Introduction: Many years ago I bought an old Mercedes as an
experiment. It was a beautiful car. The “experiment” was
whether I could drive it at a reasonable cost!
Just after I bought the Mercedes I was asked to help at a
church “work bee.” I needed to work on the Mercedes,
including changing the oil. But I went to the work bee
When I returned and tried to change the oil, I found it
required an odd wrench of a size I had never seen, much less
owned. Discouraged and frustrated, I noticed in the tool
belt I brought back from the work bee an old “nail puller.”
It turned out the hexagonal end of the nail puller fit
perfectly as a substitute wrench! An ordinary tool, that I
rarely used, turned out to be a critical part in maintaining
my car. If I had not helped in the work bee first, I doubt I
would ever have noticed the potential of the nail puller.
This week our lesson is about the “tools for witnessing.” Do
we have critical tools for witnessing that we have never
noticed? Do we have in our possession ordinary tools that
can be used for extraordinary purposes? Let’s jump in and
- The “One on One” Tool
- Read Acts 8:26-28. What do we learn about Philip
in these three verses? (That the Holy Spirit led
him and he was willing to follow.)
- What do we learn about the eunuch in these
verses? (That he was an important man
(Secretary of the Treasury) that he was a Jew
or a Jewish proselyte (Barne’s Notes) who had
traveled to celebrate the Passover. A couple
of commentaries I consulted indicated that he
was probably not an actual eunuch. Instead,
the word was used to indicate that he was an
important “insider.” We also learn that he was
studying the Bible.)
- Read Acts 8:29-31. Is there a lesson about the
“tool” of personal witnessing in this story so
far? What is it? (The importance of the leading of
the Holy Spirit and the importance of following
the Spirit’s directions exactly. The eunuch, as we
will see next, was reading Isaiah 53 — a
messianic prophecy! What could be a better
circumstance for witnessing about Jesus?)
- Do you pray daily that the Holy Spirit will
lead you to witness to the right person?
- Read Acts 8:32-35. Can we expect that the people
that we witness to will be reading the Bible?
What can we do to recreate this situation in our
witnessing? (The eunuch had an interest in the
subject. If the Holy Spirit inspires an interest
in the heart of the individual, we can encourage
them to read the Bible to trigger more questions.)
- Notice the sequence here. The eunuch is
reading, Philip asks if he understands, and
the eunuch then asks Philip for an
explanation. Our lesson suggests that we:
- Have the “student” read the Bible texts;
- Ask them (like Philip) “Is this clear to
- Answer any questions of the student; and,
- Ask if they believe the doctrine.
- Do you agree with this sequence? Is this
simple enough? Are you prepared to witness?
- Let’s read on. Read Acts 8:36-40.
- Who decided the appropriate time for baptism?
- Is this the way things should be?
- I hear about people not being “ready” to
be baptized – although they want to be
baptized. Should we insist they know all
the “doctrines” before they are baptized?
- This story of Philip and the eunuch is an
example of personal evangelism. What
advantages or disadvantages does it have over
big evangelistic series?
- Does your church have an evangelistic
series each year?
- How many people are converted in these
- How many are still with your church after
- Although it seems that you would convert
more people with a big series, would that
still be true if you had personal
evangelism going on all year long with a
committed group of members of the church?
- I asked you before about how to recreate this
perfect situation with Philip and the eunuch. Are
small group meetings one way to do this? A number
of members meet to study the Bible. They invite
friends to come and study with the group. As a
result, they are all reading the Bible. Have you
- Your Testimony
- Let’s look at another “tool” — personal
testimony. Read Acts 22:1-5 to discover Paul’s
personal testimony. Why do you think Paul started
out his testimony like this? What is his purpose?
(He wants his listeners to identify with him. He
was a model citizen, a very successful man, from
their point of view. He was someone they could
look up to, someone with whom they could
- When you witness to others, should you try to
get them to identify with what you were
- If you think this is a good strategy,
- Let’s read on. Read Acts 22:6-10. You may have
difficulty coming up with a story like this in
your personal witnessing! What do you have in your
life that is similar? (This is the conversion
experience. The moment when you made the decision
to turn away from your old ways.)
- I have been a Christian all of my life. What
should you do, if you are like me, and do not
have a “conversion experience” to relate? Is
personal testimony a “tool” you do not have on
your tool belt? (What makes you decide to
continue to be a Christian? That should be
your “experience.” What keeps me a Christian
is logic. I believe there is a God who created
us because man cannot, with all of his
computers and knowledge, perfectly replicate
something “simple” like my hand. If man cannot
replicate a hand, what kind of an idiot
believes that body functions much more complex
than my hand (like my eye/mind function) not
only evolved, but evolved into the complex
total unit that is a human? Logic tells us
only a Master Intelligence could create man.
If you think chance is brighter than you are,
then I invite you to quit your job and see how
chance gets your job done!
The brightest minds are currently looking for a unified theory of the universe. I would be
delighted to cross-examine anyone who believed
in a unified theory without a Master
- Read Acts 22:11-16. What role did Ananias have in
the conversion experience of Paul?
- Why did Paul tell about the role of Ananias in
his testimony? (This seems important. Paul is
telling his listeners that someone like them
helped lead him to Christ. They not only can
identify with who Paul used to be, they can
also identify with those who helped bring him
to the truth.)
- Who made the decision on baptizing here?
- How would you describe Ananias as a
witness? (You might want to read
Acts 9:10-15 for more background on
- Read Acts 22:17-20. Is Paul arguing with God? Why
would he relate that as part of his testimony?
(Once again, he is working on creating a bond with
them. They would believe that Jerusalem was the
center of the universe. They would believe that
God would choose the Jews only for the message.
But Paul wants to show them that God has corrected
- Read Acts 22:21-24. Now you know why they put a
floor in your church — and why you should only
witness indoors! What do you think about this
system of justice?
- We have a story that is similar (in the end)
to the Stephen story. Both Stephen and Paul
gave a solid testimony. The result of their
testimony is the intended converts thought
they should be put to death. What does that
teach us about testifying? That it is
dangerous? That it is frustrating? That the
quality of our witness is not always reflected
in good results?
- Last week we noted that the last approach of a
failed argument is violence. We see that
again this week. Why do you think the crowd’s
“argument” failed? Does it have anything to do
with the nature of personal testimony? (One of
the great things about personal testimony is
that it is hard to argue against. How can
someone refute your personal story of a
- The Testimony of Healthy and Generous Lives
- While the Old Testament has quite a bit to say
about diet and health, the New Testament focus is
on what comes out of your mouth instead of what
goes in it. See, e.g. Matthew 15:11. Given this
focus of the New Testament, do you agree with the
lesson that “health evangelism” is important. Why?
(Notice the quote(Tuesday’s lesson): “[T]he great
object of [health] reform … is to secure the
highest development of body, mind and soul.” E.G.
White, Evangelism, p. 525-26.)
- Read Acts 9:32-35. The healing of Aeneas caused
the people in the area to convert. Were there
already Christians in the area? Why hadn’t they
converted the people before?
- Why do you think the healing converted people,
but the witness of the other Christians did
not? (Different things will convince different
people. The reason why healings, an emphasis
on a healthy lifestyle, and that kind of thing
draw others to the gospel is because that is
the area of practical interest for many. Many
will initially say about the gospel, “What
will this do for me?”)
- Let’s continue reading in this area. Read Acts
9:36-39. What “tool” did Dorcas use in her
- Is this similar to the tool of healing and
- Friend, what tools has God made available to you
for witnessing? Have you carefully examined what
you have and prayed about how you can use them to
promote the gospel? I invite you to do that.
- Next Week: Approaches to Witnessing.