The Young Christian and His Testimony
No two Christians are alike. We have different nationality, economic, and cultural backgrounds and thus we should not expect all young Christians to conform to any one pattern. Yet there will be similarities, and our Christian testimony will carry weight and influence in the measure we follow Christ, and seek to be imitators of Him.
Our Christian testimony is any outward evidence or indication that what we confess with our lips is true. Having experienced the new birth, the young Christian confesses with his mouth that Jesus Christ is his Saviour and Lord. — This is oral testimony, however faltering it may be. But that is only the first step —the changed personal life confirms and establishes this more loudly than his words.
I like the verse—“These things began Jesus both to do and teach.” During Christ’s public ministry, His actions were closely watched by both friends and foes, and because of His deeds, His words carried more weight —and thus the observation, “Never man spake like this Man.” Like his Lord, the young Christian is also closely watched by friends and enemies and by the Great Enemy, even Satan. The effectiveness of his testimony will be closely related to the measure in which he heeds the invitation: “Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Most of us, yes even Christians, are proud; but if we sit at the feet of our blessed Lord we will at once learn to be meek and lowly in heart. A “cocky,” self-willed, proud person really has not come into contact with Christ — or, if he has, at the moment he is out of touch with the Lord. Let us take the low place, so that the Lord may call us up higher. John’s motto is a good one — “He must increase but I must decrease.”
Let us consider some of the testimonies concerning Christ given by observers.
Testimony of a Thief
“This man hath done nothing amiss!” Luke 23-41. How true this was of Christ — the Perfect Son of God! We cannot attain sinless perfection, but we should aim to keep short accounts with God and confess and forsake daily sins that so easily beset us. The Pauline Epistles give us specific instructions to strive after the holy life. We are saved by grace through faith. Once saved — we should aim to manifest the fruits of the spirit as mentioned in Galatians 5:22. love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, fidelity, meekness and self control. Truly we should want to follow in Christ’s footsteps as much as possible.
Testimony of His Enemies
“He saved others — Himself He cannot save” (Matt. 27:42). The young Christian should seek to pattern his life as his Master did: in services to others. If we are selfish and self-centred introverts, our testimony will not radiate for Christ. Remember, it is better to give than to receive. “The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto but to minister and give His life a ransom for many (others). Mark 10:45.
It is true that there are “rice” Christians in every generation. Christ told some followers, “Ye seek Me, not because of the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled (John 6:26). In our ministry to others some will show appreciation, others take advantage. But kindness and thoughtfulness in the little daily acts will help when we seek to witness for Christ.
Testimony of the Scribes and Pharisees
“This Man receiveth sinners and eateth with them” Luke 15:2. It is important that the young Christian does not withdraw himself and be aloof from all his school, college, and work colleague contacts. We know we cannot hob-nob with them in real sinful pursuits, but in wholesome activities we must be friendly or how can we expect them to accept our invitations to a Bible study or Gospel meeting?
Some of the finest young Christians I have met were saved in the army or navy because of the strong testimony of a buddy with whom they ate, slept, and worked. The example of our Lard was to mingle with them, but not to be contaminated with them.
Too many young believers are taught only the truth of 2 Corinthians 6:17. In our church fellowship, we are not to be linked with unbelievers and the injunction is “to come out from among them and be ye separate.” But in our daily living when we rub shoulders with these daily contacts, we can show friendliness and the Lord will give opportunities for effective witness to win them for Christ.
Finally, The Testimony of Those Who Were His Close Disciples
Peter could say “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Peter and the others who were so closely associated with Jesus were firmly convinced that He was truly the Son of God — so much so that later on they were willing to lay down their lives as martyrs rather than disown Him.
Each one of us at times is called to show his colours and identify his faith in Christ. “Whosoever believeth in Him shall not be ashamed” Romans 10:11. Jesus said “Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also will the Son of Man be ashamed when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels” Mark 8:38. Unbelief and denial of “the things most surely believed among us” abound on every hand. May God give each of us the courage and the willingness to be ambassadors for Christ, and to boldly proclaim Him day after day. Christ predicted persecution as He said, “The servant is not greater than his lord; if they have persecuted Me, they will persecute you also.” We can expect to be jeered and despised for our testimony of faith, but even those who taunt may secretly envy the quiet confidence and peace of mind which we possess. Let us continue to witness for Him both by life and by lip, “as good soldiers of Jesus Christ.”