More than believing: bearing witness of the truth

Only witnesses can testify of the truth. And who bears witness for Jesus Christ? The Holy Spirit, the Apostles, and each and every individual believer. But this requires more than just faith.

A large concert church provided the setting for the divine service that Chief Apostle Jean-Luc Schneider conducted on Sunday morning, 5 August 2018 for over 800 members in Neubrandenburg, Germany. The basis for his sermon was taken from John 12: 49-50: “For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak.”

Jesus Christ bears witness of God

God, the Father, sent His Son Jesus in order to bring salvation to mankind. “Jesus did this by sacrificing His life. However, “He was also sent in order to impart the word of God to mankind, to tell people how they can attain this salvation.”

Jesus Christ proclaimed prerequisites for attaining salvation: “He stated this very clearly: ‘He who believes in Me has everlasting life.’” And beyond that, “Genuine faith is the faith of those who put His word into action.”

Jesus Christ refrained from accusations and judgements. “He did not come in order to judge mankind. And even today, God is not a judge who rewards the good and punishes the rest.” Anyone who desires to come to God can come to Him! But there is only one way. That is how Jesus presented Himself.

The Holy Spirit bears witness of Jesus Christ

The Holy Spirit attests that salvation is in Jesus Christ. “The Holy Spirit is a true and faithful witness. He does not speak of Himself. He speaks that which He hears at the throne of God.”

The Holy Spirit attests that Jesus Christ will return. “What is the message of the Holy Spirit? ‘The Lord is coming soon. Prepare yourselves!’”

The activity of the Holy Spirit is focused on helping the sinner fokussiert. He is not interested in punishing the sinner.

The Apostles bear witness of Jesus Christ

The Apostles attest that following Jesus Christ leads to fellowship with God. “The Apostles can only proclaim that which Jesus Christ has proclaimed: ‘I have come to save you!’ That is the way. No matter who you are, no matter where you are, this is the path that leads to fellowship with God: following Jesus Christ.”

The Apostles proclaim the gospel. They do not adapt the gospel! “You need Holy Communion. You need the rebirth out of water and the Spirit. I cannot change this! This is the testimony of Jesus Christ! We are only witnesses. We are not allowed to adapt this message.”

In their work, the Apostles are focused on the deliverance of mankind. “It is not in the commission of the Apostle ministry to punish the bad, to reward the good, or to threaten people: ‘If you are not born again, than just see how you manage! And if you do not keep the commandments, if you do not come to the divine services, something terrible will happen to you!’”

Believers bear witness of Jesus Christ

Believers profess their faith in Jesus Christ despite all misunderstandings in their surroundings. “We are not ashamed! It is our firm belief that Jesus died, that He resurrected, and that He will return! — That is what we profess!”

Believers align their lives in accordance with the teachings of Christ and eternal life. “Let us not be the kind of Christians who believe firmly but fail to follow! Even in our daily lives, we put the gospel into practice. That is our great concern, our constant endeavour. We do not always succeed, but we want to put it into practice because we want to be genuine Christians. And everyone should be able to see that!”

Believers proclaim the gospel and refrain from accusations and judgements. “Those who follow Jesus Christ have fellowship with Him already today, and will soon enjoy eternal fellowship with Him. We have not come to condemn or judge our fellow human beings either. The Lord Jesus has told us, ‘Do not condemn. Do not judge. Love them!’”

In order to attain salvation, human beings must believe in Jesus Christ, act in accordance with His word, and deny themselves. “And let us also spread this message through our example in both word and deed. Let us proclaim Jesus Christ without shame, without fear, in the knowledge that God loves us and that He loves our neighbour.”

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Oliver Rütten
Chief Apostle, Divine service