Faith as a Testimony to Others
When we think of faith we often limit it to how it affects us and our lives before God. As we pass through various good times and bad we think about how much our faith is growing or whether we are struggling. Yet, we are not in a box where no-one else can see us. Our faith, particularly in times of trial and grief, can be a tremendous testimony to others. This sheet looks at how faith can be a testimony to others.
Faith is public
“And, by faith in his name, his name has made this man strong whom ye behold and know; and the faith which is by him has given him this complete soundness in the presence of you all” (Acts 3:16).
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is proclaimed in the whole world” (Romans 1:8).
“Wherefore I also, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which is in you, and the love which ye have towards all the saints” (Ephesians 1:15).
“Remembering unceasingly your work of faith, and labour of love, and enduring constancy of hope, of our Lord Jesus Christ, before our God and Father” (1 Thessalonians 1:3).
“For the word of the Lord sounded out from you, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but in every place your faith which is towards God has gone abroad, so that we have no need to say anything” (1 Thessalonians 1:8).
“We ought to thank God always for you, brethren, even as it is meet, because your faith increases exceedingly, and the love of each one of you all towards one another abounds; so that we ourselves make our boast in you in the assemblies of God for your endurance and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations, which ye are sustaining” (2 Thessalonians 1:3-4).
“Hearing of thy love and the faith which thou hast towards the Lord Jesus, and towards all the saints” (Philemon 1:5).
When we think of the testimony we often just think of telling others how we were saved and what Jesus now means to us. However, faith itself is a testimony to others. More witness is done by people looking at our lives and seeing how we react to things in faith than is often given in speaking. Our lives might be the testimony that causes others to wonder what it is that gives us the strength to pass through difficult times and the power to serve God. The power of faith needs to be recognised by us but it will also be seen by others. “Having taken the shield of faith with which ye will be able to quench all the inflamed darts of the wicked one” (Ephesians 6:16).
Faith the Preacher
The fact that faith itself is a great preacher in our lives is seen in the reports from the various churches/assemblies in the scriptures above. Their faith was so evident that it resulted in the gospel spreading from them to others. This evidence of faith brings joy to other Christians as Paul said “For if indeed in the flesh I am absent, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing and seeing your order, and the firmness of your faith in Christ” (Colossians 2:5). It also is observed by others as faith lives in contrast to a faithless world and the scripture even goes so far as to say “whatever is not of faith is sin” (Romans 14:23).
They might understand from us that we heard the gospel and we will have opportunities to tell others about the Lord Jesus for this is how faith is first received “So faith then is by a report, but the report by God's word” (Romans 10:17). We do need to speak to others so that the word is near to everyone “The word is near thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach” (Romans 10:8), “and having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, I have believed, therefore have I spoken; we also believe, therefore also we speak” (2 Corinthians 4:13).
Our faith for other Christians
Most importantly we are to be a model for others to take account of the effect of faith in our lives and an example for other Christians. “Let no one despise thy youth, but be a model of the believers, in word, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12) Faith is marked by virtue and knowledge meaning that people will soon see that we are not acting blindly but know the God in whom we are trusting. “But for this very reason also, using therewith all diligence, in your faith have also virtue, in virtue knowledge” (2 Peter 1:5). We can see that the testimony of faith has been effective in individuals (not just churches/assemblies) in the following scriptures:
“They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit” (Acts 6:5).
“For this reason I have sent to you Timotheus, who is my beloved and faithful child in [the] Lord, who shall put you in mind of my ways as they are in Christ, according as I teach everywhere in every assembly” (1 Corinthians 4:17). Paul’s faith had resulted in the development of Timothy’s faith. It resulted in a testimony, not just to Timothy’s faithfulness but also Paul’s.
“Calling to mind the unfeigned faith which has been in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and in thy mother Eunice, and I am persuaded that in thee also” (2 Timothy 1:5). This is a testimony of faith not only in Timothy but also how the faith of his mother and grandmother had resulted in Timothy’s faith.
In Stephen, Timothy, Lois and Eunice, there was a clear testimony to their faith and faithfulness which had resulted in fruit for God. Faith cannot be hidden. If we are faithful we will automatically be a light shining in darkness and it cannot be hidden. The effect of the witness of our faith, both in words and actions, cannot be underestimated as the faith of many in the Bible led to great results (see also Hebrews 11).