Witnesses, To Jesus Christ
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[But] to this day I have had the help which comes from God [as my ally], and so I stand here testifying to small and great alike, asserting nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses declared would come to pass -- " That the Christ (the Anointed One) must suffer and that He, by being the first to rise from the dead, would declare and show light both to the [Jewish] people and to the Gentiles.
Then beginning with Moses and [throughout] all the Prophets, He went on explaining and interpreting to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning and referring to Himself.
You search and investigate and pore over the Scriptures diligently, because you suppose and trust that you have eternal life through them. And these [very Scriptures] testify about Me! And still you are not willing [but refuse] to come to Me, so that you might have life.
Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. This man came to witness, that he might testify of the Light, that all men might believe in it [adhere to it, trust it, and rely upon it] through him. He was not the Light himself, but came that he might bear witness regarding the Light.
In those days there appeared John the Baptist, preaching in the Wilderness (Desert) of Judea And saying, Repent ( think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct), for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. This is he who was mentioned by the prophet Isaiah when he said, The voice of one crying in the wilderness (shouting in the desert), Prepare the road for the Lord, make His highways straight (level, direct).
A voice of one who cries: Prepare in the wilderness the way of the Lord [clear away the obstacles]; make straight and smooth in the desert a highway for our God!
I indeed baptize you in (with) water because of repentance [that is, because of your changing your minds for the better, heartily amending your ways, with abhorrence of your past sins]. But He Who is coming after me is mightier than I, Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to take off or carry; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fan (shovel, fork) is in His hand, and He will thoroughly clear out and clean His threshing floor and gather and store His wheat in His barn, but the chaff He will burn up with fire that cannot be put out.
And he preached, saying, After me comes He Who is stronger (more powerful and more valiant) than I, the strap of Whose sandals I am not worthy or fit to stoop down and unloose. I have baptized you with water, but He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.
As the people were in suspense and waiting expectantly, and everybody reasoned and questioned in their hearts concerning John, whether he perhaps might be the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One). John answered them all by saying, I baptize you with water; but He Who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of Whose sandals I am not fit to unfasten. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing shovel (fork) is in His hand to thoroughly clear and cleanse His [threshing] floor and to gather the wheat and store it in His granary, but the chaff He will burn with fire that cannot be extinguished.read more.
So with many other [various] appeals and admonitions he preached the good news (the Gospel) to the people.
John testified about Him and cried out, This was He of Whom I said, He Who comes after me has priority over me, for He was before me. [He takes rank above me, for He existed before I did. He has advanced before me, because He is my Chief.]
So they came to John and reported to him, Rabbi, the Man Who was with you on the other side of the Jordan [ at the Jordan crossing] -- "and to Whom you yourself have borne testimony -- "notice, here He is baptizing too, and everybody is flocking to Him! John answered, A man can receive nothing [he can claim nothing, he can take unto himself nothing] except as it has been granted to him from heaven. [A man must be content to receive the gift which is given him from heaven; there is no other source.] You yourselves are my witnesses [you personally bear me out] that I stated, I am not the Christ (the Anointed One, the Messiah), but I have [only] been sent before Him [in advance of Him, to be His appointed forerunner, His messenger, His announcer].read more.
He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the groomsman who stands by and listens to him rejoices greatly and heartily on account of the bridegroom's voice. This then is my pleasure and joy, and it is now complete. He must increase, but I must decrease. [He must grow more prominent; I must grow less so.]
You yourselves have sent [an inquiry] to John and he has been a witness to the truth. But I do not receive [a mere] human witness [the evidence which I accept on My behalf is not from man]; but I simply mention all these things in order that you may be saved (made and kept safe and sound). John was the lamp that kept on burning and shining [to show you the way], and you were willing for a while to delight (sun) yourselves in his light.
But when the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby) comes, Whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth Who comes (proceeds) from the Father, He [Himself] will testify regarding Me.
And we are witnesses of these things, and the Holy Spirit is also, Whom God has bestowed on those who obey Him.
The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.
This is He Who came by (with) water and blood [ His baptism and His death], Jesus Christ (the Messiah) -- "not by (in) the water only, but by (in) the water and the blood. And it is the [Holy] Spirit Who bears witness, because the [Holy] Spirit is the Truth. So there are three witnesses in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit, and these three are One; and there are three witnesses on the earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree [are in unison; their testimony coincides].read more.
If we accept [as we do] the testimony of men [if we are willing to take human authority], the testimony of God is greater (of stronger authority), for this is the testimony of God, even the witness which He has borne regarding His Son.
And behold, a voice from heaven said, This is My Son, My Beloved, in Whom I delight!
And there came a voice out from within heaven, You are My Beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.
And the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came from heaven, saying, You are My Son, My Beloved! In You I am well pleased and find delight!
While he was still speaking, behold, a shining cloud [ composed of light] overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, This is My Son, My Beloved, with Whom I am [and have always been] delighted. Listen to Him!
And a cloud threw a shadow upon them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, This is My Son, the [ most dearworthy] Beloved One. Be constantly listening to and obeying Him!
And the Father Who sent Me has Himself testified concerning Me. Not one of you has ever given ear to His voice or seen His form (His face -- "what He is like). [You have always been deaf to His voice and blind to the vision of Him.] And you have not His word (His thought) living in your hearts, because you do not believe and adhere to and trust in and rely on Him Whom He has sent. [That is why you do not keep His message living in you, because you do not believe in the Messenger Whom He has sent.]
But I have as My witness something greater (weightier, higher, better) than that of John; for the works that the Father has appointed Me to accomplish and finish, the very same works that I am now doing, are a witness and proof that the Father has sent Me.
Jesus answered, Even if I do testify on My own behalf, My testimony is true and reliable and valid, for I know where I came from and where I am going; but you do not know where I come from or where I am going.
Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me; or else believe Me for the sake of the [very] works themselves. [If you cannot trust Me, at least let these works that I do in My Father's name convince you.]
Jesus answered them, I have told you so, yet you do not believe Me [you do not trust Me and rely on Me]. The very works that I do by the power of My Father and in My Father's name bear witness concerning Me [they are My credentials and evidence in support of Me].
If I had not done (accomplished) among them the works which no one else ever did, they would not be guilty of sin. But [the fact is] now they have both seen [these works] and have hated both Me and My Father.
But you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends (the very bounds) of the earth.
Be on guard against men [whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God]; for they will deliver you up to councils and flog you in their synagogues, And you will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a witness to bear testimony before them and to the Gentiles (the nations). But when they deliver you up, do not be anxious about how or what you are to speak; for what you are to say will be given you in that very hour and moment,read more.
For it is not you who are speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
But previous to all this, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, turning you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be led away before kings and governors for My name's sake. This will be a time (an opportunity) for you to bear testimony.
[So] they summoned them and imperatively instructed them not to converse in any way or teach at all in or about the name of Jesus. But Peter and John replied to them, Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you and obey you rather than God, you must decide (judge). But we [ourselves] cannot help telling what we have seen and heard.read more.
Then when [the rulers and council members] had further threatened them, they let them go, not seeing how they could secure a conviction against them because of the people; for everybody was praising and glorifying God for what had occurred.
Since [ as is well known] many have undertaken to put in order and draw up a [ thorough] narrative of the surely established deeds which have been accomplished and fulfilled in and among us, Exactly as they were handed down to us by those who from the [ official] beginning [of Jesus' ministry] were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word [that is, of the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God],
So one of the [other] men who have accompanied us [apostles] during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, From the baptism of John at the outset until the day when He was taken up from among us -- "one of these men must join with us and become a witness to testify to His resurrection.
This Jesus God raised up, and of that all we [His disciples] are witnesses.
And with great strength and ability and power the apostles delivered their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace (loving-kindness and favor and goodwill) rested richly upon them all.
And Saul said, Who are You, Lord? And He said, I am Jesus, Whom you are persecuting. It is dangerous and it will turn out badly for you to keep kicking against the goad [to offer vain and perilous resistance]. Trembling and astonished he asked, Lord, what do You desire me to do? The Lord said to him, But arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.
And he said, The God of our forefathers has destined and appointed you to come progressively to know His will [to perceive, to recognize more strongly and clearly, and to become better and more intimately acquainted with His will], and to see the Righteous One (Jesus Christ, the Messiah), and to hear a voice from His [own] mouth and a message from His [own] lips; For you will be His witness unto all men of everything that you have seen and heard.
And [that same] following night the Lord stood beside Paul and said, Take courage, Paul, for as you have borne faithful witness concerning Me at Jerusalem, so you must also bear witness at Rome.
But arise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, that I might appoint you to serve as [My] minister and to bear witness both to what you have seen of Me and to that in which I will appear to you,
How shall we escape [appropriate retribution] if we neglect and refuse to pay attention to such a great salvation [as is now offered to us, letting it drift past us forever]? For it was declared at first by the Lord [Himself], and it was confirmed to us and proved to be real and genuine by those who personally heard [Him speak].
I warn and counsel the elders among you (the pastors and spiritual guides of the church) as a fellow elder and as an eyewitness [called to testify] of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a sharer in the glory (the honor and splendor) that is to be revealed (disclosed, unfolded):
For we were not following cleverly devised stories when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah), but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty (grandeur, authority of sovereign power).
[We are writing] about the Word of Life [ in] Him Who existed from the beginning, Whom we have heard, Whom we have seen with our [own] eyes, Whom we have gazed upon [for ourselves] and have touched with our [own] hands.
But in your hearts set Christ apart as holy [and acknowledge Him] as Lord. Always be ready to give a logical defense to anyone who asks you to account for the hope that is in you, but do it courteously and respectfully. [And see to it that] your conscience is entirely clear ( unimpaired), so that, when you are falsely accused as evildoers, those who threaten you abusively and revile your right behavior in Christ may come to be ashamed [of slandering your good lives].
Do not blush or be ashamed then, to testify to and for our Lord, nor of me, a prisoner for His sake, but [ with me] take your share of the suffering [to which the preaching] of the Gospel [may expose you, and do it] in the power of God.
- Apostles, Duties Of
- Apostles, Function In Early Church
- Christ Pleasing God
- Contemporary Witness To Christ
- God's Voice
- God, Joy Of
- Gospel, Confirmation Of
- Gospel, Transmission Of
- Jesus Christ, Son Of God
- John The Baptist
- Love Between Father And Son
- Pleasing God
- The Beloved Son
- Witness To The Gospel
- Witnessing, Importance Of
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