“He will bear witness of Me, and you will bear witness also, because you have been with Me from the beginning.”
Have you ever born witness to someone about the Person and Work of Jesus Christ? The world – whether it knows it or not – is starving spiritually to hear about Jesus Christ. And when God’s timing is “now,” those who will hear about Jesus will be witnessed to in two separate ways.
Luke, in the book of Acts, tells us that in the church at Jerusalem the “Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved” (Acts 2:47). Also those who are being saved by God all over the world are still being added to the body of Christ – the Invisible Church of those “chosen in Him before the foundation of the world” (Ephesians 1:4).
Although it ruffles our pride and sense of self worth, it is God who does the saving. As Jonah observed, when praying from the belly of the great fish that had swallowed him, “Salvation is from the Lord.” (Jonah 2:9). It is the Holy Spirit who quickens, or makes alive the human spirit with His spiritual life.
In the upper room, Christ told His disciples that they had “been with Him from the beginning.” It was a regenerative calling they had heard, which caused them to immediately forsake their current occupation and follow Him to that hour in the upper room. But they, indeed, had been chosen by Christ in eternity past for a specific purpose. They were to be eyewitnesses to His majesty, mystery, and ministry. This witness would be two-fold. The Spirit would witness and teach them about Him; and in turn, they would be His ambassadors to a dying world.
The Holy Spirit’s witness is two-fold. Jesus clarified what the Spirit’s ministry would be to His disciples:
“ He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine and shall disclose it to you” (John 16:13-14).
It is the Holy Spirit who enlightens the spirit of believers to understand the Scriptures and grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
The second aspect of the Holy Spirit’s witness was clarified to His disciples after His resurrection:
“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).
The Holy Spirit enlivens and makes effective the witness of believers. Jesus had declared that it was the Spirit’s ministry to “convince the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgement” (John 16:8). But how would He do this? He did and does do it by means of the witness of faithful believers spreading the Gospel – the facts about Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension, and future return.
The Apostle Peter, who was there in the upper room, put it this way:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (I Peter 2:9).
We believers have not been chosen to sit with our hands folded, worrying about the mess in which we find the world. We are chosen to bear fruitful witness to the saving power of the Risen Christ. Are we doing this? Are we faithful by our verbal witness to those around us who are without hope and alienated from God in this troubled world?
Go, labor on, spend and be spent,
thy joy to do the Father’s will;
It is the way the Master went,
should not the servant tread it still?
Go, labor on, ’tis not for naught,
thy earthly loss is heavenly gain;
Men heed thee, love thee, praise thee not,
the Master praises, what are men?
Go, labor on while yet ’tis day,
the world’s dark night is hastening on,
Speed, speed thy work, cast sloth away,
it is not thus that souls are won.