In front of King Agrippa Paul shares his story of transformation after meeting Christ. Read this passage from Acts and the note from the New Believer’s Bible. Then reflect on why should we always be willing to share our story?
“‘One day I was on such a mission to Damascus, armed with the authority and commission of the leading priests. About noon, Your Majesty, as I was on the road, a light from heaven brighter than the sun shone down on me and my companions. We all fell down, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is useless for you to fight against my will.’
‘Who are you, lord?’ I asked.
‘And the Lord replied, ‘I am Jesus, the one you are persecuting. Now get to your feet! For I have appeared to you to appoint you as my servant and witness. Tell people that you have seen me, and tell them what I will show you in the future. And I will rescue you from both your own people and the Gentiles. Yes, I am sending you to the Gentiles to open their eyes, so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God. Then they will receive forgiveness for their sins and be given a place among God’s people, who are set apart by faith in me.’
‘And so, King Agrippa, I obeyed that vision from heaven. I preached first to those in Damascus, then in Jerusalem and throughout all Judea, and also to the Gentiles, that all must repent of their sins and turn to God—and prove they have changed by the good things they do. Some Jews arrested me in the Temple for preaching this, and they tried to kill me. But God has protected me right up to this present time so I can testify to everyone, from the least to the greatest. I teach nothing except what the prophets and Moses said would happen—that the Messiah would suffer and be the first to rise from the dead, and in this way announce God’s light to Jews and Gentiles alike.'” Acts 26:12-13, NLT.
A useful tool in our evangelistic toolbox is the story—also called our testimony—of how we came to personally know Jesus Christ. Paul often used this method effectively, such as in this account of his appearing before King Agrippa. After explaining how Paul had personally come into a relationship with Christ, he segued into the proclamation of the gospel message (Acts 26:19-23).
Every believer has a testimony. Some may be more dramatic than others. Such was the case with Paul, formerly the notorious Saul of Tarsus, who had been an aggressive persecutor of the church. Whether your testimony is incredible or ordinary, your personal salvation story will help you find common ground with nonbelievers.
You can tell them about your life and attitude before coming to Christ, then explain the changes that came afterward. When nonbelievers see that you can relate to their own lives, they may be more open to what you have to say. The objective in evangelism is to build a bridge, not burn one. Your testimony is a great way to do that.
Why don’t you take a moment to think about the changes that have taken place in your life since you became a Christian? You may even want to write down your testimony so that you will be ready to share it at the next opportunity.