How Can I Share My Faith Without An Argument?
That is the title of Bill Fay’s booklet. You can print it out online free. As I recall it is 70 or 80 pages long. Depending upon the font you use this article could be 3 or 4 pages. It is necessarily long and because of its importance it is one article I plan never to shorten. It is what I remember from Mr. Fay’s booklet. His method has been very fruitful for me. The goal is to give people as much of the Bible as possible and as few of our own words as possible. The Bible will cause faith in Christ which will result in their receiving Him as Saviour.Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
Mr. Fay’s method has been very fruitful for me. The method is mainly not to make absolute statements but quote a verse from the Bible and ask them what it means. If they get it right we can move along to the next gospel fact. If they get it wrong we might quote the same verse more than once or other verses that deal with that same truth until they get it right. If we witnesses don’t make any absolute statements no one will have anything to argue about with us. His method is to quote the Bible and then ask does it mean this or does it mean that? The things the Bible says are the absolutes. The more of God’s word we give to others the more likely they will come to faith. And, of course, you will have different questions to ask them and different passages from the Bible to give them than I use. And, in fact, I seldom use all of the same ones. If they reject any of the gospel facts, skipping one that they do not believe can ruin the whole process.
Asking questions will very seldom offend anyone so asking questions is the method I use often. I will suggest a few opening questions and I will suggest a few specific scriptures that give people the facts of the gospel and often convince them to receive Jesus. Then I will suggest some closing questions.
The opening questions are to determine if people are open and willing to hear or read what the Bible says. The questions are non-offensive probes to see if I will have an opportunity get them into the Bible. If they are not willing do not press them or argue with them. Graciously back off. Pray for them and continue to love them and live a pure life before them. You may even be able to tell them what God has done for you.
Two of my favorite opening questions are “Do you go to church anyplace?” “Do you have any kind of spiritual beliefs?”
If they tell me they attend a type of church where I believe they have already heard the facts of the gospel it may not be necessary for me to give them those facts. If they tell me they attend a type of church where I believe they have not heard the facts of the gospel it may be my privilege to share those facts with them. If they tell me they do not attend church it may be my privilege to share the Gospel facts with them.
Another favorite question is “Do you know for sure that you will go to heaven when you die?”
If they say no skip the next four paragraphs.
If they say yes but I remain doubtful my third question is something like this “If you were standing at the gate of heaven and the Lord asked Why should I let you in here what would you answer?”
If they say they have received Jesus as Saviour they are probably your brother/sister in Christ. Fellowship with them ought to begin instantly if they have truly trusted Christ.
If they have answered the question with a yes they know they are going to heaven, but I am doubtful I ask them this “If what you believe were not true would you want to know it?” If they say no you will probably not have the opportunity to get them into the Word of God at this time.
If they say yes I make the following statement and ask the question that might open the door for me to present the facts of the gospel:
There are only eight or nine passages in the Bible that you need to know and believe in order to get into heaven. May I share them with you? (This is an honest question because some people might need more verses than others.)
If they say no, they may have rejected you or your method of sharing the gospel. Do not let your hurt feelings make you ungracious. They will not go to Hell because they have rejected you, only if they reject Christ. Keep in mind this may not be their final opportunity to trust Christ.
If they say yes, praise the Lord!! Begin giving them the Gospel facts. Notice that to this point, the only absolute and dogmatic statement I have made is that “there are eight or nine passages they need to know and believe to get to heaven.” I have not told them anything else. I have only asked questions. I have not given them anything to argue about.
The Gospel Facts. Now that they are ready to hear the Gospel facts, they need to hear them from God, not just me or you. For each scripture passage I share there is gospel truth I want them to understand. We will first read the verse. Then I will ask them ‘What does that mean to you?’ If they understand the correct truth from that passage we move along. If not I will ask them ‘Does it mean (insert Gospel fact)?’ Then we will read the verse again. If, after reading or hearing a verse 3 or 4 times they still don’t have the right meaning, you might need to share another scripture that proves the same Gospel fact to convince them. I will do my level best not to tell them specifically what any verse means. If they are going to argue with anyone it should not be me, it should be the Lord.
Sometimes they will go down some rabbit trail that has nothing to do with the verse or the Gospel facts. When that happens you want to graciously get them back to the verse at hand. Usually all that is needed is to say something like ‘Perhaps we can discuss that later but for now let’s just come back to the simplicity of this one verse.’
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God. Gospel fact They are among the ‘all who have sinned.’ It is sometimes helpful for me to say ‘I know that includes me, does it include you?’
It is very rare for anyone to deny that they are a sinner. The only ones I have been aware of doing that have come from religions that do not use the Bible. If they have not heard very much of the Bible it may be necessary to share more passages to establish the Gospel facts. For instance it may be helpful to convince them they are sinners to go to:James 2:10 For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all.
If that verse does not do it you may need to take them to the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20 and go through them one at a time until they acknowledge they are sinners. Bear in mind that the Biblical purpose for the Ten Commandments specifically and the Bible in general is to bring men to Christ.Galatians 3:24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
If they insist they are not sinners, which is rare, you may not be able to lead them to the Lord in one session.Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
We want to establish several Gospel facts from this verse. Gospel fact 1 The word wages means what we have earned or deserve. Gospel fact 2 Death means Hell.
If they doubt this you might take them to Revelation 21:8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone which is the second death.
Gospel fact 3 A gift is free. I might ask them if a gift is something they might buy or earn. Sometimes they might waffle on this but most will quickly understand that if they bought it or earned it, it would no longer be a gift.
Gospel fact 4 Eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord is heaven.Romans 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Gospel fact 5 God loves them. Gospel fact 6 Christ died for them and for their sin.Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Gospel fact 6 The resurrection of Christ.Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Gospel fact 7 Calling upon the name of the Lord is a prayer.John 1:11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
Gospel fact 8 ‘He’ is Jesus.
Gospel fact 9 The ones who receive Christ and become the sons of God are the ones who get to heaven.
Gospel fact 10 The ones who receive him not are excluded from heaven.John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Gospel fact 11 Jesus Christ is the only way to Heaven.Ephesians 3:17a That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith;
Gospel fact 12 Christ wants to live in their heart.2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
Gospel fact 12 Salvation is a free gift but it is a gift that will change them.
Are you now willing to receive Jesus Christ as your Savior?
May I help you to pray a prayer in which you receive Him?
I will then tell them that I will say a prayer just one phrase at a time and I would like them to repeat those phrases after me, speaking to the Lord. I tell them that if I say anything that they don’t want to say to the Lord, stop me and we’ll discuss that issue more. I tell them I would like to eavesdrop on what they say to the Lord so please speak out loud.
I then bow my head and pray a prayer something like this giving them time to repeat the phrases after me ‘Dear God . . . Thank you that you love me . . . Thank you that Jesus died for me . . . for my sins . . . I am a sinner . . . Forgive my sin . . . Lord Jesus, I receive you as my Saviour . . . Come into my heart . . . Come into my life . . . Change me according to your will . . . Thank You . . . Amen.’
I NEVER tell them they are saved. I want them to tell me. Telling them is the function of the Holy Spirit.Romans 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
I cannot know if they were sincere when they prayed. I usually ask the simple question “Did He do it?”
I have gone into far greater detail here than you will ever need. The Holy Spirit will guide you to use different scriptures, fewer scriptures, more scriptures, etc. I like to carry a bookmark in my Bibles that reminds me of the scriptures and gospel facts. I suggest you do that as well.
We owe them some followup after they have trusted Christ. I would try to ask questions like these Did the Lord do something to you just now? What did He do? I want them to confess Christ as soon as possible and as often as possible. I love to be the first one they tell what Christ did something for them and in them.Matthew 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
I want them to begin reading the Bible and recommend that they begin with the books of John, Romans, Proverbs and then wherever the Lord leads them. I want them to begin attending a good fundamental church. I might suggest a particular church or I might explain how they can find a good Biblical church. I would like to keep in contact with them and provide them with appropriate Bible studies.
Care to discuss How Can I Share My Faith Without An Argument? with Ron?