To Witness (Acts 13:13-36)

Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: But he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption.” (Acts 13:35–37, AV)

Early in my Christian walk, I went to an Evangelism Explosion Seminar in Omaha Nebraska. Here I was trained in an effective method for sharing the gospel and was to train others in my church in doing the same. I almost exclusively used this method and found it very useful. However, years later, after entering the pastorate, I discovered that sometimes we need to move beyond the basic evangelistic formulas that we have learned.

For example, one time I met a man who had some questions regarding an area of the faith. I sensed that I needed to share the gospel message with him, and was all ready to use the Evangelism Explosion outline that I had learned some twenty years earlier. However, within the first ten minutes I discovered that this was a Jewish man. The Holy Spirit led me to change my approach. Rather than to jump right into a discussion from purely a Christian New Testament viewpoint I needed to tackle his questions from the perspective of the Old Testament, the Hebrew Scriptures. The spirit prompted me to take him through some passages in the Hebrew Scriptures and before we were done, God touched his heart to believe in Jesus.

The point of this is that in our evangelistic efforts, we need to be well versed in the Bible, that is all sixty-six books, from Genesis to Revelation. The reason is that every person we meet is different and the Holy Spirit will bring to mind the Scriptures that will meet each person specifically as needed. That is what we see in this passage of Scripture as Paul preached to Jews in the Synagogue of Antioch in Pisidia.

Paul as a Pharisee was an expert in the Scriptures. From these Scriptures, he contended with the Jews that Jesus was the promised Messianic King. He begins the journey speaking of Moses and the exodus and moves to David, the first king of Israel. He reminds them that from David would come an offspring to Israel as a Savior and that this man is Jesus.

He continues to tell them that the key reason that they can know that Jesus is the promised Messiah is that He was crucified and then raised from the grave. He quoted from the Scriptures to prove this fact to them. The Psalm states that the “Holy One” of Israel, David’s descendant would not see corruption. In other words, David and every other in his line died and their bodies remained in the grave. Yet, Jesus, a descendant of David died and His body did not remain in the grave, He did not see corruption but was raised up from the grave. As a result of these words, as illuminated by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of those in attendance, many came to believe.

The point that we must take away from this are many. First, we must be knowledgeable of the Scriptures. While we will never exhaust our study of God’s word, we should never give up growing in our knowledge of its contents. Second, we need to learn to lean upon the leading of the Holy Spirit in understanding the person to whom we are witnessing and, in the use of the best Scriptures that will specifically meet that person at his or her point of need. In short, never cease studying the word of God in depth and seek to be filled with the Spirit.

Published by Steve Hankins, Th.D.

Steve has had extensive military, business and ministry experience. He has served for over 16 years in full time vocational ministry and many years of part time ministry in churches. He has led churches through start-up and recasting of vision. Now He resides on the Outer Banks of North Carolina where he is working to help smaller churches and believers to renew their hearts and regain the joy of the Lord.

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