What do you do when someone suddenly says something like “Hey, what’s this Christianity stuff all about?” Probably most of us would be shocked to be asked such questions out of the blue. But we do need to have a reason for the hope that is in us as it says in 1Peter 3:15, “but in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15.
It was very helpful for me after my conversion to Christ on New Year’s Eve 1958 to be able to get help in this area by attending the Counselling courses provided by churches before the Billy Graham Crusade in Australia in 1959. Later I received help by learning to use the “Four Spiritual Laws” approach by Bill Bright of Campus Crusade. Another helpful input was a course on Evangelism Explosion begun by Dr. DJ Kennedy. Later on, I found the “Two Ways To Live” booklet authored by Philip Jensen and Tony Payne a very good tool to use in sharing one’s faith. However, it may be that some of us haven’t been acquainted with these tools. So what follows is an attempt on my part to help folk learn to share their faith quickly and simply.
What if someone TOMORROW were to ask you a question about your faith! As I thought about that, I came up with a suggestion that is easy to learn and to remember. It could be used easily in a non-confronting way with anyone who expressed some interest in Christ or Christianity or even the church. I realised in retrospect that I had used this approach hundreds of time over the years in prayer ministry situations with individuals, and even in groups numbering in the hundreds. It comes naturally to me because it formed part of my own conversion experience in 1958. This was the background. I had been reading some of the late John Stott’s booklets. [He was a former Chaplain to the Queen and Rector of All Souls Langham Place, London.] I came across a suggested prayer of Commitment to Christ in one of the booklets. It formed the basis to the prayer I prayed as I asked Christ into my life that night in 1958.
It was based on the simple formula ABCD. I obviously still remember it almost 62 years later.
- Admit you are a sinner in the sight of God.
- Believe Christ died on the cross for you.
- Consider the cost of becoming a Christian.
- Do something about it. Open the door of your heart and invite Christ in, by accepting His invitation in Rev 3:20.
1]. TELLING OTHERS ABOUT THE CHRISTIAN FAITH using the ABCD formula
So here is my simple suggestion for learning in very quick time, to share our faith.
If we were asked the question, “What is Christianity all about?” Or “What do you believe as a Christian? We could reply,
“Christianity could be summed up under four letters, ABCD. It’s about:-
A]. Admitting we are all sinners in the sight of God.
B.] Believing Christ came and died on the cross to take away the sin of the world.
C]. Considering the cost of becoming a Christian.
D]. Doing something about it. Asking Christ [who is knocking at the door of our lives] into our hearts to be our Saviour and Lord.”
It is far less confronting than telling people they must A= Admit their sin. B= Believe Christ died on the cross for their sins. C=Consider the cost of becoming a Christian. And D = Do something about it and invite Christ into your life.
Some people may be ready for such a direct approach but most will not be.
The simplicity is that initially, in my suggestion, we need to remember just 4 words beginning with the letters ABCD; Admitting, Believing, Considering and Doing. We can build on those ABCD building blocks as time goes on so that we can have a more comprehensive answer to give those who are interested in learning more.
2.] TELLING OTHERS ABOUT OUR OWN FAITH IN CHRIST using the ABCD formula.
Sharing our faith or giving our testimony can be based on the same ABCD formula. As we share with others, we can share with them, the following:-
- How we came to recognise and Admit that we were sinners in God’s sight and needed Him and especially His forgiveness.
- How we came to learn about Christ and came to Believe that He died on the cross for us personally.
- How we had to Consider the cost of becoming a Christian and the challenges that faced us as the time for a decision drew nearer.
- How we eventually decided to Do something about it by asking Christ into our lives or by handing the control of our lives over to Him.
Naturally, we don’t have to say the letters ABCD in our sharing, but they can be a useful way of framing our testimony so that it covers the main facets of our commitment to Christ.
3.] SUGGESTED HOMEWORK
What would be a helpful thing to do would be to practise telling ‘others’ what Christianity is all about using the ABCD formula above, in section 1]. The ‘other’ could be a spouse or partner, or another member of a Bible Study Group, a prayer partner or a friend. The more it is practised, the more easily it becomes to share about Christianity or about our personal faith in Christ, in a natural and relaxed way.
My homework will be, in future articles, to add more material in the form of biblical teaching, to these ABCD building blocks so that we can give more comprehensive and deeper answers to those who ask us about Christianity or about our faith. Opportunities to share sometimes come at unexpected times and from unexpected people. We would do well to be prepared. [Please look for future articles on this topic in coming weeks.]
Blog No.342 posted on http://www.jimholbeck.blog on Saturday 11th January 2020.