‘And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does no have life (1 John 5:11, 12).’
When we read or hear testimonies they often follow a pattern consisting of three parts: (1) What the person was like before conversion. (2) How they were converted. (3) What they are like after their conversion. These are often self-centred ‘I/me’ testimonies. Somewhere in the middle, or at the end, a mention is made of Jesus. Now, of course, not all testimonies follow this pattern.
But What does the Bible have to Say about Testimonies?
We find that the testimonies of the saints in the New Testament invariably point to Christ. They focus on Him, and they tell of things they saw and heard concerning Him. They tell of their personal experiences, and of God’s truths that the Spirit has revealed to them (John 16:13).
The greatest testimony came from Jesus Himself, when He said, ‘“Most assuredly, I say to you, We speak what We know and testify what We have seen, and you do not receive Our witness (John 3:11).’ The whole of the Godhead testified through the Son (John 8:18).
Nicodemus and the Pharisees were blind to the fact that the promised Messiah had come, and that He was present with them. Despite meeting and hearing Him, they would not receive His testimony. They would not receive Him as their God – their Emmanuel (cf. Matthew 1:23). However, others, including many Gentiles, saw and heard Him, and they believed and testified that He was the Messiah (John 4:39, 42).
Jesus more than once testified of Himself. He said,‘“He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. And what He has seen and heard, that He testifies; and no one receives His testimony (John 3:31, 32).”’ He also said, “I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me (John 8:18).”’
John the Apostle wrote: ‘And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows he is telling the truth, so that you may believe (John 19:35).’
The whole of John’s Gospel is a personal testimony that accords *glory to Christ for His work of salvation. He declared, ‘And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14).’
This is the purpose of testimonies (1 Timothy 1:15). They are to point to the Lord Jesus who saves (John 3:16, 17), and they are to tell of His glory. They should also tell of the judgment to come (cf. John 5:24).
Peter in Acts 10:40-43, while speaking to the household of Cornelius, said to them, ‘Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead. And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that it is He who was ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets witness that, through His name whoever believes in Him will receive remission of sins.”
Yes, whenever we have opportunities to witness, let us ‘testify to the gospel of the grace of God (Acts 20:24),’ and by all means, speak of our own transformation (2 Corinthians 5:17) through the workings of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8). But let us make it a priority to tell of the *glory of God’s Son, so that people may look to Him and be saved.
God spoke to the nations through the prophet Isaiah saying,’”Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other (Isaiah 45:22).”’
*The Glory of God