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The Personal Testimony

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Learning to Present a Winning Testimony

Testimony is Source of Power
What two things are mentioned in that the saints overcome by? What does each one signify?
Revelation 12:11 KJV 1900
11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Two things in this verse are mentioned as a conquering power:
The blood of the Lamb which has purchased our salvation and without which we would be hopeless. It’s the beginning, the middle, and the end of experiences.
The other which is rarely discussed is “the word of their testimony.” Literally they overcome by their “utterance” of their testimony. To be able to articulate and communicate your personal experience has the potential to have a powerful effect on your own experience, but only as you share it with others!
John 1:7 KJV 1900
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.
Christ’s Object Lessons Chapter 11—Things New and Old

All who receive the gospel message into the heart will long to proclaim it. The heaven-born love of Christ must find expression. Those who have put on Christ will relate their experience, tracing step by step the leadings of the Holy Spirit—their hungering and thirsting for the knowledge of God and of Jesus Christ whom He has sent, the results of their searching of the Scriptures, their prayers, their soul agony, and the words of Christ to them, “Thy sins be forgiven thee.” It is unnatural for any to keep these things secret, and those who are filled with the love of Christ will not do so. In proportion as the Lord has made them the depositaries of sacred truth will be their desire that others shall receive the same blessing. And as they make known the rich treasures of God’s grace, more and still more of the grace of Christ will be imparted to them.

Testimony Defined
Every Christian ought to have a ready, vital testimony. Unfortunately many do not!
New Testament Witnessing Learning to Present a Winning Testimony

Among Seventh-day Adventists the word “testimony” is no doubt misunderstood. What we call “testimony meeting” usually has very little testimony in it. It would be more properly described as a meeting of thankfulness and prayer requests. (“I am thankful for … this … and that … and I want you all to remember me in your prayers, etc.”) Instead, testimony is really a statement of first-hand experiences, a witness given to personal knowledge.

It is the secret of faith, which is the burden of our preaching, and it says, in effect, “If you openly admit by your own mouth that Jesus Christ is the Lord, and if you believe in your own heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” For it is believing in the heart that makes a man righteous before God, and it is stating his belief by his own mouth that confirms his salvation. And the scripture says: ‘Whoever believes on him will not be put to shame’. Phillips New Testament
SOP Endorsing Testimonies of Assurance
Can we be sure of our salvation and can we share our assurance with others?

It is your privilege to trust in the love of Jesus for salvation, in the fullest, surest, noblest manner; to say, He loves me, He receives me; I will trust Him, for He gave His life for me. Nothing so dispels doubt as coming in contact with the character of Christ. He declares, “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out;” that is, there is no possibility of My casting him out, for I have pledged My word to receive him. Take Christ at His word, and let your lips declare that you have gained the victory.

There are some who would rather entertain the idea that they cannot have assurance of salvation this side of heaven.
However, this mentality contributes to why we are so inefficient saving should from perdition.
Can we know and be assured that we are saved?
Selected Messages, Book 1 The Meaning of Faith

It is God that circumcises the heart. The whole work is the Lord’s from the beginning to the end. The perishing sinner may say: “I am a lost sinner; but Christ came to seek and to save that which was lost. He says, ‘I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance’ (Mark 2:17). I am a sinner, and He died upon Calvary’s cross to save me. I need not remain a moment longer unsaved. He died and rose again for my justification, and He will save me now. I accept the forgiveness He has promised.”

Selected Messages, Book 1 Chapter 59: Perfect Obedience through Christ

It is essential to have faith in Jesus, and to believe you are saved through Him

Here, Sis. White says that is essential “to believe you are saved through Him.” It does not say that its essential to believe that you will be saved, or can be saved through Him, but that “you are saved through Him.”
But interestingly, in the very same sentence she writes a caution:
Selected Messages, Book 1 Chapter 59: Perfect Obedience through Christ

but there is danger in taking the position that many do take in saying, “I am saved.” Many have said: “You must do good works, and you will live”; but apart from Christ no one can do good works. Many at the present day say, “Believe, only believe, and live.” Faith and works go together, believing and doing are blended.

The danger is not that we can have assurance of salvation and “believe you are saved through” Christ, but the danger is “the position” that many take when they say “I am saved.”
She also cautions the other extreme that we must depend upon good works for salvation.
She writes that “believing and doing are blended.”
Why are so many people against having assurance of salvation and being able to declare with faith and trust they have salvation in Christ?
Because Sis. White writes else where about the position of those who say, “I am saved.”
Keep in mind that those who believe in Jesus for salvation will not be bragging about their salvation to others using the “saved” word without any reverence or inspiration. But when opportunity comes, they will not have doubt they are saved and can share this assurance with the one they communing with.
What does Sis. White mean when she speaks against those who say “I am saved?”
New Testament Witnessing Learning to Present a Winning Testimony

However, anyone reading the context of these statements will recognize that they say that we are not to claim that we are saved in the sense that we can never be lost through rejection of Christ. In other words, Adventists do not accept the Calvanistic position of “once saved, always saved”. Neither do we believe that we are to sit back in false security feeling that there is no need to make progress and grow up into Christ. Such a life is a denial of our profession of Him. In one single sentence we read the essence of Ellen White’s teaching on this matter. “It is essential to have faith in Jesus and to believe that you are saved through Him; but there is danger in taking the position that many do take in saying, “I am saved’.” Obviously she is saying that a Christian without assurance of eternal life and salvation is a poor testimony. But on the other hand, the position that many do take in stating that they are saved and can never fall, etc. are not following the teachings of the Bible. We believe that a soul should know his present relationship to Christ. As someone said, “We ought to know this as well as we know if we are married!”

When we accept Christ as a personal Saviour we enter into a “covenant” relationship with Him.
New Testament Witnessing Learning to Present a Winning Testimony

The Bible also likens our relationship with Christ to marriage, and using that analogy we should understand clearly that we do not believe that our marriage with Christ ends in divorce every time we fall in temptation, anymore than our human marriage ends in divorce every time we fail to demonstrate a perfect love.

My Life Today Sanctified through Obedience, September 3

When it is in the heart to obey God, when efforts are put forth to this end, Jesus accepts this disposition and effort as man’s best service, and He makes up for the deficiency with His own divine merit.

Steps to Christ Chapter 7—The Test of Discipleship

The character is revealed, not p 58 by occasional good deeds and occasional misdeeds, but by the tendency of the habitual words and acts.

Communicating Love to the Prospect
So the first ability is to have the assurance of salvation for ourselves which is obviously connected with a personal testimony.
The second ability is communicate warm affection and love to those who we are associating with.
Love is the end goal of everything as Paul says in .
Desire of Ages Chapter 86—Go Teach All Nations

The gospel is to be presented, not as a lifeless theory, but as a living force to change the life. God desires that the receivers of His grace shall be witnesses to its power.

Desire of Ages Chapter 86—Go Teach All Nations

In Christ is the tenderness of the shepherd, the affection of the parent, and the matchless grace of the compassionate Saviour. His blessings He presents in the most alluring terms. He is not content merely to announce these blessings; He presents them in the most attractive way, to excite a desire to possess them. So His servants are to present the riches of the glory of the unspeakable Gift. The wonderful love of Christ will melt and subdue hearts, when the mere reiteration of doctrines would accomplish nothing.

Isaiah 40:1 KJV 1900
1 Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
Isaiah 40:9–11 KJV 1900
9 O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; Lift it up, be not afraid; Say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God! 10 Behold, the Lord God will come with strong hand, And his arm shall rule for him: Behold, his reward is with him, And his work before him. 11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: He shall gather the lambs with his arm, And carry them in his bosom, And shall gently lead those that are with young.
New Testament Witnessing Learning to Present a Winning Testimony

Love and assurance have been considered at length because they are the foundation of valid testimony. Without love, testimony and assurance can appear to be arrogant, boasting. Without assurance there is nothing to testify about, and love expressed without assurance has no promise, no hope.

How did the apostles turn the world upside down in the first century?
1 John 1:1–3 KJV 1900
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
1 jn 1 1-
They bore witness of what they had seen and heard and felt of Christ.
Mark 5:18–20 KJV 1900
18 And when he was come into the ship, he that had been possessed with the devil prayed him that he might be with him. 19 Howbeit Jesus suffered him not, but saith unto him, Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee, and hath had compassion on thee. 20 And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.
Desire of Ages Chapter 35—“Peace, Be Still”

The two restored demoniacs were the first missionaries whom Christ sent to preach the gospel in the region of Decapolis. For a few moments only these men had been privileged to hear the teachings of Christ. Not one sermon from His lips had ever fallen upon their ears. They could not instruct the people as the disciples who had been daily with Christ were able to do. But they bore in their own persons the evidence that Jesus was the Messiah. They could tell what they knew; what they themselves had seen, and heard, and felt of the power of Christ. This is what everyone can do whose heart has been touched by the grace of God.

Desire of Ages Chapter 35—“Peace, Be Still”

As witnesses for Christ, we are to tell what we know, what we ourselves have seen and heard and felt. If we have been following Jesus step by step, we shall have something right to the point to tell concerning the way in which He has led us. We can tell how we have tested His promise, and found the promise true. We can bear witness to what we have known of the grace of Christ. This is the witness for which our Lord calls, and for want of which the world is perishing.

This form of witnessing was how Christ ministered to the people in Palestine.
John 3:31–34 KJV 1900
31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all. 32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony. 33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true. 34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
Desire of Ages Chapter 36—The Touch of Faith

After healing the woman, Jesus desired her to acknowledge the blessing she had received. The gifts which the gospel offers are not to be secured by stealth or enjoyed in secret. So the Lord calls upon us for confession of His goodness. “Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.” Isaiah 43:12.

Desire of Ages Chapter 36—The Touch of Faith

After healing the woman, Jesus desired her to acknowledge the blessing she had received. The gifts which the gospel offers are not to be secured by stealth or enjoyed in secret. So the Lord calls upon us for confession of His goodness. “Ye are My witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God.” Isaiah 43:12.

Desire of Ages Chapter 36—The Touch of Faith

Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is divine. Every individual has a life distinct from all others, and an experience differing essentially from theirs. God desires that our praise shall ascend to Him, marked by our own individuality. These precious acknowledgments to the praise of the glory of His grace, when supported by a Christ-like life, have an irresistible power that works for the salvation of souls.

Three Essentials of a Good Testimony
Write your own testimony using the following three headings:
My Life Before I Accepted Christ:
How I Became A Christian: (Tell how it happened.)
My Life Since Becoming a Christian: (Tell of change, joy, and blessings.)
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