As stated earlier, the most powerful witnessing a believer can do for Jesus is to share his or her personal testimony. That is, the sharing of what God has done for me and how He has affected my life and experience. Usually a personal testimony is expressed in three distinct sections. The first part is a short review of the believer’s life before accepting Jesus as personal Savior. The second part is an explanation of how the person met the Lord. The third is a declaration of the life experience after getting to know Jesus.1
Read through Acts 22:2–21. Paul’s defense speech before the Jerusalem council is in the form of a personal testimony. What were some of the points he made in each section of his testimony?
His life before he knew the Lord Jesus (vss. 3–5):
How he met the Lord (vss. 6–16):
His life experience after his conversion (vss. 17–21):
Even if you were raised in a Christian home and did not experience a dramatic conversion experience, you certainly had a special time when you made your personal commitment to Jesus Christ. Think back on your experience and write out some points that will help to form your own personal testimony.
My life before I knew the Lord Jesus (or before I made a commitment to Him):
How I met Jesus (or what influenced my commitment to Him):
My life after I accepted Jesus as my personal Savior:
A personal testimony should not be a long and detailed autobiography. We mentioned earlier that witnessing is a more spontaneous way of sharing Jesus than is a planned evangelistic approach. Christians should be able to give their testimony in a short space of time, because we don’t know when the opportunity may arise to speak of Jesus. It could be in any number of unplanned places and times. It may be on a plane or at a bus stop. It may be during a short telephone call. However the situation arises, we should be ready and willing to speak about what the Lord has done for us, what reasons we have for our faith, and the hope that God offers not just to us but to others.
Consider the eternal difference between the lost and the saved, between eternal death and eternal life. In the long run, what else really matters?