The Body of Christ Has Lost Her Second Witness
In the Bible, in Acts 5:31-32, we learn something crucial about Jesus: "God exalted Him to His own right hand as Prince and Savior that He might give repentance and forgiveness of sins to Israel. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit", whom God has given to those who obey Him."
This means that Jesus, before He left Earth to return to Heaven, promised His followers something powerful: "You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses...".
This message was essentially a roadmap. It told followers to begin spreading Jesus' teachings in Jerusalem and not stop until they'd reached the ends of the earth.
To better understand this, let me share a story. Imagine you're a tree. As a tree, your roots are important for you to grow and thrive. Just like that, the Holy Spirit is the roots of your faith. It helps you grow in your faith and relationship with God. The first part of the Holy Spirit's job is helping us develop good character, often referred to as the fruit of the Spirit. The second part is giving us the power to be effective witnesses, just like the story in Acts 1:8.
Unfortunately, in our day and age, especially in American Christian circles, we often forget about this "second witness." It's as if we've lost a crucial part of our faith. Jesus once told His disciple Philip, "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do, because I go to the Father" (John 14:11-12).
When Jesus was here on earth, He had two sources of credibility: the words that God gave Him, and the actions He did through the power of the Holy Spirit. It's like having two friends who vouch for you, saying you're trustworthy. We're supposed to have the same two "vouchers"—the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.
Yet, today, we often put too much emphasis on our own human interpretation of the Bible and too little on the power of the Holy Spirit. Rather than embracing the Spirit's power, we get caught up in arguing about it. This is like being given a toolbox but arguing about whether we should use the tools instead of just using them to build something great.
In many American churches, the Holy Spirit doesn't get much attention. It's as if we've set aside a crucial member of our team. Instead, we focus on trying to be "real" or "relatable" to the modern world. But here's a little-known fact: without the Holy Spirit, there's no true authenticity or credibility.
Real Christianity is overflowing with the Holy Spirit's power, walking in love, and other fruits of the Spirit. Yet, because we've pushed aside our "second witness," the Holy Spirit, we've lost our authenticity and credibility. This is why the influence of the Church in today's culture seems to be fading.
Think about it this way: imagine watching a soccer game where one team plays with only half its players. That team, lacking its full potential, would struggle to keep up, right? That's what's happening to the Church. Without our second witness, the Holy Spirit, we're trying to play a full game with half our team, and we're wondering why we're losing ground.