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Perspectives on Witnessing

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Dean Butler

As I think about the phrase "lead someone to Christ," I'm not sure it's entirely biblical. It's a term we often use, but theologically, it emphasizes our role in evangelism while potentially overlooking God's sovereign role in salvation. In the Bible, we see terms like "witnessing," "making disciples," "proclaiming the gospel," and "sharing the good news." These phrases capture the essence of our responsibility without implying that we are the ones bringing about salvation.

God's sovereignty is clear in scriptures like John 6:44, which says, "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him." This reminds us that it is ultimately God who initiates and completes the work of salvation. However, this doesn't negate our responsibility. We are called to be witnesses, as Jesus said in Acts 1:8, and to make disciples of all nations, as in Matthew 28:19. Our role is to plant and water, but it is God who causes the growth, as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 3:6-7.

So, instead of saying we "lead someone to Christ," we might consider alternative phrases that reflect both the human and divine aspects of evangelism. "Sharing the Gospel" emphasizes the act of communicating the message of Christ. "Witnessing for Christ" highlights our role in testifying to what we have experienced and know about Jesus. "Proclaiming the Good News" captures the essence of evangelism as announcing the gospel. And "inviting to faith" reflects the invitation aspect of evangelism while recognizing that it is God who ultimately brings people to faith.

This brings us to another important point: the interplay between accepting Christ and being accepted by Christ. When we talk about accepting Christ, we emphasize the human response, as seen in John 1:12: "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God." On the other hand, being accepted by Christ highlights God's initiative. Ephesians 1:5-6 speaks of being "predestined to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved."

While believers play a crucial role in sharing the gospel and inviting others to faith, it is essential to recognize that it is God who calls, draws, and ultimately saves. Using terms that reflect this balance provides a more accurate depiction of the evangelistic process and God's sovereignty in salvation. We are participants in God's work, vessels through which His message is proclaimed, but it is He who brings about the transformation of hearts and lives.

Fifty years ago, I committed my life to serving the Lord. I hold an associate degree in Christian Education and a bachelor’s degree in Christian Counseling.  I live by 1 Corinthians 9:16, Ephesians 3:7-8, and Colossians 1:28-29. In my retirement, I focus on study and sharing the teachings of God’s Word with others. Besides writing this Blog I maintain 3 Facebook pages dedicated to spreading the Word of God. Email:

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