A SAVIOR IS BORN!
ESSENCE OF CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY
By R. L. DeWitt
Underlying the testimony of Jesus Christ, is the precious story of His BIRTH ---often recited publicly in detail at LUKE 2 of the "Word Of God" (our Holy Bible). It is well to study the coming of our Savior from God, and His ministry as shown in all the four Gospel books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John of the "Word of Truth" (James 1:17-18). Worldly history of His birthdate varies by men guessing all seasons of the year, but God wants man to specifically remember Him EACH LORD'S DAY ---the first day of each week, for His sacrifice and resurrection as the Hope of the world. His birthdate as the Man: "Jesus --the Christ" is precious (and we can be glad for the remembrance), but let us remember too: "Christ Jesus" the REDEEMER (Luke 9:20), as the Savior on the Cross, and His resurrection on the FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK ---the Lord's Day.
There are several fundamental truths to show the essence of the CHRISTIAN TESTIMONY given for mankind, and herein is a listing of some that seem to be all-encompassing. It has often been shown that there are at least basically three (3) fundamentals of the Christian faith, and we might well meditate on them: REDEMPTION WAY; CHURCH TRUTH; SPIRITUAL LIFE.
- ESSENTIAL REDEMPTION TRUTH -
A. One has well said: "when born once, that one will die twice; but if born twice that one will only die once, and perhaps not at all". That is surely something to think about, for it is true as a Bible fundamental (study prayerfully John 3; John 14; Romans 8; Rev. 20:14; etc. --the KJV Bible recommended).
B. God says: "Ye must be born again" (spiritually --John 3), and that is because we ALL are born in sin, from the malady of sin in the beginning of human life (Genesis 2 & 3), and cannot thus have any relationship with the Holy and pure God ---a solemn thought!
C. Just believing in or about God is not sufficient (note James 2:19); for "He that hath (possesses) the Son, hath life (eternal), and he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life" (eternal) --see John 3:16; John 14:6; Epistle: 1 Jn. 5:11-12. This is URGENT TRUTH to embrace!
D. The true believer in Jesus, the Christ of God (a true personal relationship and not just an intellectual thought), is born of the Spirit (sealed forever by God as a "child of God") --John 6:27; John 14:16-18; 2 Cor. 1:21-22; Eph. 1:13; etc., and cannot become unborn. Is that not good news?
E. Jesus Christ will yet come again and receive His "bride" --the Church, unto Himself before the wrath of God is poured out on this sinful world (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:14-18; etc. That could be today!
- ESSENTIAL CHURCH TRUTH -
To begin such an inquiry a seeker ought to first know what the Church is as shown in our Holy Bible. It is by general definition: 'the called out company (people) pertaining to God'; and it is that which God formed as a universal and spiritual body, or company of believers on the earth, which is known as "the Church" (originally: 'kuriakos' --"that pertaining to God", and often simply called 'Kirk' and later pronounced "Church"); and also in time translated: Ecclesia --'the assembly'; and which is the spiritual body of Christ, which encompasses every "born again" believer (as John 3 shows). Sometimes people ask: what is the name of the true church, when did it begin, and what does it look like? In the Word of God the Church does not have a name, and it was formed on the day of Pentecost about A.D. 33 by the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell believers, as noted in the book of Acts, chapter two. It was never intended to be sectarian as we see today, so the calling today should be: Bible-only!
Some considerations in looking for Church fellowship (not just 'A CHURCH' as some souls say), might be the first thing to be considered in learning and knowing and worshipping God in a collective way. Of course we can worship, praise, and study God's Word at home, but the collective gathering is for our mutual good (as shown in Heb. 10: 24-25). It would be good ---and pleasing to God, no doubt, if we were all worldwide of one universal mind, with Holy Scripture as God shows, but alas that is apparently not to be, since the flesh is always present, as Satan promotes to oppose God. Does it matter? Some say it only matters if all believe as oneself does, but that leads to sectarianism. Scripture does not support individual sects! Do we care what the Bible Epistles teach one about collective church truth?
The Church is shown in Holy Scripture as "one body" universal (note 1 Cor.12: especially verse 25). The sectarian thought of denominated sects is man's assumptions to please everyone with choices and separate ideologies. The Bible Epistles show us clearly all local assemblies were in fellowship worldwide then, as Bible-only, and received visitors from other locales by letters of commendation (2 Cor. 3:1; Phil. 2: 28-29; Col. 4:12-16; Heb. 13:24; 1 Pet. 5:13; etc.) ---being "unity of the faith" among all (Eph. 4: 13-14). The priesthood of ALL saints must be valued as both "holy" and "royal" (1 Pet. 2: 5 & 9), rather than only a hireling preacher/priest; which speaks of each saint entering in to the holy place, and also to represent God everywhere ---as the Melchizedek priesthood (see Gen. 14:18-20; Psa. 110:4; Heb. 6: 19-20; Heb. 7:11-17).
- ESSENTIAL SPIRITUAL LIFE -
Spiritual Life should concern worship of God and testimony all day: A. individually in conversation and prayers always, with thankful thoughts in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ --our Savior; B. witnessing to all souls we meet; and showing forth the love of God to all souls everywhere in our contacts; C. collectively keeping the "Lord's supper" in the local assembly together with gathered saints. There should thus be songs of praise together, and prayers of thankfulness by those with hearts for the Lord; D. Prayer meetings with the "born again" saints and singing praises is needed. E. There should be devotion, maturity, enduring trials, showing peace and joy, blessings, holiness, charity, the Lord's glory; and living Godly before the world for testimony and help.
Some quotations from another paper may help in understanding spiritual life: "The new life one posseses in Christ individually and collectively, must be devotion to the Lord; growth and maturity; managing trials; peace and joy; communion; holiness; charity and love for souls; the Lord's glory and praise; etc. It is a life of holiness and we need to cultivate it. The "born again" believer in Jesus Christ ought to appreciate God's plan for his/her good and the Lord's glory; and be devoted to the Savior, serving Him and worshipping with the gathered saints, enduring, patiently yielding to God's will, and giving Him "the pre-eminence" as Lord of one's life as told. True "born again" saints are 'Holy priests'!
Growing in the faith is a spiritual process, that will be in direct proportion to the place we give Jesus Christ in our hearts and daily experience. We need this precious communion. Sooner or later a believer, who truly desires to be faithful, will get his wandering eyes upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and his heart will be wonderously affected. We ought to urgently look unto Jesus (Heb.12:2; Heb.2:9), that our joy "might be full" (John 15:11). Is one clear about this new life in Christ and rejoicing in the Lord?"
As one has said: "We can have as much of Christ as we want, and our life shows how much we want". It is much about faith, trust, obedience, and honor to God on our part. This is what pleases our Creator-God (note the Epistle: 1 Jn. 5:10-12).
- R. L. DeWitt: Ud; 11/2020.