An effective testimony is one that conveys both your own experience and the Gospel of Christ so that someone else has the information about the process of salvation. (1) Start by writing down the details of how you came to trust in Christ to save you. Answering the following questions to help you: a) Who told me about Christ? b) What events led up to me trusting or believing in Christ? c) When did I trust in Christ? d) Where was I when I first believed? e) How has faith in Christ been a blessing to me?
(2) Next write this out so that it flows well as a story. Try to be as concise as possible. As a goal, try to make the length of your testimony so that it can be effectively shared in three minutes or less.
(3) Make sure you have included the appropriate Scriptures in your testimony. Remember that it is Scripture that is authoritative because it is God’s Word. As an example, your testimony should consist of your becoming aware that you were separated from God by your sin (Romans 3:23), the realization that you would spend eternity away from God if you did not receive forgiveness (Romans 6:23), the understanding that God sent His only perfect Son Jesus to die and pay for your sin (Romans 5:8), and finally your receiving forgiveness by trusting alone in Christ’s payment for sin (Acts 16:31).
As an example, below is my testimony of how I came to trust in Christ as my Savior.
Though as a child and teenager I spoke with a pastor three or four times about how I might go to heaven when I died, I never really understood the Gospel of Christ until I was a young adult in my mid 20s. Over the course of a few years, I began reading the Bible, listening to a couple of good conservative Bible teachers on television, and discussing what I had heard with Christians at work. Through this, I came to realize that I was sinner separated from God and deserved to be eternally separated from God. This was based on Romans 3:23 “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” and Romans 6:23 “the wages of sin is death.” I also came to understand that God loves me so much that He sent His Son Jesus, and Jesus came to earth specifically to die for my sins (and the sins of the whole world) so that I could be forgiven (Romans 5:8; John 3:16).
Finally, I came to understand that there was no way I could be good enough or work my way to heaven. Romans 3:10 says there is none who does good and Ephesians 2:8-10 declares that salvation is a gift of God, not something earned, and it is received only by faith, which is to simply trust in or rely completely on the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ as payment for my sin. After I came to understand these truths from Scripture, I had a sense of assurance that since I could not work for my salvation, I could not lose it either since it is a gift from God.
There was a great sense of relief in knowing that I was forgiven and that God was on my side and wanted and still wants what is best for me. Since beginning my life with Christ, He has, by the power of the Holy Spirit who lives in my heart, continued to sanctify me through His Word and His working in my life. This forgiveness and security that I have from God can be yours too if you will trust Christ alone for the forgiveness of your sins.