"The Power of a Testimony"

Jeremy Botkin

The Power of a Testimony

1Jn. 1:1-4

 

Intro:  

·      Who: Author of the letter:  John the Apostle, brother of James and son of Zebedee.  Author of  the Gospel according to John, the epistles of John and Revelation.

·      When it was written: John is quite old at this point, probably close to 90!

·      Where He's writing from:  No one knows for sure, some believe from Ephesus in mondern day Turkey.

·     Why: Purpose for Writing: 

Primarily ~ Fellowship with God and with other Believers Ch. 1:3

That they would have fullness of joy.  Ch. 1:4

That they would not engage in sinful behavior. Ch. 2:1

That they would knowthat they have eternal life. Ch. 5:13

That they would continue to believein the name of the Son of God. Ch. 5:13

·      What is John writing about?  Jesus, the “Word of Life”

·     How are we able to enter into this relationship?

Evangelism:  When we answer Jesus' “Great Commission” to share about salvation through Him in all the world...One of the most powerful ways for us to do this is through sharing our experiences of encountering Jesus...Both initially and in our daily lives...

If you have a relationship with Jesus, you may have a story of how He revealed Himself to you...your intitial encounter ~ your salvation story.

But maybe you were brought up in a Christian family and you don't have a clear beginning point.

If we have a relationship with Him, we should have stories and experiences of how He has met you in unique ways...

·     Times when we needed to be reminded of His presence in our lives...God does something seemingly small that lets you know that He's with you.

·     Times when we need His presence, His touch in the midst of stress, grief, and trial...God brings a peace, a calmness when the rest of your life is in chaos.

·     Times when we need to know what to do next...A big decision comes up, A change of course and we need to hear what God's direction is.

·      Times when we needed a miracle, a bill paid, a car that would start, a healing, or some other kind of supernatural divine intervention.

Galatians 1:13-24 Paul's Testimony of meeting Jesus for the first time...

Testimony Outline:  

a)Who I was before meeting Jesus? 

b)How did God meet you?

c)Who am I, now that I've encountered Him?

 Challenge:  Think of a testimony of an encounter you have had with God and share it with a friend this week...either as an encouragement or as a way to introduce Jesus to someone who doesn't know Him yet.

 

CHAPTER 1

V1

That (Jesus) which was from the Beginning”...The Origin of things

“We proclaim to you the Onewho existed from the beginning “ NLT

 

“We have heard”: John and other witnesses, heard the very words of Christ...John was there from the beginning...He and the Apostles and a few others received the teachings of Christ in person...

·     The Sermon on the Mount, the “Beatitudes”

·     The Lord's Model Prayer

·     The many Parables

·     They heard Him speak to those He healed 

·     They heard Him command the forces of nature

·     They heard Him rebuke demons 

·     They heard Him disputing with the religious leaders and never once being caught in their verbal traps.

·     They heard Him tell the future...of His death, resurrection and ascension and of the  outpouring of the Holy Spirit, things that would occur later in Church history and even things that have yet to happen.

·     They heard Him pray to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane

·     They heard Him speak from the cross.

·      They heard Him speak after He was raised from the dead.

So John and the early Believers have a lot to share about what they heard from Jesus...and they did, especially through writing the New Test.

He is Still Speaking Today!!!  “Jesus is the same, yesterday today and forever! ”Heb. 13:8

{Through His Word the Bible, Audibly, Still Small Voice, Through Nature, Through People, Through Circumstances, Dreams, Visions

Safeguards...Check it with the Scriptures, God will not contradict His Word.  Check with trusted wise Christian mentors & friends...

Application:  How is God speaking to you?  What is He saying?  Have you shared that with the people around you?  It's a testimony of His love for you!!!

“Seen with our eyes”: They saw and experienced Christ. 

·     John saw Jesus calm the storm on the Sea of Galilea and walk on water.

·     They saw Him raise Jairus' Daughter from the dead and Lazarus.

·     They saw Him heal countless afflicted people.

·     They saw Him drive out the money changers and merchants from the Temple courts.

·     They saw Him multiply the loaves and the fish to feed the 5000 and 4000 on another day.

·     They saw Him on the Mount of Transfiguration with Moses and Elijah. 2 Pet. 1:16-18 “Eyewitnesses”! (Special Insight...Peter, James and John)

·     They saw Him praying to the Father.

·     They saw Him being scourged and nailed to the cross.

·     They saw Him in the flesh raised on the 3rdday.

·     They saw Him Ascend into Heaven.

·      John even saw Jesus in a vision in heaven. Rev. 1

Again, we see John and the early Believers have a lot to share about what they saw Jesus do...and they wrote about Him in the New Test.

We Can See Him at Work Today!  Though we may not see Him physically today (some do! Tom Doyle's book, DREAMS AND VISIONS: Is Jesus Awakening the Muslim World?") we can see what He's doing in people's lives by the Holy Spirit...healing, transforming, miraculously providing, bringing unity in His church, touching hurting and needy people through Believers as they reach out in His name.

Mark 9:41 “For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, assuredly I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.”

Application:  How have you seen Jesus moving?  What is He Doing?  Have you sharedthat with the people around you?  It's a testimony of His love for you!!!

“Looked upon”:"to behold, view attentively, contemplate," It signifies a more earnest contemplation than the ordinary verbs for "to see," "a careful and deliberate vision which interprets... its object," (Vines) They observed His life/ministry/power

We Can Examine Christ Today!  Looking at His word, studying it and meditating on it.

Application:   What has the Holy Spirit revealed to you as you have studied His word ?  Have you sharedthat with the people around you? It's the story of His love for you!!!

“Hands have handled”:  John laid his head on Jesus' breast (Jn. 13:25), Thomas may have touched His hands and side (Jn. 20: 27-29). Mary anoints Jesus with valuable oil (Mk. 14:3).

Communicating:

1.   Physical body:Gnostic teachings were spreading!

2.   Close relationship:  To touch/handle someone is to know them intimately...

Application:  Is your relationship with Jesus an intimate, close relationship? Would it be evident to those around you that you know Jesus closely/intimately?  Have you shared what that relationship is like to those around you? Would your neighbor testify that you know Jesus closely, not just by your knowledge about Him but because you are acting like Him?  The fruit of the Spirit is coming out of your life. (Japanese exchange students)

“Bear Witness and Declare to you”: GK. “martyreō”“Give Testimony” 

It is totally natural for someone who has encountered Jesus to then declare Him to the rest of the world...We can't help it! What is strange is when we don't declare Him and what He's done!

“Word of life” Gk.“Logos”; Expressed knowledge/mind of God

Jn. 1:1, 14 “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

Colossians 1:19“For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell.”

Colossians 2:9 “For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily...”

V2

PThe life was manifested...” to be manifested is to be revealed in one's true character; this is especially the meaning ofphaneroo(Vines)

>Christ was predicted and partially revealed in the Old Test. but John and others were eye-witnesses of His life...

V3

John reveals who the Word of Life is…Jesus Christ.

Son Of GodPs. 2: 7, 8; Jn. 20: 30-31; Matt. 14: 33; Col. 2: 9

V4

Our Motive: Fullness of Joy!