“This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.” Acts 2:32
A few months ago I was able to experience jury duty for three days. In the process several “witnesses” were called to give testimony of what they had experienced on a given day. If a person made comment on another person’s experience it was not admissible as evidence.
A witness therefore is a person who has experienced something and thereby has the right to declare their experience. Allowing for the fact that a person may be mistaken or is tampering with the truth to some degree, a first hand witness is given very much greater weight than second-hand information.
A witness is a person who has experienced an event first hand. We all experience many things everyday and routinely bear witness of some of them to our friends. It is a natural thing to do. It is the same with spiritual matters as well.
An error that has overrun the Christian church is “nominalisation”. That is, people who say and believe they are Christians but are not. A person only becomes a Christian in the true and Biblical sense when God creates them new in Jesus Christ (John 1:12, 13). If a Christian has no witness to the new life in Jesus Christ then they may not have experienced the new birth at all (John 3:3).
If we are unable to give personal testimony that we know that Jesus is alive, that “God raised Him up,” it may be because we have not experienced the resurrection life of Jesus and met Him personally. Some years ago a young lady asked to be baptised but on interview could not bear witness of entering into or having a personal relationship with the risen Jesus. One who has experienced first hand the new birth will be able to give witness to it.
In Acts 1:8 Jesus is recorded as saying, “you shall be witnesses to Me.” If we have nothing to say about Jesus Christ and the new life He has given us we must seriously consider whether we have any experience of that life. If we have, then the spiritually natural thing to do is tell others about it and let them see the outworking of the life of Christ in our lives.
As John writes, “And this is the testimony [a witness gives testimony so this is John speaking from personal experience. Cf. 1 John 1:1-3]: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son does not have life” (1 John 5:11, 12).
If we have received the Son of God we will bear witness of it and all the New Testament writers affirm that to be true.
Could it possibly be that for some of us our silence is because we have no experience of Jesus Christ to speak of?