Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Being A Witness

                What does that mean?  Not only what does it mean to Christians in general, but what does that mean to me?  How do I “be a witness?”  Many Christians confuse “being a witness” with “bearing witness,” or “witnessing.”   In bearing witness, you testify what you have experienced in your walk with Christ, and His healing power in your life, and possibly what you have seen in the lives of others.  This is the definition of testifying.  The definition of witness is different.  The actual definition of witness is “one who publicly affirms religious faith.”  Now I realize there are definitions for law, and also general definitions to the word “witness,” but for Jesus, this was the only definition.  Matthew 5:14-16 states this plainly, "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  We are to live and our lives should show Christ’s love to all who see us.  This is how to “be a witness.”   To be a witness does not consist engaging in propaganda, nor even in stirring people up, but in being a living mystery. It means to live in such a way that one's life would not make sense if God did not exist.  Does this mean that the Great Commission is negated?  No, it does not.  We are still commanded to “bear witness,” but we must first be a witness in order to bear witness.  1 Corinthians 13:1 says,” If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.”  How can we expect to bear witness to something that is not evident in our lives?  Paul even takes this notion one step further when he explains, “And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.  For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.  And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men but in the power of God” (1 Corinthians 2:1-5).  This is often the part of witnessing that often goes unnoticed.  As Christians, we cannot expect to spread the gospel to a lost and dying world when we do not represent the very thing we teach.  This applies to pain, suffering, temptation, good times, bad times, all of the time.  In everything we do, good and bad, God’s glory must be the “city on a hill” that cannot be hidden. 

God Bless