We have a witness that is firm and true! The witness of Christ! There’s a law in the canon of Moses that the Lord gave Israel, that finds it’s way into the New Testament and those types we’re using this morning for our thought.
TEXT: DEUTERONOMY 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
This is saying basically, that if there is any matter or dispute that is brought before the judge that in order for that to be established, or that is required to be established, that if there were two not in agreement, there then needed to be a second witness, for “at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.” This legal formula that the Lord provided Israel to resolve disputes, finds it’s way again into the New Testament as is seen in several places. I’ll draw your attention to 2 Corinthians 13, speaking about disputes and witnesses. The apostle expounded in 2 Corinthians 13: 1-6, 1 This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time, and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare. 3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you 4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you. 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. In the first verse, the apostle is referring to the law of Moses, (In Verse 5: “or without judgement; how will you know what is within you unless you put it to the test? And we trust when you put it to the test, you will pass, if not ignorant of the law and will of God) So this law is talking about establishing our witness before 2 or 3 witnesses, using that same law we saw in Deuteronomy to establish what we have! That somehow there needs to be a witness of what we have is proven, examined and tested, that is not without knowledge, or judgement that needs to be a witness. That witness needs to go out, and be released or launched. As we began this new year, that’s the first of my thoughts that we’ll be speaking about this new year, “The Witness of Christ,” and this morning we’ll be speaking about “Releasing the Witness.” Now you may think that’s an unusual way to look at your faith and what the Lord wants for us the beginning of the new year, but we’ll go along and see how we do with this. The thought is not to only have a witness because we can have faith, and believe, but if it’s “hidden under a bushel,” or hidden from you to those who need it, then it’s not released is it? The witness God has given us, in the change He has made in us from a life of sin to a life of His righteousness; that change involves a witness, doesn’t it?
That witness needs to be released! It really serves a very limited purpose if the only witness we have is within us, and held within us, or hidden from view. It only serves the purpose of God if it is released and launched before others! So others can still see that the Lord is still doing things for people! That’s our thought! From the things we have experienced in this last year, we are hopeful that things will change in society from this pandemic world, and are hoping we will see a shift. All sorts of “genies” have been let out of their respective “bottles,” into the world, some using metaphors like “Pandora’s box.” Pandora had a box, that was not intended to be released of it’s contents to the world. There had been (to Pandora) the advice not to open the box, for once you do, you can’t close it! But we are led to believe there was hope also released as well. When some things are released in society it’s not all good. It can change society in dramatic ways, that affect people, individuals, especially families, ultimately our cities and nation. We’ve seen this, how a lot of things get released into society, not necessarily in a positive way that the Lord could bless. But we still have a witness in society where all these “genies” have been released, from the Lord, that we be “present” in society, so that too needs to be out of the “bottle and released!” Into our homes, businesses, cities, and so forth. And no one can release that witness, but those who have it. It can’t simply be released by some declaration or expression to share with the world. This witness first needs to be tested, tried, examined, proven, and compared against judgement that it’s not reprobate, or void of value and judgement. For the purpose of releasing the witness. For that purpose we’re interested in this! I’d like you to consider again 1 Cor 13: 5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
Have you been examined by the Holy Spirit? And what have you found? For if you like many, come to a place in your life and are willing to submit yourself to this examination, and find you are wanting, or not quite where you would like to be that you know within yourself that the witness that needs to be there, that you have this conversion experience with God which has changed you; then this is important, for if it is just a knowledge, then we are not yet able to be in the place where we can release what God has for us. This has to be from an experience that is known to us, and has changed us! Not just from 50-60 years ago, but right up to this present that we have that kind of knowledge, of this kind of experience. We have a knowledge as well, and desire that this witness could be understood by people, so that this translation of this witness into the world today, so that people that know us, hear us, and share time with us, can comprehend what we’re talking about. It’s not about your biblical jargon, but that somehow we can translate this into words and actions that really connects to where they are at. So that is necessary and valuable that this witness doesn’t go extinct! So it can be present in our family and our community.
Releasing The Witness