Religious ritual has little power to change lives. Religious formalism leaves people spiritually barren.
Doctrine alone will not transform hearts. The power of New Testament witnessing was rooted in the genuineness of lives changed by the gospel. The disciples were not play-acting. They were not going through the motions. Theirs was not some form of artificial spirituality. An encounter with the living Christ had changed them, and they could not be silent any longer.
At Pentecost the disciples were changed people. Something happened to them so that the Spirit could do something through them. The Holy Spirit had done something for them so that He could do something with them. The Spirit overflowed from their lives to refresh the lives of others.
Jesus put it this way: “‘He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water’”(John 7:38, NKJV). The root word for “believes” in the Greek here is pistis . It means much more than a superficial belief or mere intellectual assent. It is a rock-solid belief or confident trust. It is a dynamic, life-transforming faith in Christ, who poured out His life on the cross for the sins of humanity. Jesus’ point is that when His love quenches our spiritual thirst, this love flows from our hearts to the people around us.
“Our confession of His faithfulness is Heaven’s chosen agency for revealing Christ to the world. We are to acknowledge His grace as made known through the holy men of old; but that which will be most effectual is the testimony of our own experience. We are witnesses for God as we reveal in ourselves the working of a power that is divine.”-Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 347.
The most powerful witness is one of a Christian who knows Jesus personally. There is no substitute for the testimony that springs naturally from a heart immersed in Jesus’ love.
What kind of personal testimony do you have that tells of what the Lord has done for you? How can you learn to share it better with others?