That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes. . . (1 John 1:1)
As a pastor, one of my great joys is to encourage and train others in witnessing for our Lord. And I long ago lost count of how many times I’ve heard someone say, “Oh, I just can’t witness well at all.” To that I say, with all the love and kindness God has given me as a shepherd of God’s flock, “Nonsense!”
First, what is a witness? A witness is simply someone who has seen something. In our verse for today, John spoke of what “we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes.” Clearly, John was talking about hearing and seeing firsthand the works and wonders of our Lord Jesus Christ. But you and I, who were born almost two thousand years after that time, have also witnessed a wondrous work: the miracle of a new birth in our own lives (John 3:3) . . . and that is more than enough to bear witness to others about!
When Jesus restored a demon-possessed man to full health by rebuking and removing the demons that possessed him, Jesus told the man He had healed, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you” (Luke 8:39). The man begged to accompany Jesus on His journey, but Jesus simply sent him home to witness to the wondrous deeds of God. Luke concluded his account of this encounter this way: “The man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him” (Luke 8:39).
This man had experienced firsthand the miracle of receiving new life from Christ, and the Lord commanded him to go and witness to others about it. You and I are no different; we have experienced the miracle of a new birth, and we are now fully-qualified witnesses for Jesus Christ. We need simply to go forth and do what the formerly demon-possessed man did—tell everyone we meet how much God has done for us.
Let me ask you this: How much has God done for you? Have you experienced the miracle of new birth in your own life because you have, by grace through faith, placed your trust in Jesus Christ alone for eternal life? If your answer is yes, then Christian, you are a witness, and all that is left for you to do is to go forth and tell how much God has done for you. That takes no special skill or power of articulation . . . only a grateful heart.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!