Witness, The

August 16, 1999

The Witness

Study Text – John 1:6 -9

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men
through him might believe.
8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to be a witness in a courtroom. Although
this wasn’t the most pleasant experience I’ve ever had, there are two important
bits of information that I learned: (1) The most powerful person in the
courtroom is the witnesses (I learned this from a message I heard Evangelist
Emma McDuffie preach), and (2) The witness has two jobs: to wait and to

Now for many, especially the impatient, the hardest part is waiting. As you
sit and wait to tell what you saw, heard or experienced, impatience usually
grows. You begin to think of all the places you could be or all the things you
could be doing, but by law you can not leave. More than likely, the reason for
this is because you have been subpoenaed. For those of you who aren’t familiar
with this process, this is when someone hand-delivers you a "message"
stating YOU WILL be a witness and it will be for an appointed time. Then after
everything has been set into place for you to become a witness…. well, you
witness. You simply tell your story of how you saw it.

Our text starts by giving us a primary characteristic of John: he was sent
from God (6th). Then the 7th verse gives us his primary
mission: to witness. This verse is telling us that John’s sole purpose was to
tell men of Jesus who was coming into a dark world to save every man (9th).
Now what we want to focus on in this lesson are two words: "bear

As Christians, our sole purpose is to bear witness of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. So let’s go a little deeper into the meaning of "bear
witness." Of course, a witness is simply one who has seen or heard, but
the word "bear" has several definitions:

To move (not stand still) while supporting: CARRY
To hold in the mind: HARBOR
To have visible characteristics: EXHIBIT
To have as a quality: CONDUCT
To be accountable for: ASSUME
To produce: YIELD
To exert oneself determinedly: ENDURE

Now let’s do this… Let’s take John’s name out and insert our names so we
can personalize the meaning of "to bear witness."

6: There was a man/woman sent from God, whose name was _________.

7 And I came for a witness, to bear witness [To move in my job, home, church
or wherever I am, and while doing so, carry the gospel of Jesus Christ. To keep
in my mind constantly His teachings. To visibility display or exhibit
characteristics of Him. To conduct myself with a quality that is worthy of His
kingdom. To be accountable for each action and assume my role as disciple. To
produce good fruit and yield a harvest for the Kingdom of God. To exert myself
with determination until the forces of darkness have been annihilated by the
forces of light, and to endure this battle until His will is done on earth as
it is in heaven.] I do this so that all men through me might believe.

Just like John, this is our sole purpose: to bear witness—–to show and
tell the world about the Jesus Christ. How do we do this? By living it. And to
live it doesn’t mean to live it just where people can see you; it also means
where people can’t. Don’t give me that, "Well, I can do what I do in my
house — ‘cause it’s my house." No, if you can’t live without air outside
your house, then you can’t live without air inside your house. If you can live
without Maddog 20/20, Jack Daniels, Marlboro, and Camel while you’re at church,
then surely you can live without them in your home.

You are the witness of Christ, and yes, you have been subpoenaed!!! God sent
a messenger to hand-deliver your subpoena. As a matter of fact, it was a
two-handed delivery, for it was those two hands, with spikes driven through
them, that supported the weight of His body. Your freedom from bondage and
darkness has been delivered. And if you need a receipt, the messenger surely
supplied you with one — a verbal one — "IT IS FINISHED!!!"

And from that one delivery, we are more delivered than we could ever
imagine. We are delivered from every burden and every yoke. Why? To be
witnesses of the deliverance. Remember that the most powerful person in the
courtroom is the witness. When your friends see you delivered from Jack Daniels
and Marlboro, they will see the light. When you begin to lose the weight you’ve
always wanted to lose, they will see the light. As you move higher and higher
in your profession, they will see the light. When your family is restored and
made whole, they will see the light. So step into the full calling of your
salvation, and let your light (your Jesus) so shine before men that they may
see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

P.S. – And by the way, there’s no place in the Bible that states that your
light is little. We serve a BIG God. So we can officially leave "This
Little Light Of Mine" in 1999!!