Witnessing: The Bridge Illustration
Our duty as Christians, it is to fulfill the Great Commission. We are to “go into all the world” and share the Good News; we are to share how God has worked in our lives. Sharing our testimony is the easy part; leading someone to Christ, on the other hand, can be intimidating for the new disciple. What does the new disciple say to someone who indicates they are ready to receive Christ as their personal Lord and Savior? There are many approaches, but The Bridge is one of the easiest to use.
- An Overview of “The Bridge”
- God’s Purpose
- Our Problem
- God had a Remedy
- We Have to Step Out on the Bridge
- Memory Verses
An Overview of “The Bridge”
The Bridge is a systematic way of leading a sinner to salvation that was devised by The Navigators. It is one of the methods that I have used ever since I attended a discipleship seminar sponsored by the Navigators some 30+ years ago. It is one of my favorite methods because if uses a series of visuals that makes it easy for anyone to follow along with the scriptures being used. I even use it as a power point presentation when working with small groups.
The first slide in my power point presentation or the first illustration on my flip chart after the title illustration, “The Bridge to Salvation” shows man and God on an even playing field.
God’s desires for us were that we experienced an abundant life in this life. His idea of an abundant life included such things love, joy, peace, good health, meaningful purpose, and self-fulfillment. God’s desires for us were that we experience an abundant life now and eternal life with Him. In John 10:10 (AKJV) Jesus tells us that “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” In John 3:16 we see “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Adam had all that in the Garden of Eden until he sinned by eating the forbidden fruit which separated him from God. Because we are all descendants of Adam, we have inherited his sinful nature and his separation from God.
The second slide illustrates the problem we face today.
The cliff that we are standing on represents eternal death and damnation. On the other side of the chasm, we see God standing on the cliff representing eternal life. Why are we separated from God? The problem is this: God gave Adam free will because He did not want a robot that would automatically obey His every command. He wanted Adam to choose to have fellowship with Him and to choose to love Him as He loved Adam. Like Adam, we have free will to choose what we want to do. We can make good choices based on God’s Word or bad choices based on our own understanding and desires. We have one additional problem, and it is a big problem, we have inherited Adam’s sinful nature, which separates us from God. A vast chasm separates us from God and fellowship with him. Romans 3:23 tells us “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 gives us hope. “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Hebrews 9:27 explains what will happen to us if we do not find a way to bridge the bottomless abyss separating us from God. Hebrews 9:27 tells us,” And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
God had a Remedy
Ever since Adam chose to disobey God by eating the forbidden fruit and fellowship with God was lost for him and for us, his descendants, man has tried to bridge that chasm in many ways. Many believe that they can earn their way into heaven by the way they live, by the good works they do. The truth is that you cannot earn you way to heaven no matter how many good works you do; no matter how upright a life you live. The Apostle Paul tells us in Ephesians 2:8-9 that “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast.” Our salvation is a gift of God that comes when we place our faith in Jesus Christ and the work he did on the cross. If we could earn salvation through the good deeds we do, we could boast about earning our own salvation and pride in itself is a sin. There is only one way to bridge the gap separating us from God and that is His Son Jesus Christ, Romans 5:8 tells us, “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” God sent His only begotten Son to pay the ultimate price for our sins by dying on the cross. He died so we might not have to die.
We Have to Step Out on the Bridge
God provided the bridge for us to cross to reach Him but we have to reach out in faith to use Jesus Christ to reestablish fellowship with God the Father and to ensure our eternal salvation and eternal life with God. We have to believe in and receive Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior. John 1:12 tells us “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.” Jesus will give us the power to become the sons or daughters of God and all we have to do to receive that power is to believe in Jesus. Romans 10:9-10 tells what that entails. “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” It is that simple, believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins, and that God the Father raised Him from the dead, and confess your sins, asking forgiveness for them, and you will be saved. John 5:24 assures you of your salvation, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”
Although I have all these verses in the notes that appear on my laptop when using my power point presentation, it best to have them memorized just in case you have to use a flip chart for the illustration.
Ephesians 2:8, 9
All photos (c) The Navigators