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Lesson 6: Personal Evangelism and Witnessing *

Introduction: Of all of the people you would like to win to Christ, which one is most important to you? My bet is that your answer is a member of your family! Sometimes I observe that people are nicer to those outside their family then they are to their family. Does that make any sense? In this lesson we will look at how we can be a witness to our family, and then consider whether those principles are the same for personal witnessing to those around us. Let's jump into our study of the Bible and see what we can learn!

  1. Attitude Adjustment

    1. Read 1 Peter 2:18-21. Are you and I called to take a beating? (That is what the text says! Actually, it says we are called to "endure" when we take a beating for doing good.)

    2. Read 1 Peter 2:23-24. Why are we called to take a beating? (Because Jesus, as our example, took a beating for our sins! His wounds healed us.)

    3. Read 1 Peter 3:1-2. What does Peter mean when he says, "in the same way?" (Peter is referring to what he had just said; slaves should accept beatings because Jesus took a beating for us.)

      1. This hits a very open nerve for me (and many others). When I hear of a man who beats his wife or children, I feel like punching him. Men who beat or abuse their wives are despicable worms. If you attack someone who cannot fight back, like your wife, your children, your employees, your subordinates or the wait staff at the restaurant, you are a bully. How can Peter suggest that wives take a beating?

    4. Let's look more closely at Jesus, our example, to better understand this attitude. Re-read 1 Peter 2:24. Why was Jesus beaten? (He bore our sins. He was the Lamb of God.)

      1. Was Jesus regularly being beaten during His life? (No. He was only beaten at the end.)

      2. When Peter writes, "in the same way be submissive to your husbands," would this mean enduring regular beatings? (No. That is not what Jesus suffered. More importantly, Jesus had a very important goal in mind, saving us. If a wife took a beating to save her husband, then I would see a parallel. But, if a wife takes a beating just to be beaten, then this is not "in the same way!")

    5. If Peter is not talking about beatings, what is he talking about? (The heart of Jesus' mission was to give Himself up for us. I think that is the attitude which Peter is urging. Self-denial.)

    6. Read 1 Peter 3:3-6. With this background, what is Peter saying about beauty, jewelry, hairstyles and clothing? (I don't think he is saying very much about what a woman is wearing. He is saying true beauty comes from having the same attitude towards your husband that Jesus has towards us.)

      1. Notice that Abraham's wife, Sarah, is mentioned by name. What is this text saying about Sarah and jewelry? (Read Genesis 24:51-53. If Abraham is giving jewelry to his future daughter-in-law, it seems unlikely that his wife does not wear jewelry. Instead, this confirms that Peter is talking about the importance of beauty coming from attitude, rather than adornment.)

      2. What might our jewelry say about our attitude towards others? (Most of what is called "jewelry" in America today is not. It is cheap metal and plastic that anyone can afford. However, if you are wearing jewels for the purpose of saying that you are better than others, this is contrary to Jesus' attitude of self-sacrifice.)

  2. Personal Family Evangelism

    1. So far we have seen that a wife should witness to her husband by having a self-sacrificing attitude. Read 1 Peter 3:7. What kind of attitude is required from a husband who wants to witness to his wife?

      1. Notice that Peter starts out, "in the same way." What same way? (The same way that Jesus gave up His life for us. The same way that a wife is unselfish with her husband. Husbands have a "same way" obligation.)

    2. Read Colossians 3:19. What is required of husbands? (Peter tells husbands to be considerate and respectful. Paul tells them to love their wives. The direction against being "harsh," is clearly a prohibition against hitting the wife.)

    3. Read Colossians 3:21 and Ephesians 6:4. What attitude should parents have towards their children? (Nothing the parent does should make the child bitter or exasperated. I think the same kind of self-sacrificing attitude that Jesus has towards us is the best evangelism tool for members of our family, including our children.)

  3. Personal Community Evangelism

    1. Read 1 Peter 2:11-12. What is important to evangelizing the world? (Right living.)

      1. Does this mean that pagans will not charge us with wrong-doing? (No. They will make false accusations, but we prove them wrong by our deeds.)

    2. Read 1 Peter 2:13-17. What attitude are we to have towards the world? (We submit ourselves to authority. We show by our lives that God is to be praised.)

    1. As you consider what we have discussed, is there a common thread for evangelizing our family and evangelizing the world? (Yes! The common thread is self-denial. Your life should bless others.)

      1. How does this compare with the attitude of the world? (The world pursues self-aggrandizement. Christians get the attention of those around them by being the opposite of the world. An "opposite" that blesses those around you. That nudges them towards the reason for your attitude.)

  1. An Example

    1. Read John 1:32-34. John the Baptist is speaking about Jesus. What witness does John give about Jesus? (That Jesus is the Son of God.)

      1. Is there any self-denial in John's statement?

    2. Read John 1:35-37. What motivated these two disciples to seek to learn more about Jesus? (What John said.)

    3. Read John 1:38-42. What is Andrew's first priority? (To tell a family member about Jesus.)

      1. How does Andrew's action fit our self-denial discussion? (Instead of staying with Jesus longer, Andrew seeks out his brother to share the good news.)

    4. Read John 1:43-46. Assume that Nathanael said this about your important discovery. What is the self-important answer? (To argue with Nathanael to show him that you are right. Instead, Philip simply says, "Come and see.")

    5. Read John 1:47-48. We can assume that Jesus also knew what Nathanael said. How would you like it if someone said to you "Nothing good comes from your family, town, etc?" What kind of self-important response would you make?

      1. Instead of saying something positive about Himself or something negative about Nathanael, what does Jesus say? (He compliments Nathanael. Instead of thinking of the personal insult, Jesus lifts up Nathanael. This is self-denial.)

    6. Read John 1:49. How well does the self-denial approach to evangelism work? (Nathanael is immediately converted.)

    7. Read John 1:50-51. Wait a minute! Is Jesus telling us that "magic" converted Nathanael instead of self-denial? (Jesus approach to Nathanael was to focus on him. "Magic" (the power of God) followed and assisted in the conversion.)

    8. Friend, are you focused on others, or focused on yourself? When I perform marriages, I include a line from my own marriage ceremony: "Every day wake up and say, 'What can I do today for my spouse?'" Will you ask the Holy Spirit to give you the attitude of self-sacrifice, the attitude that will win your family, friends and the world to Jesus?

  2. Next week: Corporate Evangelism and Witnessing.
* Copr. 2012, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. All scripture references are to the New International Version (NIV), copr. 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society, unless otherwise noted. Quotations from the NIV are used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers. Suggested answers are found within parentheses. The lesson assumes the teacher uses a blackboard or some other visual aid.

© 2021 Bruce N. Cameron, J.D.
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