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The Content of a Faithful Christian Witness

In his book Jesus the Evangelist, Richard D. Phillips lists “Three key features of a faithful Christian witness” found in the apostle John’s descriptions of John the Baptist. The first is


. . . the content of our witness. John 1:7 says that John “came as a witness, to bear witness about the light.” A Christian witness is first and foremost about Christ.

We tell people what the early church enshrined in the Apostles’ Creed: that Jesus is God’s only Son and our Lord; That He was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary; that He suffered under Pontius Pilate,was crucified, died, and was buried; that He experienced death for three days and then rose from the grave; that he ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; and that from there he will come to judge the living and the dead. These claims make up a Christian witness.

D. Martin Lloyd-Jones put it this way:

imageWe are meant to talk to people about the Lord Jesus Christ and to tell them he is the Son of God and that he has come into this world to save men and women. . . . We are meant to tell men exactly why the world is as it is; we are meant to tell them about sin in the human heart and that nobody and nothing can deal with it save the Son of God. . . . We are very ready to talk about are doctors, and to praise the man who cured us when so many failed; we talk about some business which is better than others, or about films and plays and actors and actresses, and a thousand and one other things. We are always glorifying people, the world is full of it, and the Christian is meant to be praising and glorifying the Lord Jesus Christ.

John the Baptist set an ideal example of this. His message was not about his experiences or what he felt about God, but about Jesus. When he saw Jesus he declared, “Behold the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). We, too, need to declare that Jesus saves people from their sins. On the next day, “John bore witness” to Christ again, saying “I saw the spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him” (John 1:32). We, too, must testify that Jesus is the one who came to do God’s will by Gods power. John the Baptist said, “I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God” (John 1:34), and we must too.

—Richard D. Phillips, Jesus the Evangelist (Reformation Trust Publishing, 2007), 12–13.

First posted April 3, 2008.

Posted 2019·09·18 by David Kjos
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Posted in: Reruns

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