Christianity 201

November 8, 2013

You Will Receive Power; You Will Be My Witnesses

Acts 1:8 But the Holy Spirit will come upon you and give you power. Then you will tell everyone about me in Jerusalem, in all Judea, in Samaria, and everywhere in the world.” (CEV)

Acts 1:8 But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power to testify about me with great effect, to the people in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth, about my death and resurrection.” (The Living Bible)

Other than the two translations quoted above, most other Bibles retain the word “witness” or “witnesses.” The word is fully entrenched in Christian thought and teaching. Here are some other thoughts on this; I’ll explain the source of this at the end.

– o – o – o –

You Will Be My Witnesses

If you’re wondering how to fulfill your role as a witness for Christ, look at his example. He is always witnessing: by the well of Samaria, or in the Temple of Jerusalem: by the lake of Gennesaret, or on the mountain.

He witnesses night and day; his words testify to God every bit as much as his actions. He witnesses under all types of circumstance; Scribes and Pharisees can’t stop him; even in what we might call his worst moment — standing before Pilate — he does not back down. He witnesses so clearly, and distinctly that there is no mistaking him.

As believers, we need to make a clear testimony. We need to be like a brook where you see every stone at the bottom — not like a muddy creek, of which you only see the surface — but clear and transparent, so that our heart’s love to God and man is visible to all.

You don’t just say, “I am true:” but be true. Don’t brag about your integrity, but be upright. In that way your testimony will be the kind that people cannot help seeing. Never, for fear of other people, restrain your verbal witness. Your lips have been warmed with a coal from off the altar*; let them speak as like heaven-touched lips should do.

Eccl. 11:6 Sow your seed in the morning,
    and at evening let your hands not be idle,
for you do not know which will succeed,
    whether this or that,
    or whether both will do equally well.

Don’t look for signs or check the weather — be a witness for your Lord and Savior in season and out of season — and if it should happen that for Christ’s sake and the gospel’s sake you have to endure suffering in any shape, don’t back down, but rejoice in the honor placed on you, that you are counted worthy to suffer with your Lord; and rejoice also in this: That your sufferings, your losses, and persecutions will give you a platform, from which more energetically and with even greater power you will witness for Christ Jesus.

Study your great Example, and be filled with his Spirit. Remember that you need much teaching, much support, much grace, and much humility, if your witnessing is to be to your Master’s glory.

[Paraphrased from Morning and Evening by Spurgeon as accessed at BibleHub.com]

– o – o – o –

*Reference to Isaiah 6:

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”

– o – o – o –

I want to encourage you to consider taking a short excerpt from a classic writer and doing what I did here. The communication style is quite different and you need to slow down in your reading in order to transcribe it faithfully. I’d like to think that in our context, Charles Spurgeon would see this as a consistent rendering of his original writing.

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