Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
What and Why
Watching someone make the journey from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light is one of the most rewarding experiences this side of heaven. God removing a person’s sin and clothing them in the righteousness of Christ is breath-taking. Watching it happen, being used by God in that process, is thrilling. In a blink of an eye, the grace of God does what no man could.
Not every spiritual conversation ends in such a grand moment. It is one thing to have a general conversation about Jesus and Christian beliefs. It is another thing to move a conversation to the point in which we invite someone to place his/her faith in Jesus, the Savior of all.
In this lesson you will learn how to move the conversation, bringing someone to the point of decision.
Learning from the Word
Read Acts 16:25-34
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Here, we find one of the best questions in Scripture – “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” Something happened in the heart of that Roman soldier. He woke that morning to a normal day in which his mind would wander along its typical paths. But something changed. He concluded that he needed salvation.
What do you think the Roman soldier was expressing through his words: “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
In this story, we see the soldier coming to a personal conclusion. Why was it significant that the soldier saw his need to be saved?
In the prison of Philippi, a Roman jailer changed his self-perception. He became aware of his need. His new realization changed the questions he asked.
Helping people move to an accurate spiritual self-identification
Connecting to the Truth
Typically people respond with three types of answers to the question – “Which circle best represents your life?”
1. The self-directed life best represents me. (circle 1)
2. The Christ-centered life best represents me. (circle 2)
3. I’m sort of in between the two. (neither one)
If someone identifies with the self-directed life (circle 1) we can easily move to the next question, “Which circle would you like to have represent your life?”
If someone identifies with the Christ-centered life (circle 2) we should respond positively, being grateful that they affirm that Christ plays an important role in their lives. When someone identifies themselves as a Christ-centered person we can interact with them by saying, “That is great, can you tell me about the time when Christ moved to the center of your life?” This question invites the person to share their testimony. As they tell you how they became a Christ-centered person you will discern if they understand the central role of the gospel, and faith in Jesus.
Sometimes people can’t identify with either of the diagrams. When this happens they either say that neither circle represents them, or they attempt to explain that they are a combination of the two pictures. Their response affirms indirectly that the Christ-centered life doesn’t fully represent them. That self-identification is significant. It permits us to press on to the next question – “Which circle would you like to have represent your life?”
The self directed Life
The Christ directed life
Neither or In-between
We learn best by doing. We master a skill through practice.
You and your practice partner need to read over the 3 options mentioned above. In this simulation you will use the circle diagrams to help your partner make a spiritual self-identification. Explain the circles to your partner and ask the first question. Your partner will respond with one of the three answers mentioned above. You will then interact with your partner’s response.
Run through this exercise three times interacting with each of the responses that are typically given.
Helping someone make an accurate spiritual-identification.
If someone identifies themself as being a person with self on the throne it is appropriate to acknowledge their answer and move on to the next question.
When someone identifies themself as a person with Christ on the throne we should express encouragement. Identifying with Christ is significant. At the same time that we are encouraged, we also need to probe a little in order to understand. It is appropriate to ask, "Can you tell me about the time when this circle started to represent your life?" This gives someone the chance to share their testimony with us. Or they might share something that communicates that they are a bit confused about Christ being on the throne.
This response is interesting. While it could lead to a long discussion of what "neither one" means it doesn't need to. The next question will look deeper in the heart giving a person a chance to express what they would like to be true of their lives.
The next question of identification:
We desire to give a person an opportunity to place their faith in Christ. The following question, “Which circle would you like to have represent your life?” can help someone move toward a moment of decision. Obviously there are different answers to this question.
If someone would like the circle on the right to represent their lives it is most appropriate for you to continue to the next page, which explains how they can place their faith in Christ.
We need to be prepared to interact with someone who responds saying they want to remain a self-directed person. One approach is to mention that the day might come when they are interested in the Christ-centered life. Therefore, we would like to briefly explain how someone can move to the Christ-centered life if they want to.
If the person you are sharing with is open to learning how a person could move to the Christ-centered life continue to the next page.
With your practice partner simulate both answers to the question, “Which circle would you like to have represent your life?”
There is one last question to ask, “Does this prayer express the desire of your heart?”
Asking that question can be used by God to bring a person very close to the point of decision. If the prayer does express their desire it is appropriate to invite them to pray to God, expressing their faith in Jesus.
When someone receives Christ, or you find that you are sharing with a believer, it is wise to ask two more questions.
♦ Is this message meaningful to you?
♦ Which of your friends would you like to hear this message?
Encourage the believer write down the names and share with them.
Go with a friend or someone who shares your passion for Christ. Share your faith and help someone identify where they are spiritually. Ask the Lord to prepare the way so that you might be able to invite that person to place their faith in Christ.
Reflecting on what was learned
What did you learn about helping someone make an accurate spiritual self-identification?
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