Thursday, July 2, 2015
This is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son (1 John 5:11).
Christ is never proved to be alive from the dead, nor to be Lord, by doctrinal statements. Your statement of faith may include the fact that you believe Jesus died and rose again, ascended to heaven, and is at the right hand of the Majesty on High, but how are you going to prove your statement? What has God given as the evidence of that? You may believe it; you may be willing to lay down your life for that faith; you may state it with tremendous emphasis, and yet you are not thereby proving it. You will never prove anything by saying: "I believe with all my might that this is the case!" You will never prove a thing by standing up and declaring it as something which you believe. You will never prove a thing by saying: "I believe in all the fundamentals of the Christian faith!" and calling yourself by some name which indicates that you believe in the inspiration of the Bible. Nothing is ever proved in that way. Reducing the whole matter to these two points – that Jesus Christ has been raised from the dead, and is Lord of all – you have still to prove your statement after you have made it. If you have appealed to the fact that the Word of God says so, even then you have proved nothing. Your proof can never be by argument, because what argument can build up, argument can pull down, and what logic can construct, logic can destroy.
How, then, are you going to prove that this is so? By the expression and manifestation of His risen Life, that is all – but it is a mighty "all!" That signifies that you are the embodiment of the thing which you declare – that besides the doctrinal statement there is the living expression. Thus the resurrection and the lordship of Jesus are bound up with this expression which is called the "testimony." The testimony is not a system of truth. It is that extra factor to the statement and presentation of truth which is the power of a Life which conquers death. How, then, will you prove that Jesus has conquered death? The proof of it will be a death-conquering Life that expresses itself in you.
This is an excerpt from the writings of T. Austin-Sparks.
This photograph is by Eric Jonas Swensson.