Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
Witnessing Life of the Laity
V6 “And the multitudes with one accord gave heed to what was said by Philip, when they heard him and saw the signs which he did”.
In Acts 8:5-7 we note that Philip, an apostle of Jesus, is serving as a witness in Samaria. He preaches the Word, proclaims the Messiah, heals lame and paralyzed people, and drives out impure spirits from many.
Are ordinary people (the laity or lay people) called to witness like what Philip did? If so, how can we witness Jesus as the Christ (Messiah)? How can we confidently proclaim that, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)?
Yes, ordinary people, and the clergy, can serve as God’s witnesses when they are bestowed with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 1:4-5, we see that Jesus even commanded his apostles to not commence their witnessing ministry before receiving the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit…
- enables an individual to study and understand the Word of God,
- enriches an individual’s faith in Jesus Christ and reveals the glory of God the Father,
- enhances an individual’s belief in the risen Christ even without seeing Him (John 20:29b “…blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed”),
- empowers an individual to truthfully share God’s Word and personal experiences of God’s saving grace,
- emboldens an individual to envisage their God-given purpose in life, and
- ensures that God’s hand guides everyone and everything.
Lay people who are blessed with the Holy Spirit will be able to witness Christ in their everyday lives and vocations. They will be able to share God’s word and bring about healing. They will bear the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), which is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. They will acknowledge with conviction about their God-given bountiful blessings.
God, grant me the gift of thy Holy Spirit so that I may serve as your witness.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
To bear fruit - witnessing must be governed by the Holy Spirit.
Dr. Mathew T. Thomas
MTC of Greater Washington, Maryland
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church