“If the focus of our testimony is our changed life, we as well as our hearers are bound to be disappointed. Focus instead on Jesus and His grace” ~ Michael S. Horton
“Does anybody have a testimony?!”
This line used to be a staple inquiry from the pulpit of small to medium sized church settings across America. Following, there may be a number of church members recollecting just how terrible they used to be ending in or similar to-
“But thank God, He saved me.”
Being younger, there were times I would drown these moments out. As I got older, truthfully, I could not help but notice an emphasis with many on self, and affirmation of this truth every time I heard the word, “I.”
Upon noticing that I was not in an Optometrist office, this at times would be very frustrating. Upon maturity, this is my response.
Jesus Christ who was before time, sustainer of eternity, and purchaser of our salvation should be the subject of our testimony. Not merely a period and much more than a comma as we gloat about our human depravity and sinfulness.
In everything a Christian does, we should be the reflection of His grace, His mercy, His truth, His love, and His righteousness. Our testimony is really not about us. It is not cheap entertainment as Christians gathered and Christ’s testimony of Himself (The Gospel), was not cheap. What is often shared as an icebreaker in greeting, is what ripped our eternal soul from Hell’s grasp.
But if it is not what we think it is, then what is it? I will answer my own question and offer an example of how to tell your testimony Biblically.
In 1 Timothy 1:12-17, the apostle Paul writes the following,
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.
Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Check the content. He quilts together words such as:
Mercy, grace, faith, love, save, longsuffering (patience), life, eternal, immortal, invisible, wise, honor, and glory.
These are all attributes and actions of God. He is the subject. There was only one line where Paul refers to his depravity, but it is not apart from the saving grace of Jesus Christ. As Christians, let us move away from self.
Believe me, you will get tired of it. Let us practice flipping the center of our faith from self to Christ. Just as Paul opened his testimony with, “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord…,” let it be so in our testimony.
Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and I will declare what he hath done for my soul.
I cried unto him with my mouth, and he was extolled with my tongue.
If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.