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Intersect: walking in deep grace

INTERSECT (Where the Bible Meets Life) is a regular column of ONE Magazine featuring Dr. Garnett Reid, a member of the Bible faculty at Free Will Baptist Bible College. Email Garnett

“I have walked in some deep grace.” I’ll never forget Steve Phillips’ mother sharing those words of testimony. She went on to tell how that “deep grace” of Jesus had renewed her life many times.

Christian testimony is one of the most powerful yet neglected outreach tools God has placed in the hands of His people. Long before marketing strategists advised retailers to “tell your story,” Jesus commissioned His followers to “go and tell your friends” what great things He had done for them.

Our testimony is nothing more than God’s biography written in our hearts, seen through our lives, and published with our lips. When we encounter the living God’s Spirit at work changing us and, in turn, impacting those around us, testimony is born. Your story in Christ is as unique as you are.

Scripture is filled with such stories. In fact, it is testimony. The Bible tells the story of a loving, personal God working to restore His relationship with the people He created. Probably no one else ever told his story as effectively as did Paul. Not only do we read three times in Acts of his encounter with Christ, but he also referred to it in nearly every New Testament letter he wrote. Paul shares his story in different ways for a variety of reasons. He tells it:

  • In Romans 15 to challenge the church toward global witness;

  • In 1 Corinthians 1 to emphasize cross-centered preaching;

  • In 1 Corinthians 9 to defend his ministry;

  • In 2 Corinthians 3 to illustrate the new covenant;

  • In 2 Corinthians 4 to shine the light on God’s glory in the radiant
    face of Jesus;

  • In 2 Corinthians 12 to magnify God’s strength in his own weakness;

  • In Galatians 1 to certify the authority of the gospel;

  • In Ephesians 3 to disclose the mystery of Christ’s love for all people;

  • In Philippians 3 to commend Christ’s high calling as the ultimate
    purpose in life;

  • In 1 Timothy 1 to express gratitude for God’s grace to sinners;

  • In 2 Timothy 1 to highlight salvation by grace, not works.

So tell your story. Here are some steps to guide you.

  1. Be prepared. Think through what you have to say and how you plan to say it. Write it out and go over it in your mind to be sure you’ve included all you want to tell.

  2. Stay focused. Your purpose is not to glorify yourself in your experience but to lift up Christ. Point people to the gospel. Don’t get sidetracked by detours and minor issues.

  3. Shoot straight. Be honest. Resist the temptation to exaggerate so that your story will sound more impressive. If you tell the truth and your life backs up what you say, God’s power is sufficient whatever your experience with Him.

  4. Use Scripture. Memorize key verses that have challenged you.  Cite passages that present the gospel.

  5. Urge gently. Leave your story “open-ended” so that your listeners feel at liberty to respond. Don’t be coercive or heavy-handed, but give them something to consider. If they are receptive, invite them to trust Christ. Tread lightly if they are not.

  6. Follow up. Arrange to meet and talk later if possible. Certainly pray that Christ will shine through your story, and that His deep grace will flow through your words.



©2005 ONE Magazine, National Association of Free Will Baptists