8/14/2022 靈修分享 ~譚李麗梅執事
當你告訴朋友關於上帝的事你會緊張嗎？ 你有沒有覺得自己對福音感到迷茫？ 每當我聽到「見證」 這名詞時，我必須承認我感到恐懼和內疚。 害怕是因為我擔心如果我說錯了話怎麼辦，或者如果我不知道他們的問題的答案時怎麼辦，又因為我害怕發言而錯過了所有的機會而感到內疚。 這使我想到了今天的聖經經文歌羅西書 4:2-6。
「2你們要恆切禱告，在此警醒、感恩。 3也要為我們禱告，求神給我們開傳道的門，能以講基督的奧祕——我為此被捆鎖—— 4叫我按著所該說的話將這奧祕發明出來。5你們要愛惜光陰，用智慧與外人交往。 6你們的言語要常常帶著和氣，好像用鹽調和，就可知道該怎樣回答各人。」 歌羅西書 4:2-6
如果我能給上面的經文起個標題，那就是「如何為主作有智慧的見證人」。 保羅正在發展的主題是，為了成為明智的見證人，我們需要以智慧行事，以恩典與基督之外的人交談。 第 5 節他說「用智慧與外人交往」，這裡的字面意思是「行事為人」。 然後第 6 節他說「你們的言語要常常帶著和氣」。 走路而不說話不會傳達福音的必要內容，說話不實行出來會導致世界嘲笑基督徒是偽君子。 我們需要談話和實行出來。
我的第一點是要成為有智慧的見證人，我們需要帶著智慧行事（第 5 節）。 當保羅說我們要以智慧對待外人時，他的意思是我們要按照上帝的話語生活，這樣非信徒才能看到我們生活和人際關係的美好，這反映了基督。 他們應該能夠在我們身上看到聖靈的果子，這會吸引他們歸向耶穌。 人們都看著我們。 見證是我們實行出來的。 一個明智的見證人會從私下開始，然後蔓延到公眾場合，這將連接 第 2-4 節和 5-6節。 私下的禱告是在公開見證背後的關鍵。
在第 2 節，保羅說「你們要專心禱告，儆醒（保持警覺）並感恩（懷著感恩的態度）」。 然後在第 3 節中，他請求為自己的見證禱告。 我的意思是，如果保羅在這方面需要禱告，那麼我們都可以使用禱告。 在禱告中與神私下同行是口頭見證的基礎。 禱告應該是我們明智見證的第一步。 在我們與一個人談論上帝之前，與上帝談論那個人可能是個好主意（如果您正在向您認識的人作見證）或大膽祈禱（如果是為了傳福音）。 保羅也表示要感恩。禱告中的感恩是非常重要的。感恩的生活源於將我們的生活交給上帝至高無上的手。保羅說（腓 2:14-15）如果你不發牢騷和抱怨，你就會在這個抱怨的世界中脫穎而出，成為光。因此，如果我們以感恩的祈禱開始新的一天，並且我們一整天都帶著感恩的態度，我們周圍的人會注意到。將為口頭見證打開大門。第 5節的後半部分說要充分利用每一個機會。保羅祈求禱告（第 3 節），神會為真道打開大門，同時也讓他能說出基督的奧秘。上帝必須打開門，但當門打開時，我們需要大膽說話。如果我們在沒有上帝打開的情況下敲門，這個信息可能不會被接受。但如果上帝打開門而我們不實行，那麼機會就失去了。我們經常因為太忙、太匆忙或心不在焉而失去機會。當我們被指示要保持警惕時，這再次使我們回到第 2 節。保羅祈求禱告，這樣當神打開門時，他就準備好了。他被關在監獄裡，但他仍在積極尋找見證的機會。這也應該是我們的心態。
我的第二點是，為了成為有智慧的見證人，我們需要帶著恩典與那些在基督之外的人交談（第 6 節）。 這裡有兩件事
：什麼是福音，什麼是方法。 保羅在第 4 節中尋求禱告，以便他能清楚地說明福音。 這就是保羅，這位寫了 13 封新約書信的神學家，祈求他能清楚地傳講福音。 這意味著對我們來說，了解福音的信息很重要。 當我們談論福音時，我們必須提到一些關鍵點。 這些要點包括： 1. 我們都是罪人。 2. 罪的刑罰是死，必須償還。 3. 神愛我們，差派耶穌為我們的罪而死，並在第三天使他復活。 4. 救恩是免費的，是賺不來的。 5. 我們必須相信並選擇耶穌。
關於如何那部分，保羅告訴我們「要有恩慈，加鹽調味，知道如何回答」。 「讓你的談話永遠充滿優雅……」不要以居高臨下或譴責的方式說話。相反，要善良和謙卑，讓對方知道我們都是需要恩典的罪人。 「用鹽調和。」在保羅的時代，鹽有兩個用途，防止變質和提供味道。所以我們的表達信息應該是純淨的，沒有變質的。它應該向那些因罪而敗壞的人展示如何藉著福音得以恢復。我們的表達信息也應該有吸引力和內涵，以激發人們想要更多的認識。保羅說的最後一件事是我們必須「知道如何回答各人」。保羅基本上是說有不同的方式與不同的人交談。我們每個人都有自己獨特的需求。研究耶穌在聖經中的見證。祈求智慧，這樣你就會知道如何回應每個人的獨特需求。從這些經文中，我相信上帝希望我們成為明智的見證人，過著敬虔的生活，並使用每一個機會親切地向迷失的人談論我們的主、救主耶穌。
Deaconess Michelle Tam
Do you get nervous telling your friends about God? Have you ever felt like you muddled through the gospel? I must admit whenever I hear the word “witnessing” fear and guilt comes to mind. Fear because I worry what if I say the wrong thing or what if I don’t know the answer to their question and guilt from of all the missed opportunities when I was afraid to speak up. Which leads me to today’s bible verse Colossians 4:2-6.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5 Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:2-6
If I can give a title for the verses above, it would be “How to be wise witnesses for the Lord.” Paul is developing the theme that in order to be wise witnesses, we need to walk with wisdom and talk with grace to those who are outside of Christ. Vs 5 he says “walk with wisdom toward outsider”, walk here literally means “conduct yourselves”. Then vs 6 he says “talk with grace.” Walking without the talk won’t communicate the necessary content of the gospel AND talking without the walk will cause the world to scoff at Christians as hypocrites. We need both the walk and the talk.
My first point is in order to be wise witnesses, we need to walk with wisdom (vs 5). When Paul says that we are to walk with wisdom toward outsiders, he means that we are to live in line with God’s Word so that the non-believers will see the beauty of our lives and relationships that reflect Christ. They ought to be able to see the fruit of the Spirit in us, which will draw them to Jesus. People are watching us. Witness is an overflow of our walk. A wise witness will begin in private then spill over into public which connects vs 2-4 and vs 5-6. Private prayer lies behind public witness.
In vs 2 Paul states “devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful (keeping alert) and thankful (with attitude of thanksgiving). Then in vs 3 to he asks for prayer for his own witness. I mean if Paul needed prayer in this area, then we all can use prayer too. A private walk with God in prayer is the foundation for verbal witnessing. Prayer should be our first step in wise witnessing. Before we talk to a person about God, it might be a good idea to talk to God about that person (if you are witnessing to someone you know) or just pray for boldness (if it’s for evangelizing in general). Paul also states to be thankful. Thankfulness in prayer is super important. A life of thankfulness stems from submitting our lives to Gods sovereign hand. Paul says (Phil 2:14-15) that if you don’t grumble and complain, you’ll stand out as lights in this grumbling, complaining world. So, if we begin our day with thankful prayer and we carry that thankful attitude throughout the day, people around us will notice. It will open doors for verbal witness.
The second half of vs 5 says make the most of every opportunity. Paul asked for prayer (vs 3) that God would open the door for the word but also so that he would speak forth the mystery of Christ. God has to open the door but we need the boldness to speak when the door opens. If we bash in the door without God’s opening it, the message probably will not be well received. But if God opens the door and we don’t go through then the opportunity is lost. We often lose opportunities because we are too busy, or in a hurry or our mind is on other things. Again this brings us back to vs 2 when we are instructed to be watchful, to keep alert. Paul asked for prayer so that when God opened the door, he was ready to go. He was confined in prison but he was still actively looking for opportunities to witness. That should be our mindset as well.
My second point is in order to be wise witnesses, we need to talk with grace to those who are outside of Christ (vs 6). There are 2 things here: the what, which is the gospel and the how, which is the method. Paul in vs 4 asked for prayer so that he would make the gospel clear. This is Paul, the theologian who write 13 New Testament epistles, asking for prayer that he would be clear in presenting the gospel. That means it’s important for us know the message of the gospel well. There are key points we must mention when we talk about the gospel. Those points include 1. We are all sinners. 2. The penalty of sin is death and it must be paid. 3. God loves us and sent Jesus to die for our sins and raised Him on the 3rd day. 4. Salvation is free, it can’t be earned. 5. We have to believe and choose Jesus.
Regarding the how part, Paul tells us “Be gracious, seasoned with salt, know how to answer”. “Let your conversation be always full of grace…” don’t speak in a condescending or condemning manner. Instead, be kind and humble, let the other person know that we are all sinners in need of grace. “Seasoned with salt.” Salt had 2 purposes in Paul’s day, to preserve from spoiling and to give taste. So our presentation should be pure and free from spoilage. It should show those whose lives are spoiled due to sin how they can be restored through the gospel. Our presentation should also be interesting/be tasty to stimulate people’s taste to want more. The last thing Paul said was we must “know how to answer everyone.” Paul is basically saying there are different ways to talk to different people. We each have our unique needs. Study Jesus’ witnessing encounters in the Bible. Pray for wisdom so you will know how to respond to each person’s unique needs. From these verses, I believe God wants us to be wise witnesses who live godly lives and take advantage of every opportunity to talk graciously to lost people about our Lord and Savior, Jesus.