Donna66, thank you.
"(Actually there are times and circumstances when a silent witness is about all one can manage. I understand this, too)"
Those are words of wisdom, learning the time and the season for the Word of God is a most rewarding skill.
It reminds me of Luke 8:15: :But that on the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience."
Oft times we are so eager for "Whosoever Has An Ear To Hear" that on finding him, if we are not understood or accepted, we would rather cut their ear off as Peter did.
May patience and understanding abide always with us people.
---Nana on 3/3/10|
humility,love,peace,patience,faith,the word benefits really congers up thoughts of worldly materalistic things.the benefits are as they should be, spiritual,and the greatest of them is a personal relationship with the creator of the universe,becoming a real practicing christian,a follower of Jesus, and knowing him,and through him God the father, in and of its self is such an awesome benefit what can compare to it?
---tom2 on 3/3/10|
Nana -- Guess I kind of skimmed over the word "teaching" because the emphasis seemed (to me, at least) to be on "letting your light shine" without saying how people will know where the light comes from. Sorry if I misinterpreted your post.
(Actually there are times and circumstances when a silent witness is about all one can manage. I understand this, too)
---Donna66 on 3/3/10|
Seculars need to be born again and then they can see the benefits of living a saved life. Not before. There are no guarantees one is going to be totally happy,blessed and worry-free as a Christian. There will be many ups and downs along the way. Many trials and testing but we will have to go through the fire. Hopefully we pass these tests and move higher in our level(s) of faith. Only those who endure to the end will be saved. This journey is a race and we must run on to see what the end will be. It is not an easy life,sometimes. But there will be periods of pure joy,excitement and just feeling on top of the world. Just loving Jesus and feeling so special and loved in return. God know how to take care of His own.
---Robyn on 3/3/10|
"If they don't hear the Gospel, they will just think YOU are a nice person. You want them to see Jesus and desire HIM."
Donna66 on 3/2/10
Apparently you miss the 'teaching' part in Titus 2:7_8, unless you believe that teaching to be secular in nature, such as knitting and poker.
"...let your light shine before others..."
Word and Deed:
John 10:37_38: "If I am not doing the works of my Father, then do not believe me, but if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me and I am in the Father."
---Nana on 3/2/10|
Then there was the ability to see through other people's eyes who were miles away, and be able to accurately descibe to them their experiences. The vivid dreams of the Kingdom. Even the words to say to win an extremely trying and apparently hopeless legal issue. God's promises are fulfilled in my life every day. I even have had the experience of living a few rare days content that I had not sinned against my Lord.
There's another reason God gave Christ to the Jewish people... to understand what their whole purpose for being His children was all about. Christ gifted us with the abilities and benefits of REAL LIVING. I am wondering if others have experienced these kinds of "transformations."
---Elaine on 3/2/10|
Nana -- These are not the only way to witness, for what good does it do if others see your godly life and don't know how to account for it. If they don't hear the Gospel, they will just think YOU are a nice person. You want them to see Jesus and desire HIM.
One personal note. I didn't come to Christ looking for benefits. I didn't see any Christians I could really say were better off because of their faith.
I came to Jesus because I needed a Savior. I knew I was a sinner and no act of my will could make me otherwise. I needed
Jesus. It's that simple.
---Donna66 on 3/2/10|
"In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."
"Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us."
"For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age..."
That seems to be the only christian witness, as others don't line up with those verses.
---Nana on 3/1/10|
StrongAxe -- No, I'm not saying that. I'm saying that trying to "sell" Christianity because of it's "benefits", misses the whole point of Christianity.
The only really important benefit of Christianity is Salvation. I don't want to encourage people to become Christians just on the basis of what they can get out of it.
---Donna66 on 3/2/10|
Are you saying that salvation, peace that passes understanding, and everlasting life in the world to come can't be considered benefits?
---StrongAxe on 3/1/10|
Of course those who don't know Jesus wonder what "benefits" a Christian has. Everything advertised to them is sold on the basis of the "benefits". Whole religious movements have been founded on the basis Of "Christian" benefits, i.e. prosperity gospel.
The truth is, the real "benefit" of Christianity is Salvation.
I like to start with the spiritual, and forget about "advertising" Christianity.. Most people have opinions about "religion"
If you get to know them, they may express these. And if they see that you are interested, they may open up. WAIT til you have listened well before you "witness". They will provide you with a way to reach them.
---Donna66 on 3/1/10|
Recently I introduced my 80-year-old sister to jail ministry and witnessing. Very soon after beginning she said, "I have never found anything as satisfying as this even though I've been involved with church and a lay speaker this is the most rewarding experience I ever had" why aren't more people involved in this she asked. Well I said you cannot talk to people they will not listen to you and the devil is very happy that he can confuse many.
What is the benefit of being a Christian? The complete satisfaction derived from knowing that you are secure and in the hands of the Lord Jesus Christ.
---mima on 3/1/10|
Donna, I think we are thinking along the same line. I agree with your benefits. I was wondering and wanted to hear those things from Elaine, and people as yourself.
Thanks for sharing those Donna.
---Rod4Him on 3/1/10|
Elaine, I agree with you. Also, I am curious of your "overwhelming personal growth and abilities which began immediately, and was recognized immediately."
Along that line, how do you explain what the overwhelming personal growth is? Some people may not want to grow.
Elaine, I also agree that the benefits are more personal than material. I hesitate to use the term material because it might lend toward a misconception. However, in Christ I become satisfied with less material because I have more in spiritual things.
---Rod4Him on 3/1/10|
Elaine on 2/28/10
How do you approach a non-believer and provide evidence of the benefits?
I wouldn't approach a non-believer, I would wait to meet them either at work or where I live or by chance in a department store or at a party.
Then do as I'm doing now with my nieghbor...love her/him where they are at. Don't witness to them. LOVE is the key to practicing your faith in Jesus. The benefits of being able to love people where they are at in life is Beautiful. The benefits of forgiving someone is wonderful. The benefit of having a loving relationship with God is awesome. To pray and have God Almighty answer you is precious. Not to mention His love, His mercies that become so tender. His faithfulness to you, etc.,
---Donna on 3/1/10|
I see some thought-provoking answers. Yet, I also see too many Christians "stuck" at an impasse in their faith. Once I recognized God in my life, and received Jesus as my Savior, my experience was one of overwhelming personal growth and abilities which began immediately, and was recognized immediately. So many Christians seem to walk through the door of their Salvation, then stop and hang out there. The Kingdom offers so much more than that.
---Elaine on 3/1/10|
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What Should One Expect From Practicing Their Faith? What benefits are realized? Seculars are more curious about the faith when they can see the benefits of becoming a Christian. How do you approach a non-believer and provide evidence of the benefits?
Well depends on your denomination.
For some denominations there is the added benefit of long life, and less disease.
But in general the only gaurantee is SALVATION
Matthew 5:45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
---FRANCIS on 3/1/10|
We need to be examples in the sight of God. A wife can win a disobedient husband, "without a word", we have in 1 Peter 3:1-4. So, it's not by what we show and tell. "Now faith is the evidence," we have in Hebrews 11:1. Ones see how we are, ones see how we go through problems and they don't get the better of us. I see how people relate in love, and this wins me. And it's not first about me getting benefits, but first being pleasing to God, in "the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God." (in 1 Peter 3:4) This beauty of God's love is "incorruptibe" with almighty immunity against sinsick stuff of stress, arguing, unforgiveness, depression, lusts, etc.
---Bill_bila5659 on 3/1/10|
If you "practice"the Christian faith Biblically, then you can expect to receive persecution, ridicule, personal injury and hatred here in this world. The GOOD news is that if you persevere and not lose hope then your rewards will be out of this world, a home eternal with Jesus Christ our Lord, and God the Father, glorifying their great mercy and grace. The Christian life is not a product to be promoted with enticing adverts and "try it, you'll like it" mentality, but, repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
---tommy3007 on 3/1/10|
I agree with Cluny. Many Pop Televangelist Protestant preachers will tell you that you will experience great wealth, better health, etc, if you just "sow a seed" to there ministry....oops.....no, "to God". The belief that God provides material prosperity for those he favors is not biblical nor was it the teaching of the Early Church Fathers, and hence, the Early Church. Anyone who read the lives of the hundreds of Saints who lived in the first few centuries of Church History will know how bogus this doctrine is.
Practicing the Apostolic Faith have internal benefits rather than external benefits.
---Ignatius on 3/1/10|
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the ultimate benefit is eternal life,in this life there are none, and actually jesus never promised any,accept for the personal relationship with him and the knowledge that after death we will be with him.what he did say is that because the world hated him it will hate us,and actually looking for worldly benefits for following jesus is a bad attitude.
---tom2 on 2/28/10|
Despite the dangers if one focuses purely on the material consequences, it's still a valid question. Otherwise, evangelism would be reduced to the following conversation:
"You should receive Christ!"
"Hmm. I can't think of a good reason. Never mind."
---StrongAxe on 3/1/10|
This is a question that opens the door to the heretical Gospel of Holy Prosperity.
---Cluny on 2/28/10|