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The Essential Role of Personal Witness to Christ & His Call
September 07, 2014      |     By: Sam McVay, Jr.      |      Category: Sermons

The normal Christian life involves a series of personal experiences with Christ to which we witness.

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The normal Christian life involves a series of personal experiences with Christ to which we witness.

The Christian witness is not a proclamation of “sterile facts” that are disconnected from our own personal experience. 

We are living beings that are to have a living experience with the living Creator.

Paul spoke dozens of times about his own personal experiences as he began his faith and walked out his call.

In fact, I believe that the letters he wrote were not a writing of "systematic theology” but of personal discovery and witness to life in Jesus.  

He spoke personally of his conversion multiple times:

Acts 26:12-19

“In this connection I journeyed to Damascus with the authority and commission of the chief priests. 13 At midday, O king, I saw on the way a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, that shone around me and those who journeyed with me. 14 And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ 15 And I said, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. 16 But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, 17 delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you 18 to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ 19 “Therefore, O King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision, 

He spoke personally of his life before conversion:

Philippians 3:4-6

though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5 circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; 6 as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless.

He spoke personally of his call multiple times:

Galatians 1:15-17

But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

He spoke of his personal revelations and sufferings in the Spirit:

2 Corinthians 12:1-7

I must go on boasting. Though there is nothing to be gained by it, I will go on to visions and revelations of the Lord. 2 I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows. 3 And I know that this man was caught up into paradise—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows— 4 and he heard things that cannot be told, which man may not utter. 5 On behalf of this man I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses— 6 though if I should wish to boast, I would not be a fool, for I would be speaking the truth; but I refrain from it, so that no one may think more of me than he sees in me or hears from me. 7 So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited.

He spoke personally of his conflict with other apostles for Jesus:

Galatians 2:11-14

But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. 12 For before certain men came from James, he was eating with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. 13 And the rest of the Jews acted hypocritically along with him, so that even Barnabas was led astray by their hypocrisy. 14 But when I saw that their conduct was not in step with the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, “If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you force the Gentiles to live like Jews?”

He spoke personally of his disciples.

He spoke personally of disciples that deserted him.

He spoke personally of his enemies.

My point is that Paul modeled a life of personal witness of personal experiences with a living and personal God.

Let me speak personally from my heart for a moment:

I am centrally committed to the glory and government of Jesus filling this whole earth.

I believe that Jesus has revealed his strategy for accomplishing the filling of the earth with his glory and government.

Matthew 28:18-20

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

John 15:8

By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. 

Definition of a Disciple: 

A disciple is a Spirit-filled wholehearted follower of Jesus who fruitfully multiplies the glory and government of Jesus in the earth.

Five Personal Things that the Lord has spoken to my heart that will affect you if you are around me:

The Supremacy of Jesus and His Mission are to be the center of your prayers and work.

I have commissioned and called you to make disciples, not to build a church.

I want you to learn to delight in weakness (i.e. there is a cost to this mission that will be painful)

2 Corinthians 12:10 (NIV)

That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

You will have supernatural supply if you set yourself to my mission.

I have made you one of many that will help shift the culture of my church from slavery to sonship, from orphans to fathers.

Related Resources

Mid-week Devotion : 5 Declarations of Personal Mission
Sunday School : Genesis 22
Scripture Teachings : Mormon Teachings Summary, Part 2
Testimonies : Steven Walker
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