by Connie J. Horn
“My manner of life from my youth, which was at first among mine own nation at Jerusalem, know all the Jews; Which knew me from the beginning, if they would testify” (Acts 26:4,5).
The above statement is taken from Paul’s testimony before King Agrippa. In his case, Paul employed evidence that could be confirmed by witnesses, if they were called upon to testify. The qualification of the witnesses would be those who “knew (him) from the beginning.” Paul’s thoughts here echo the reasoning of John as he established himself as a reliable reporter of the life of Christ. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon” (1 John 1:1). John goes on to say we have “seen it, and bear witness” (v.2).
Bear witness is the same as testify in our text verse. In 1 John 4:14 we see the weighty import of this word. “And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Savior of the world.” The eternal relationship of the Trinity is tied to testimonies so that we can know the truth. Although no man has ever seen the Father (John 1:18), Jesus Christ, the Son of God had not only seen the Father (John 6:46) but could be relied upon to testify of the Father’s will. “I and my Father are one” (John 10:30; 14:9). Jesus told John the Baptist’s disciples that He was testifying on earth to things He had “seen and heard” (John 3:32). The evidential circle regarding the Trinity is completed by the Holy Spirit’s witness. Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit, “whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of Truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of me” (John 15:26). We who are believers in this present day have not seen the Father nor His Son, but we have received the Holy Spirit who “beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God” (Romans 8:16). CJH