Called To Testify
Many today have made the pursuit of the American Dream their god
They have elevated money and comfort over the call to follow Jesus Christ
Many today will honor Jesus with their lips on Sunday morning
They will sing praises to Him and give Him adoration
But they will never testify
They will never proclaim
What often hinders us is fear
Fear of rejection
Fear of what will people think
Fear of loss of income or social standing
But we have been called by God to proclaim and testify to the truth of who Jesus is
The Holy Spirit testifies to the truth of Jesus and we are called to be witness
26 “But when the [c]Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. 2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. 3 And these things they will do [a]to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. 4 But these things I have told you, that when [b]the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.
“And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.
The Holy Spirit is our Helper
He has come to testify
Even though we are in a series on The Holy Spirit and understanding all that He is, the focus and all things are centered on Christ
Without Jesus having the Holy Spirit would not be possible
He has come to testify
That word testify means bear witness, testify. Refers to giving accurate information about which a person has direct knowledge.
The Holy Spirit proceeds from The Father
He bears witness to who Christ is
Without the Holy Spirit we cannot know or understand who Jesus is
The Holy Spirit desires for us to develop intimacy with Jesus
To develop intimacy with Him
But He is not only the one who testifies
We are called to bear witness
Jesus says in verse 27 you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
That word witness again means bear witness, testify. Refers to giving accurate information about which a person has direct knowledge.
We have direct knowledge of who Jesus is
As we spend time with the Holy Spirit in prayer and God’s word, there is supernatural revelation of who Jesus is revealed to us
Again, as followers of Christ we are bearing witness to who Jesus is
Every member of the body of Christ is called to bear witness
We are not called to silence and hiding our faith
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.
We are called to testify to the world to the truth of who Jesus Christ is
Jesus understands there will be trouble and tribulation as His followers
In John 16:1 Jesus says “These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.
That word stumble means to cause to stumble, to give offence, to fall away. Refers to the experience of being offended or tripped up that could cause falling away from the right path.
Jesus desire and prayer is that we would not fall away
It is the Holy Spirit who is our helper
He is our guide
He is the one who strengthens us
Last week we looked at the baptism of the Holy Spirit
When we live in the fullness of the Holy Spirit we are empowered to be witnesses
The disciples faced many trials and hardships being disciples of Jesus
The call to discipleship is a call to lay down one’s life
Jesus said for any man to come after me He must deny Himself and pick up His cross
We must be willing to lay down everything
To be put out of the synagogue was an economic hardship
For a Jew the synagogue was central to life for every Jewish person
Both spiritual and financial
To be excommunicated would involve hardship being brought on a person’s life
But not only excommunication but also losing one’s life
All of the original disciples except for John were martyred
Peter was crucified upside down
Andrew was crucified
James the brother of John was put to death by the sword
Thomas was pierced through with the spears of four soldiers
Philip arrested and cruelly put to death.
Matthew is believed to be stabbed to death
Bartholomew was martyred for the gospel
James son of Alpheus was stoned and clubbed to death
Simon The Zealot was killed after refusing to sacrifice to the sun god
Matthias died by being burned alive
Christians throughout the world today are suffering and giving their lives for their faith in Jesus Christ
In 2021 open doors reported it is believed that 13 Christians are put to death every day for their faith in Jesus Christ
Many times in America we can become disconnected from this
We can become lukewarm and even spiritually dead in our American lifestyle
Sadly, many have made the pursuit of the American dream their god
But all of us are called to testify
All of us have a role to play
Those who persecute Christians and put them to death do so because they don’t know Jesus
And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.
Those who are lost will do lost things
Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
They hate Jesus Christ and therefore they hate anyone who represents Him on this earth
But in the midst of persecution and suffering, we have nothing to fear
The Holy Spirit is our comforter
He is our helper
He is the one who goes before us and prepares the way
We have been called to testify
We have been called to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ
But we cannot do this without the work and person of The Holy Spirit