Friday, July 15, 2011
to give evidence
as a witness in a law court
At the end of John 15, Jesus tells His disciples that He will send the Helper, or the Spirit of Truth, to testify about Him, and then He adds, "and you will testify, also, because you have been with me from the beginning."
One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to bear witness to the deity of Jesus Christ. That, in and of itself, could be a long post, but I want to look at the added statement.
The definition of testify shows us that the word is a legal term, as if someone has been accused and you are there as a witness to the truth. So when Jesus says that you will testify also, it means that the disciples would be a witness to the truth about Jesus Christ, because they had seen Him and known Him first hand.
This firsthand knowledge, this eye witness experience, coupled with the power of the Holy Spirit, is what launched the church into existence. The disciples gave their lives because of their eye witness account - their testimony about Jesus Christ put their lives at risk, and in John 15, Jesus tells them that they will be called to testify.
This concept translates into all believer's lives. We are called to testify about not only God's goodness, but also to the person and character of Jesus Christ. Today, the world is all about God and not so hot on Jesus. A simple sentence can ignite a positive or negative response depending on whether or not you use the word Jesus. For example: I thank God for this award or I thank Jesus for this award. Everyone thanks God, but when Jesus is put in place of God, people find your comment judgmental and exclusive.
So watch yourself this week. Do you speak openly of God or do you speak of Jesus by name? And go even one step further - are you an eye witness to the character of Jesus Christ so that you would actually be a reliable witness? Is He alive and active in your life? Does He make a difference in your decisions? Do you consult Him and His Word for all you do? Or are you testifying on heresay - you've seen it in other's lives but haven't experienced Him for yourself?
Big questions to ponder, but our calling to testify is equally as big.