-to-face, verbal sharing of the gospel. Sharing the gospel of Christ begins with opening your mouth and speaking.
- Focus on Jesus Christ. 8:35. He is the Way, the Truth, the Life. He gives eternal life to all who come to Him. Don’t rabbit trail onto other topics: religions, morality, politics, or church. Stay laser focused on Jesus Christ and you’ll be walking in Philip’s footsteps as a witness.
- Call for a response.8:37, 38. After sharing the gospel with the eunuch, Philip asks if the eunuch has believed in Jesus Christ and, based on his profession of faith, baptizes him in a nearby pond. My personal belief is that Philip immersed him but that is conjecture on my part. Any way you slice it, Philip responded to the eunuch’s request by baptizing him. Take action to invite the one with whom you’ve shared the gospel to pray with you to invite Jesus Christ to save him.
No, you don’t have to be Billy Graham to share your faith in Jesus Christ. You also don’t need to be a pastor or know the Bible from cover to cover. You simply need a caring heart and a spirit sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We live in a lost world barreling to hell that needs your witness. You can do this!
There is POWER in the name of Jesus (Acts 4:12),