Summary: What does it mean to be a witness for Christ?
Date Written: December 1, 2008
Date Preached: December 3, 2008
Where Preached: OPBC (Wed PM)
Sermon Series: A Study of John’s Letters
Sermon Title: What Is A Witness?
Sermon Text: 1 John 1:1-4
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. 4 And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.
What is a witness? I once heard a story about a prosecuting attorney from a small Texas town who called his first witness to the stand in a trial. She was a grand-motherly, type and he asked her, "Mrs. Jones, do you know me?"
She said, "I do know you, Mr. Williams. I’ve known you since you were a young boy. And to be honest, you have been a big disappointment. You lie; you cheat on your wife, and manipulate people and talk about them behind their backs. You think you are some big shot on the rise BUT you don’t have the brains to realize you are nothing more than a two-bit paper pusher. Yes sir, I know you!"
The lawyer was stunned. Not knowing what else to do, he pointed across the room and asked, "Mrs. Williams, do you know the defense attorney?" She replied, "Yes I do. I’ve known Mr. Bradley since he was a youngster, as well.
In fact, I used to baby-sit him for his parents. He, too, has been a real disappointment. He is lazy, bigoted, and has a drinking problem. The man can’t form or hold a decent relationship with anyone, and his law practice is one of the shoddiest in the entire state. Yes sir, I know him TOO." The crowd began to murmur and the noise level in the courtroom rose to an unacceptable level with all the people responding to what had just been said.
The sound of the judge gavel rang thru the courtroom and the judge motioned for both attorneys to approach the bench. When they were in front of the judge, he whispered to them in a very quiet voice, "If either of you asks her if she knows me, I’ll have you thrown in jail for contempt!"
I read another story about a Christian who prayed: "Lord, if you want me to witness to someone today, please give me a sign to show me who it is."
That very day he found himself on a nearly empty bus when a big, burly man sat next to him.
The timid believer anxiously waited for his stop so he could exit the bus. However, before he could get off, the big burly guy next to him burst into tears and began to weep. This big but contrite man then cried out with a loud voice, "I’m a lost sinner and I need the Lord.
Won’t somebody tell me how to be saved?" He turned to this Christian gentleman and pleaded, "Can you show me how to find the Lord?" The believer immediately bowed his head and prayed, "Lord, is this a sign?"
Now when I say, what is a witness, this is not really what we think about is it? Encarta English Dictionary defines the word witness for us in the following manner.
As a noun, witness is defined as follows:
Someone who sees an occurance…someone who gives evidence after seeing or hearing something.
A signatory of a document… someone who signs a document to show that it or another signature is valid and genuine.
Someone who testifies to the Christian faith… somebody who publically states his or her strong Christian beliefs.
A public statement of Christian beliefs… a public statement of strong personal Christian beliefs.
As a verb, witness is defined as follows:
See something happen… [transitive verb] meaning to see something happen, especially a crime or accident.
To countersign a document…[transitive verb] to affirm the authenticity of a document or a signature on a document by signing it.
To experience important events…[transitive verb] to experience important events or changes or be the time in which they occur.
To be a sign of something… [transitive verb] to be a sign or proof of something that is happening.
To speak publically about religious beliefs…[intransitive verb] to talk in public about strong Christian beliefs.
In other words, a witness is someone who is willing to speak out in public about something that has happened around them or to them or something that means a great deal to them, such as a religious experience.