Believing the Testimony of God
In his letter to the church in Corinth, the apostle Paul wrote, “So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:6-8, ESV) As the apostle Paul so aptly reflected, walking by faith is necessary to remaining of good courage, knowing one day we will be “at home with the Lord.”
However, in order to truly have the courage to remain faithful all the days of our lives, we must believe in the testimony of God. The apostle John wrote, “If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5:9-11, ESV) God’s testimony regarding our salvation was seen in His public declaration of Jesus as His Son. Matthew 3:14 records, “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’” (Matthew 3:16-17, ESV) However, the divine testimony was not limited to God the Father. At this same event, the Holy Spirit (“the Spirit of God”) descended upon Jesus. Such verbal and visual testimony is the testimony of God.
The testimony of God is also seen at the death of Jesus. Jesus willingly gave His life for the salvation of man. He allowed His murderers to shed His own blood. When Jesus’ life left His body, the witness of God was seen by all. Matthew again records, “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened . . .” (Matthew 27:50-52a, ESV) The shaking of the earth and the tearing of the curtain of the temple were not random acts. Both were signs, giving testimony to the truth of Jesus being God’s Son. However, the testimony surrounding Jesus’ death was not completed until His resurrection three days later. When Mary and the other ladies arrived at Jesus’ tomb, an angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.” (Matthew 28:5-6, ESV) It is this sign, this miracle to which the apostle Paul referred when he wrote, “(B)ecause, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” (Romans 10:9-10, ESV) Belief in God’s testimony, Him raising Jesus from the dead, is crucial to one being saved.
If you believe the testimony of God, then you will have the courage to overcome the world. Consider the following words from the apostle John: “Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.” (1 John 5:5-8, ESV) As we saw earlier, at Jesus’ baptism, there were testimonies of Him being the Son of God. Likewise, at the shedding of His blood, there was also testimony of His deity. As the apostle John wrote, the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth (John 14:17), also bore witness. These three testimonies agree and are the testimony of God. As the apostle John wrote, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.” (1 John 5:11, ESV)
Do you believe in the testimony of God when He says He has given us eternal life in His Son? Do you believe the testimony of God when He said regarding Jesus, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”? Do you believe in the testimony of God seen in the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus? Do you believe in the testimony of God seen in Him raising Jesus from the dead? God truly sent Jesus to die for your sins. Jesus willingly gave His life for the salvation of your soul. If you will believe in the testimony of God, the testimony found within the pages of the Bible, then you can overcome the world, having faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God.