John 4:1-26 Ways to Share My FAITH
There are reasons that people may not want to make a decision to follow Jesus Christ. Here are a few excuses which the Samaritan woman used, and other people use, that you may hear when you want to share your faith.
EXCUSES WHY PEOPLE DON’T COME TO JESUS
- We want a one-time fix, not work through the process (4:15)
We want to deny that we need God by trying to live our life without Him (4:16-18)
We want the easy route of a religion, not the hard route of a relationship (4:19-20)
We fear that if we do follow Jesus, it may not turn out to be true (4:25)1
Despite these excuses, we are commanded to make disciples by sharing our faith. I want to show you five ways in which you and I can share our faith.
FIVE WAYS TO SHARE MY FAITH
FORM a bond
When you start the process of sharing Jesus with other people, your conversation can naturally go through a FORM. FORM is an acronym for the subject matter that you will talk about.
Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman using this technique. Throughout the conversation, He moves from family, to occupation, to religion, to the message.
F – Family (4:15-19) – Family members. “How is your family?”
O – Occupation (4:7-14) – Work conditions “How is work going for you?”
R – Relational Interests/Religion (4:20-24)
“What else is going on in your life?”
“How are you doing with _________?”
“Have you thought about your life?”
M – Message (4:25-26)
In order to gauge whether your friend is ready to hear the testimony, you have to diagnose your friend’s religious beliefs. Just as a doctor diagnoses the patient, to see what is wrong. A doctor will ask questions. For example:
“How do you feel?”
“Where does it hurt?”
“Where is the most pain?”
The next two ways use this kind of technique. Depending on the situation, you may have to use different questions. These diagnostic questions can help you understand at what point or level of interest your friend has in Jesus Christ. The first is to ask a spiritual question about their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Ask a spiritual question
Diagnostic Question: Do you know Jesus Christ in a personal way, or would you think you are still in the process.
This question politely gauges their knowledge of Jesus Christ, not necessarily the Bible. As a result, you can talk to them about Jesus. By asking about the process, you give the person a chance to explain where they are in that process. They don’t answer completely in the negative, which can feel humiliating. You can also investigate about their knowledge of God and eternal life. You can investigate, but don’t interrogate.
Investigate (but don’t interrogate)
- If you died tonight, where would you go?
- If you did go to heaven, and God asked you “Why should I let you inside?”, how would you respond?
This reasoning method makes us reason through why I should be allowed to go to heaven. Most people believe it will be because they lived a good life, or that they believe in God. Almost everyone will answer the first question with heaven. So you ask the second question to find out if they know about Jesus Christ. If the answer to both of these question “I don’t know”, then you can move to the next way to share my faith. You can do one of two things. You can say: “Can I share with you what the Bible says?” Or you can say: “Can I share with you how I came to know God?”
Can I share with you how I discovered God?
While the first two methods approach the other person with basically “how-to” method of coming to Jesus Christ, this method relies on your experience. While the first two methods can receive criticism – for example, “Why is Jesus the only way to God”, “Why should I believe what the Bible says” – this last method is based on your experience. No one can argue with your experience.
Here are the four parts of your testimony:
- What my life was like before I met Jesus
- How I realized I needed Jesus
- How I committed my life to Jesus
- The difference Jesus has made in my life
Of course, you may say, well Jim, you just read from John and I don’t see how any of these methods is related to the Bible verses you just read. Look with me in verse 4:39. Some people believed the testimony of the woman. She just went and shared her experience. Others said to the woman: No, we want to hear for ourselves. That is what is shown in 4:41-42.2
The final way in which you can share your faith is to share with them how to get to Heaven. People are curious about what happens to them when they die. Someone came to Jesus and asked:
“Just then someone came up and asked Him, “Teacher, what good must I do to have eternal life?”” (Matthew 19:16, HCSB)
You can share with them about how to help them to get to Heaven.
Help them to get to Heaven
You can explain that to get to Heaven it takes FAITH:
F is for FORGIVENESS
We cannot have eternal life and heaven without God’s forgiveness
“We have redemption in Him through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace” (Ephesians 1:7, HCSB)
A is for AVAILABLE
Forgiveness is available. It is available for everyone.
““For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16, HCSB)
However, forgiveness is not automatic.
““Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord!’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21, HCSB)
I is for IMPOSSIBLE
It is impossible for God to allow sin into heaven. because of Who God is – God is loving and just. His judgment is against sin.
“For judgment is without mercy to the one who hasn’t shown mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.” (James 2:13, HCSB)
It is also impossible for God to allow sin into heaven because of who we are – Every person is a sinner.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23, HCSB)
But how can a sinful person enter heaven, when God allows no sin?
T is for TURN
Turn means to repent. Everyone must turn in order to follow Christ.
To turn from something – sin and self
“No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as well!” (Luke 13:3, HCSB)
To turn to Someone – trust Christ only
“If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9, HCSB)
When we turn from our sin and turn to follow Christ, this allows us to go to Heaven.
““I assure you: Anyone who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life.” (John 5:24, HCSB)
H is for HEAVEN
Heaven is a place where we can spend eternal life.
Eternal life begins here for the Christian:
“…I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.” (John 10:10, HCSB)
Eternal life continues in Heaven
“If I go away and prepare a place for you, I will come back and receive you to Myself, so that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:3, HCSB)
How can a person have God’s forgiveness, heaven and eternal life, and Jesus as personal Savior and Lord? By trusting Christ and asking Him for forgiveness.
Jesus said that we are going to work out in the fields because it is ready for harvest. There are people out there who are ready to hear about Jesus. Some of you will share your faith with some whom have heard this same message from another Christian. You will reap when this person accepts Jesus from your testimony. Some of you will share your testimony with others and you will not see what becomes of it. You are sowing. You are planting seeds.
I think Jesus says this to keep us humble. If you say you “led” so many people to Jesus, you could start to promote yourself and not God and His glory.
So don’t get discouraged if you think that telling your story was not effective. God will make it effective. Perhaps he will let you see that. Perhaps not. But that is not something we have to worry about. For Jesus said that the sower and the reaper will both rejoice in the end.
Sharing my faith is a challenge. But God wants us to grow the church. He has given us the command to make disciples. He has given us the example here of sharing a life-changing faith with others. All we have to do is try.
1 Jim Erwin, “John 4:1-42 Sharing My Faith,” Powerpoint File, 30 January 2009.
2 Jim Erwin, “John 4:27-42 Sharing Your Faith,” sermon preached at International Baptist Church Bremen, Germany on 01 January 2007, accessed on http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jimerwin/2007/01/01/john-427-42-sharing-your-faith/.
3 Jim Erwin, “Getting to Heaven Takes FAITH,” Simple Thoughts 2016, Logos Bible Software, posted online 22 January 2016, accessed on http://www.patheos.com/blogs/jimerwin/2016/01/22/getting-to-heaven-takes-faith/. You can find resources to use this evangelism strategy at http://www.lifeway.com/n/Product-Family/FAITH-Evangelism.