And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his son.

1 John 5: 11

Testimony is serious business. When a person is called upon to provide it, the words that come out, either in written form or as an oral statement, need to be carefully considered and be as accurate as the witness is able to recall. The words solemn and formal are found in the definitions of testimony. According to John, God’s own testimony is found in this simple expression about life. God gives life to us, and it comes by and through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. This is the solemn truth that God would have all people know, grasp, and follow. This is the simple summary of all that is contained in God’s Word regarding relationship with Him. Life, in its fullest expression and to its ultimate extent, is a gift that comes to people in Christ, and it is found nowhere else in all of the universe.

This spark, this mysterious yet tangible difference, is often visible in the way that Christ’s followers think, act, and speak. It is even more apparent in the attitude that they carry forth into life wherein the things of this world do not hold them down or burden them to the point of breaking. For the truth is found in the fact that this place has its harsh qualities and its burdensome aspects, and no one escapes their grasp. We encounter these trials, struggles, and times of suffering as a part of the normal course of living. Yet, Christ within us changes things in ways that are real and tangible. Christ provides the perspective of eternity for us to use as the lens through which these earthly struggles can be viewed. Christ grants us a form of strength that is only slightly associated with the capacity to do physical work and that is absolutely related to our capacity to continue on with living with peace in our hearts and with the gospel of love on our lips.

God’s testimony is found in Jesus, and our testimony is the lives that we live in His name and for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This fact makes each of us, in Christ, into daily witnesses to His grace, love, and mercy as it also places us on view as examples or exhibits in the great and grand trial that is life. For we are being looked over and examined so that the lives that we live and the way that Christ influences the conduct of those lives is under the scrutiny of the people of the world around us. The peace, joy, and love that we exude is being observed, and the way that we carry on with life regardless of circumstances and situations is also seen by others. I am not saying that followers of Christ should put up false fronts and pretend to the world that everything is perfect and that there are no challenges and struggles in our lives. Quite the opposite is true, for we can and should be free to be open, transparent, and honest in sharing our lives with others and in seeking the Lord’s engagement with our needs. Yet, in Christ, the lives that we live with their faith, hope, peace, and joy are even more so a testimony to our Lord in the hard days and the challenging times.  

This is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

1 John 5: 11

 

When a witness is preparing to give testimony during a trial she is first required to swear that what is to be said will be the truth. When a person signs a legal document as a witness the signature is a testimony to the validity of the identities of the parties who entered into the agreement. God’s signature of witness is written across all of creation. His word is the bond that holds it all together. The Father’s seal of promise was affixed to the hearts of His first children, and it has not been broken since. God remains ever true to uphold His side of the contract. It is humanity that has fallen short and failed to uphold our side of that agreement.

 

Yet, even in the face of our continuous wandering, God seeks us out. He desires that every one of His people would choose to be in an unending relationship with Him. He wants us to accept the gift of His never-ending presence. This has been granted to all of us through Christ whose voice of love, grace, and acceptance also cries out with the unwavering righteousness of God. Humanity is called out of a life that is lost and decaying. Christ speaks life into our souls, and He breathes that eternal life into our daily existence. Jesus is the living testimony of the Father’s relentless pursuit of each of us.

 

God wants His children to accept this testimony of Christ. He also wants us to become witnesses to that new, that transformed, life that we have received in and through Christ. God does not bring us into life in order for us to quietly sit out the remaining days on earth while awaiting a future, heavenly eternity. Rather, He brings that eternity into the here and now. He grants us the fullness of His presence in our earthly lives, and Christ implores us to join Him in living as compelling witnesses to the Father’s perfect plan of salvation for all who will come to Him.

He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.

1 John 5: 12

 

There is being alive. This is the state of breathing and moving about while working hard at crafting a meaningful life. Then, there is having the life. When Christ becomes real for an individual, and we surrender our selves to Him, we gain a form of life that is impossible otherwise, and we gain an existence that is both eternal and has eternity written all over it.

 

The only way to become infused with the wisdom, understanding, and love of God is to have His Spirit enter into our beings. Thus, the only way to gain access to the presence of God in our lives is through trusting Jesus enough to accept who He is. Then, by surrendering control of my life to Him, I am able to enter into a relationship with Him. The yielding was a one time decision that has been followed by a lifetime of accepting the fact that God is continually gracious toward my wandering heart; thus, He needs to keep on redirecting my heart and mind toward His loving purposes. The fact that Christ is gracious and patient with me is one of the most beautiful ideas that I have ever encountered. At the same time, however, His righteousness is unrelenting. He will not allow me to just get away with it. This patience, grace and righteousness in balance with each other is the essence of the life that we have in and through Christ.

 

In the few simple words of this verse John sets forth the fundamental truth and the basic need of all people’s lives, everyone requires the life if we desire to truly live. Each of us needs to stay in intimate touch with the giver of the life if we want to live fully, boldly and noticeably as children of God. When we live in this manner, Christ will seek to compel us to share the simple truth of the importance of this relationship with others. He commands us to boldly share the truth of the means for others to transition from simply being alive to living in the full expression of the life through Christ.

 

This is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

1 John 5: 11

 

When a witness is preparing to give testimony during a trial she is first required to swear that what is to be said will be the truth. When a person signs a legal document as a witness the signature is a testimony to the validity of the identities of the parties who entered into the agreement. God’s signature of witness is written across all of creation. His word is the bond that holds it all together. The Father’s seal of promise was affixed to the hearts of His first children, and it has not been broken since. God remains ever true to uphold His side of the contract. It is humanity that has fallen short and failed to uphold our side of that agreement.

 

Yet, even in the face of our continuous wandering, God seeks us out. He desires that every one of His people would choose to be in an unending relationship with Him. He wants us to accept the gift of His never-ending presence. This has been granted to all of us through Christ whose voice of love, grace, and acceptance also cries out with the unwavering righteousness of God. Humanity is called out of a life that is lost and decaying. Christ speaks life into our souls, and He breathes that eternal life into our daily existence. Jesus is the living testimony of the Father’s relentless pursuit of each of us.

 

God wants His children to accept this testimony of Christ. He also wants us to become witnesses to that new, that transformed, life that we have received in and through Christ. God does not bring us into life in order for us to quietly sit out the remaining days on earth while awaiting a future, heavenly eternity. Rather, He brings that eternity into the here and now. He grants us the fullness of His presence in our earthly lives, and Christ implores us to join Him in living as compelling witnesses to the Father’s perfect plan of salvation for all who will come to Him.