Key Principle #11: conversion (part 1)
The first part of Acts 9 details the conversion of Saul to Christianity. Most conversions are not so stark and dramatic as his, but all have the same result. Whether you were saved at a young age or as an adult or somewhere in between, the same need or needs that led you to Christ will be similar to others who need salvation. A good way to prepare your testimony is to remember the major need in your life which led you to be saved. Then share how Christ met those needs of your life.Basic Life Needs
What was the need in your life that you had which led you to the realization that you needed salvation? The following are some common Life Needs that lead to salvation:
“Fear of death” They say that there is no assurances in life except for death and taxes. I have never met anyone whose taxes actually led them to Christ, I have known many who have said that a fear of death has brought them to Christ. Death is an unknown and Christ spoke more of eternal life than he did even of the term "heaven." As a result, many can say that their life need for coming to Christ was a fear of death.
“Assured of heaven” While this is similar, longing for an assurance of heaven is another life need that may lead a person to Christ. Many know that their loved ones who have passed on are in heaven, but they themselves are not quite sure of what it takes to go to heaven. Many evangelism programs actually have the question "Do you know for sure if you were to die, that you would go to heaven?" or some question like it.
“Lack of purpose” Some people have come to a point of asking “What is the point of life.” Their life need is that they need a life need. A purpose of living is found in Christ, giving believers a significance in that they know that God created them and can come and live inside them to help them fulfill their reasons for existence.
“Direction in life” Others need some type of direction. Perhaps they have experienced loss, a divorce, a sickness and have somehow lost their way. Christ offers direction from perhaps a hard or meaningless life. Repentance is a key word in the life of a person who comes to Christ for this reason, as it means “to turn around and head the opposite direction.
“Need for love” Abandonment issues is a very strong need in the lives of some people. Perhaps they have felt alone, misunderstood, not worthy of love, or rejected. The very verse of John 3:16 or Romans 5:8 can be a powerful influence in such a person’s life. Knowing that God loved us enough to give send us His Son, and that God demonstrated His love for us even while we were still sinners means that He has a selfless love for us.
“Need for forgiveness” If you have done terrible things, you may have an overwhelming sense of guilt. In reality, all of us have sinned so badly that we deserve eternal separation from the holiness of God. As a result, it may be a horrible sin or any number of sins that would trigger a person’s life need of forgiveness and restoration to a holy God.
“Godly example” I wish that was everyone’s testimony: that they had seen another Christian whose very lifestyle and testimony was what drew another person into faith in Christ. “Whatever they have is what I want” is the testimony of those who come to Christ for this life. Developing a personal testimony including a life need and how Christ met that life need is a great way to lead another person to Christ.
You may have another life need that drew you to Christ or it may be some combination or variation of one of the above needs. Write down what your life need was that led you to Christ as Savior.
Life Needs Met
After you have identified what your "Life Need" was that led you to Christ, write down how Christ has met those needs of your life. More than likely the same needs that led you to Christ will be similar to those with whom you share about salvation. Prepare your testimony so that you will share how Christ met your needs. (We will flesh this portion of your testimony out in part 2).
Pray this prayer to God: “I confess Father that Jesus is the only way for me to be saved. Help me to not be ashamed of my testimony and that I be a witness to others by saying, ‘Here am I, Lord.’ In Jesus Name I pray. Amen.”