How to Share Your Testimony
For many of us, the first opportunity we have to share our testimony is when we get baptized. Getting baptized is an exciting time to celebrate the gospel. This first step of obedience to the Lord is about more than just getting dunked in water. It’s about proclaiming the gospel in visible form, announcing that you have been born again, and declaring that you want to identify with Jesus’ people, the church.
Whether you are getting baptized, or just sharing your testimony in some other context, it can be intimidating to think about how to say so many important things in such a short period of time. To help in the process, we wanted to provide you with three considerations in sharing your testimony.
First, Keep it About the Lord
Your testimony is not about you. It’s about what he has done in your life. It’s an expression of gratitude for how great he is, not an explanation of how you have cleaned your life up. As you write your testimony, strive to point people toward Him as they listen to you. Think about what gives God glory. What has he done? How does this show his love and goodness? What Bible verses might you include that declare his greatness?
Second, Keep it About the Gospel
Baptism is about rehearsing the gospel together as believers. For the person in the water, they are testifying to the impact of the gospel in their lives. Those listening are being reminded of the life changing power of the gospel. For this reason, it is important that you make the gospel very clear in your testimony. You will want to include a clear explanation of these elements of the gospel:
- That you have acknowledged your sinfulness before the Lord (Rom 3:9-25 and 6:23)
- That Jesus Christ and his cross are the only reason you are saved (2 Cor 5:21, Jn 14:6)
- That you have repented of your sin and turned to Jesus in faith (Acts 2:38, 3:19, Mt 4:17)
- That he has forgiven you, and you are born again to eternal life (1 Jn 1:8-10, 2 Cor 5:17)
Using biblical language in your testimony is good. The Bible uses words like sin, wrath, and judgment to describe our lives before Christ, and talks about Jesus’ cross and his sacrifice as our substitute to describe him absorbing God’s wrath in our place. The Bible uses words like repentance and faith to describe our response. Whenever you can, use biblical language (even quote the verses!) in your testimony to describe what God has done in your life. This helps make the gospel clear to everyone.
Third, Keep it About a Page
Obviously, you’re excited: your testimony is something you could spend 30 minutes telling your friends about over dinner. You may have the opportunity to do that at other times, but when you are baptized, you’ll have just a few minutes. For this reason, you want to keep it short enough to fit on one page (single spaced) or two pages if you prefer double space. Plan to bring it with you to your baptism and read it rather than feeling like you have to try to memorize it.
It helps to think about it as three or four paragraphs. First, a paragraph about your life before Christ. Second, a paragraph about how you came to repentance and faith in Christ. Third, a paragraph describing the gospel (or you could include this in your explanation of how you were saved in paragraph 2). Finally, a paragraph about what God has been doing in your life since you were saved, and your desire to be a part of the fellowship of the Church.
This is an exciting time, and we’re celebrating with you what God has done and is doing in your life. Don’t hesitate to let us know if there is any way we can help you in the process.
Truth and Grace,
The Elders of Canyon Bible Church of Prescott