Can I Get A Witness? John 15:26-27

So…. How are we supposed to know that this is all true? I mean, haven’t you had your doubts? How do we really know that all this Jesus stuff is the real deal and that he’s worth following and surrendering our lives to. For all that we’ve talked about in this series - sacrifice and selflessness - we probably ought to be sure.

In his farewell discourse to his disciples, Jesus recognized that this would be an issue. He recognized that, especially in the face of persecution and hardship, doubt would be natural. So, as he transitioned out of his warnings about persecution, Jesus points his followers to the best sources of hope and reassurance available to them: the Holy Spirit and the testimony of the saints.

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness because you have been with me from the beginning.” – John 15:26-27

The New International Commentary on the Gospel of John states that the role of the Holy Spirit is to continue the ministry of Jesus after his ascension to the Father. “The particular function of the Spirit which occupies us here is that of witness, and specifically witness to Christ… When Christ is taken from the earth, the Spirit will continually bear witness concerning him” (NICNT, The Gospel of John p. 683-684).

Many Christian traditions have effectively silenced and marginalized the Holy Spirit. This comes from misunderstanding or fear, but in so doing they cut themselves off from Christ himself. The Holy Spirit is our ongoing point of access to the person and work of Jesus. The Apostle Paul put it this way in Ephesians 1:13-14, “When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.”

The proof is in the pudding. The activity of the Holy Spirit in our lives is the comforting reminder of the reality of Jesus our savior and our King. In my own journey, in times of doubt, I look back at the way I used to be and the way I am now and it is only explainable by the indwelling and filling of the Spirit. I was deeply insecure, struggling with sin and loneliness, and God brought me to a place of freedom, trust, and victory. It wasn't my willpower, but God's power at work. Reflecting on my journey gives me confidence that God is real indeed. 

That same story of transformation goes on to form encouragement for others. This is what Jesus meant when he said, “you also will bear witness.” The testimony of Jesus’ earliest followers lives on through the pages of Scripture, pointing us to Christ, leading us into our own journeys of transformation which in turn become proof to others of who is on the throne of creation.

This is why story is so important. We as believers should intentionally move beyond small talk to the true deep things of life, always being willing to share the story of Christ’s victory in the midst of our own human defeat. Christ dwelling in me and you through the presence of his Spirit is a powerful source of evidence to a world in need of its true King.

Missions Spotlight:
The Hoops (Holy Land)

Please pray:
  • For the political unrest in the region that is leading to violence and people being displaced from their homes.
  • For the ongoing effects of COVID19. Some ministry is still heavily limited. In addition there have been recent outbreaks with severe impacts.
  • For Jeff as he settled into his new role as Field Director. It is difficult for him to visit the various mission sites in country due to lockdowns. Pray he would be able to make connections despite this.

Due to the sensitive nature of their work and the current tensions in Israel/Palestine, we can't post their latest update in full in this format. Please check out the latest Missions Update email to find it. Or you can sign up for the Hoops direct email updates by sending an email to missions@gfcnj.com. 
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