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What is a Testimony?

For a Christian, a “testimony” is an open acknowledgement of our personal experience of following Jesus Christ, shown by both our lifestyle and our words. A testimony must be public because its purpose is to tell others what has taken place. Our regeneration should be a testament (evidence) to other people that Jesus is alive and is changing lives. If our lives are a testimony for Jesus Christ, then they should be reflections of Christ as we “follow His steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

Making Jesus Known By What We Say

In Acts 4:33, the apostles give their testimony in words: “with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.” The apostles, testifying of the resurrection, were telling others what they had seen with their own eyes, heard with their own ears, and touched with their own hands—they gave a personal, eyewitness account of Christ’s resurrection. In the same way, believers today are commanded to tell others of what they have witnessed firsthand. We haven’t had a face-to-face experience with Jesus as the apostles did, but our conversion experience is no less genuine and no less proof of God’s supernatural work in our lives. We should eagerly share with boldness and humility the change that has taken place in our hearts.

Revelation 12:11 says that believers “overcame [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony.” Notice the “word” of their testimony—these triumphant ones spoke verbally, without shame or fear. Some believe that Christians ought not verbalize their testimony but should simply live it out in their daily lives. But it’s not an either-or proposition. Living the gospel message is important, but it’s no more important than our verbal testimony, since God has chosen “hearing” the word as the means of producing faith (Romans 10:17).

Lifting Him Up In What We Do

A life dedicated to Christ is a powerful testimony. Paul describes how he and his fellow missionaries conducted themselves “in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God” (2 Corinthians 1:12). When our actions of godly living match the words coming from our lips, our testimony will be seen as true.

Jesus summed up a godly life with two commands: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37–39).

A Christian who wants to live his life as a testimony for Jesus will love God above all else and love others above himself. When a believer shares what Jesus has done in her life and serves God and others in tangible ways, she will increasingly reflect the life-giving power of Christ into a dark and dismal world.

—GotQuestions.org, adapted