Your Questions Answered – The Chain Illustration

This year, we look at some “discipling” tools and how we can use them for our own ministries. In the last issue, Robin Dennis discussed how we could apply The Word Hand illustration. In this issue, he looks at The Chain Illustration – How to claim a promise, with an example of how to use it.
(This article first appeared in the Compass newsletter, Autumn 2023 issue.)

The Chain Illustration

This illustration consists of three circles overlapping, similar to a drawing of a chain. It is a useful tool for witnessing and an aid to explaining promises.

The first circle is called “The Promise”. The last circle is called “The Result”. Between the two is “The Condition”, or the “What I Must Do” circle.

For instance, look at 1 John 5:11,12. The two verses are the promise, so in that circle we should write the words of 1 John 5:11,12: “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life, he who does not have the Son of God, does not have life.”

After reading it – we ask the question: “What is the result of that promise?” “God has given us eternal life”. (If there is a little hesitation, use an everyday illustration such as: “If I promised to meet you outside the shop at 3 o’clock, what would be the result?” It would be that we would both meet as promised.)

However, in nearly every promise in the Bible, there is a condition; I have to do something. When we go to the middle circle we see the condition is: I have to have the Son of God to have eternal life.

This may lead to further conversations, such as: “How do I then have the Son of God?” (Revelation 3:20) or “How can I overcome temptation?” (1 Corinthians 10:13).

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