By Rev. Becky Hand
Pastor, Faith Fellowship
Myron Penner claims in his book, The End of Apologetics, Christian Witness in a Postmodern Context, that the “truth I proclaim …will be evident from how I live.”
He argues that convincing someone that God loves them is ineffective as a debate based on logic, reason, or Biblical facts. It is more effective to simply tell the truth of your belief and how that belief builds you up. Truth is not something we own, He owns us. How living in Truth affects us — our lives, our outlook, our peace, and our behavior — is something we can joyfully share with others. The Truth who possesses us is something we can talk about, but it is also something that can be seen in how we live. Our witness, then, is two-fold, it is our speech and our lives.
What we testify is as important as how we testify. The Apostle Paul said he became all things to all people that he might win some. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23). As Paul lived out the Gospel, he sought what was best for the other person. He didn’t try to make people be like himself, he made himself to be like them. This could open their hearts to hear and their eyes to see the Truth who possessed Paul, the Truth that changed his heart and saved his life.
Paul was willing to be weak so that the strength of God could be seen. God’s power was witnessed to by Paul when he became vulnerable by putting his neighbor first. This is a way of living—living out the Gospel — and being a witness to the Truth, Jesus Christ. Our differences, though they are apparent, are much less important than our ‘oneness’ in Christ.
In Christ we are equally joint heirs with Christ. Those outside of the body, however, deserve respect and consideration for their own sake and salvation. We share what God has already done for us, and declare that He loves our neighbor and desires their blessings, too.
In lifting up the other, we humble ourselves, and God’s love becomes visible, even to the unbeliever. This happens when we treat the unbeliever as a beloved child of God for the sake of Christ. After all, you too are a beloved child of God for the sake Christ, who humbled himself for you.