And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11 ESV
Every believer has a testimony. We have all been saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Our testimony is not just the confession of our mouths but also the life we live. In Christ, we have been born again and are made free from the tyranny of sin. That new life should be on display for the world to see so they can be drawn to Christ. As it is said in 1 Peter 3:15, “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.”
What is a living testimony? It is a life consecrated to God’s kingdom purposes. Such a life is led by the Holy Spirit and is centered on Christ. This life bears witness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and lives in obedience to the will of Almighty God. A living testimony is a gospel-saturated life that is lived with spiritual zeal.
Whereas believers are encouraged to share their testimonies with others to the glory of God, many do not think about becoming a living testimony. At times, our testimony does not have to be spoken, yet it should be evident for the world to see. My testimony that God gave me eternal life is evident in my life of service to the kingdom of God. Every sermon I preach, every time I go on a mission trip, feed the hungry, help the poor, and take a stand for justice and righteousness I am functioning as a living testimony.
Living testimonies are spiritual agents God is using to draw the world back to Him. They function as God’s hands, feet, eyes, and hearts in the world. Preparing the world for the return of Jesus Christ and establishing God’s kingdom on earth are central tenets of their theological beliefs. They are passionate about prayer and are intentional about studying God’s holy word.
Although a believer can forget the testimony of what God did for them, a living testimony hides the word of God in their heart, so they do not sin against God. Living testimonies present their bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God continuously. They remain hidden in Christ with God (Colossians 3:3).
In today’s text, John reminds believers in the Church at Ephesus about the testimony of eternal life they have in Christ Jesus. This testimony shaped their lives and compelled them to live as “a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that [they]may declare the praises of him who called [them] out of darkness into his wonderful light (1 Peter 2:9).” He wanted to fan the flame of their faith in Jesus Christ as they awaited the Lord’s return.
Living testimonies live with eager anticipation of the return of Jesus Christ. They are convinced that “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life (1 John 5:12).” Therefore, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—they think about such things (Philippians 4:8).”
Questions for Personal Reflection
What is the difference between a testimony and a living testimony?
How is your life a living testimony of the salvation work of Jesus Christ?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for the gift of salvation you gave me through Christ Jesus. Please help me to live a life that is consecrated to your glory so the world can clearly see that I am your royal priesthood and your chosen vessel to proclaim the mighty name of Jesus. Amen!