Anyone who has spent any time in christian circles will have heard about testimonies. For me, I grew up in the church and went to a christian school. Over the years I have heard many people’s testimonies. The testimonies that stuck in my head were about times when Jesus stepped in and radically turned a person’s life around. Most people in the church, or around the Christian scene, have heard testimonies similar to this fictitious one:
I was at rock bottom, had nothing left to live for. So I decided to drive my car off a cliff. I turned on the radio, and somehow I was on a gospel radio station, and heard the song “Jesus take the Wheel”. At that moment I knew I needed Jesus to take the wheel of my life. I pulled over, cried for an hour, then asked Jesus into my life, and it has never been the same since.
Made Up Testimony
After hearing testimonies like this I became convinced that this is what a testimony was, and the logical conclusion to this was that I did not have one. This led me to even doubt my salvation. I didn’t have the scars of hitting rock bottom, so was I even saved. This was all due to me not knowing what a testimony really was, and the power of a testimony.
A testimony is nothing more than the retelling of the time an individual surrendered their life to God. It is the account of the time they truly met Jesus, and no one who meets Jesus leaves the encounter without being permanently changed. When Jesus said “He who is not with Me is against Me” (Matt 12:30) he wasn’t saying “I will treat you as an enemy if you do not help me”, he was talking about the nature of sinful man. If you have not accepted the free pardon for your sins, you are still at war with God.
So why is it important that you have a testimony? Isn’t it just enough that I say that Jesus is my lord and saviour? The fact is, not all who call Jesus lord will be saved (Matt 7:21-23) and even the demons know that he is the son of God (Jam 2:19). To be saved you must “… confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead…” (Romans 10:9), the fact sheet must move to a heart knowledge, a relationship with the creator of the universe. And this is a once for all event, it is not something you have to keep doing (Heb 10:10).
By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
You may say “I came to Christ years ago, I cannot remember my testimony”. As I said earlier, you cannot come into contact with the almighty without being changed, and this change sticks in your mind. I was somewhere between 7 and 9 years of age when I accepted the gift of salvation. Now I cannot tell you what the date and time was, or the exact words I used. What I can tell you is where I was, and that I asked Jesus into my heart.
You may be asking, why do I need a testimony anyway? What good is it to me? A testimony has many uses. The first of which we see powerfully in John 1:35-51. We see a series of people who encounter Jesus and then take this encounter and call someone else to encounter Jesus. We see it again in John 4 where the Samaritan woman calls her town to come meet Jesus with the words “Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?”(John 4:29). A testimony is one of the most compelling reasons for people to investigate the good news of Jesus Christ.
The second use for a testimony is as a defence against our adversary. One of the names used for Satan is accuser, and he accuses us of wrong doing. If he can make you a fearful, powerless Christian, he has stopped you being used to free others from the power of sin. I have lost count of the number of times I have thought “am I really saved” and at times, this has really worried me. My testimony is the answer to that question. When I begin to doubt I remind myself of the time when I accepted Jesus into my heart.
A testimony is not an opportunity to glorify the former life. There are some people who tell a testimony by explaining their life before their conversion, in great detail, with the moment they met Jesus added as an afterthought. A testimony is more about the power of Jesus to change a life, than the life that was changed. As Paul said “More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…” (Phil 3:8)
More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…
So a testimony is the account of the once for all time that a person encountered God and surrendered their lives to Him. It is a powerful tool for leading others to Christ, and a defence against the attacks of the accuser.
If you do not think you have a testimony, or are in any way doubting your salvation, we would like you to get in contact with us. We would love to talk you through what your testimony actually is, and if you have not truly accepted the life changing gift of salvation, we would like to help you accept it.
All scripture is quoted from the NASB translation