7527 - Personal Testimony


Audio transcript

In 1 John, chapter 4, verse 4, God inspires the apostle John to give a short personal testimony which reads: “And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.”

Keep in mind the concern, which God has for the young church, now about 60 years of age. False teachers have invaded the church bringing false doctrines, which undermine the faith of some believers. So God has called upon the Apostle John, now perhaps approaching age 90, to write. John, who has not previously entered into writing, is called upon to share from the years of his personal relationship with Jesus and the apostles, his personal observations, which would expose and refute these false teachings.

Notice that John uses the word ‘we.’ This calls attention to the fact that all of the apostles have joined together in giving testimony to Jesus the Christ, the Savior sent from God. Remember also that John now joins Peter and Matthew, apostles who have previously given written record regarding Jesus the Christ, Son of God.

Personal testimony from eleven men who have spent three years living with Jesus, listening to His teachings, observing His life, is so very valuable in settling questions from people. These were men who were able to evaluate whether the lifestyle of Jesus was consistent with the words of His teaching.

The thoughts and belief of these men were not molded by philosophical thinking; proclaimed by some lunatic as some people were saying.

These apostles had experienced the power of Christ in their personal lives. Jesus empowered them to come against demonic spirits, and to heal all manner of diseases. They had seen the supernatural as authenticating the truth of Jesus Christ.

During these years of experience with Jesus, the eleven saw His power over the natural elements like wind and waves. They observed many who were healed miraculously. They recognized that Jesus even had supernatural power over death as He raised Lazarus and the son of the widow at Nain. They all recognized that this man called Jesus of Nazareth was indeed the Son of God, the fulfillment of all the Messianic prophesy.

It is true that they did not fully understand the spiritual mission of Jesus upon earth. Up until His ascension they felt Jesus was going to restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6) while He was here on earth.

But the huge change in these eleven came at Pentecost when the promise which Jesus had made, that He would send the Holy Spirit to those who believed, and that they would receive power within themselves to minister in even greater ways than they were able to do while Jesus was with them. Everything Jesus had promised had been fulfilled in its time, and that meant that all those things Jesus had talked about happening in the future were a certainty.

At the time 1 John is written, it seems certain that John is the only remaining apostle. All of them had ample opportunity to renounce Jesus and His teachings and none did so. In fact tradition records that five of the eleven died as martyrs.
John’s use of the term “Savior of the world” was a point of contention between Christianity and the Romans. Emperor worship was the state religion of the Roman Empire and it bound together the far-flung peoples in a strong union. To recognize Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world was a capital punishment, and that was the reason for much of the bloody persecution of the Romans against the Christians.

John’s personal testimony is powerful.