Paul loved to tell his story. He must have told it hundreds, possibly thousands of times. Luke, the author of Acts, recorded Paul’s testimony three times. That is quite amazing, seeing Acts is such a short book. If we believe that the Holy Spirit inspired Luke, we must believe that the Lord felt Paul’s testimony was very important.
What is our testimony? John said that “the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophesy” Revelation 19:10. This means that our testimony is actually Jesus’ testimony. He lives His life inside of each one of us. This is one of the ways He displays His glory. Our testimony, the testimony of Jesus displays God’s glory, specifically the glory of His grace redeeming and transforming fallen man.
What about the spirit of prophesy? Prophesy is a supernatural utterance. Our testimony is a living, right now word from the Lord. Our testimony does not end at our salvation, it begins. Every step we take with Christ, becomes the testimony of Jesus, Christ displaying Hs Glory right now. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.
The preaching and teaching of the Apostle Paul is the testimony of Jesus in Paul’s life. One of the great truths displayed in Paul’s life and teaching is salvation by grace through faith. Paul did not earn his salvation, he called himself the chief of sinners. Paul claims that he was saved or declared righteous by god, through faith in Christ, specifically His death on the cross.
Romans 4:5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness
Romans 1:16, 17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is thepower of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”
This truth was the foundation of the early church and became the foundation of the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther struggled with this idea of righteousness. He struggled with his own thoughts and sinfulness and with the demands of righteousness in the law. His life was changed as he discovered the beauty of salvation that comes by grace alone through faith alone.
Though I lived as a monk without reproach, I felt that I was a sinner before God with an extremely disturbed conscience. I could not believe that he was placated by my satisfaction. I did not love, yes, I hated the righteous God who punishes sinners, and secretly, if not blasphemously, certainly murmuring greatly, I was angry with God, and said, “As if, indeed, it is not enough, that miserable sinners, eternally lost through original sin, are crushed by every kind of calamity by the law of the Decalogue, without having God add pain to pain by the gospel and also by the gospel threatening us with his righteous wrath!” Thus I raged with a fierce and troubled conscience. Nevertheless, I beat importunately upon Paul at that place, most ardently desiring to know what St. Paul wanted.
At last, by the mercy of God, meditating day and night, I gave heed to the context of the words, namely, “In it the righteousness of God is revealed, as it is written, ‘He who through faith is righteous shall live.”’ There I began to understand [that] the righteousness of God is that by which the righteous lives by a gift of God, namely by faith. And this is the meaning: the righteousness of God is revealed by the gospel, namely, the passive righteousness with which [the] merciful God justifies us by faith, as it is written, “He who through faith is righteous shall live.” Here I felt that I was altogether born again and had entered paradise itself through open gates. Here a totally other face of the entire scripture showed itself to me. Thereupon I ran through the Scriptures from memory…
Our testimony of Jesus is displayed as our life changes. We are transformed from day to day to display Christ in our lives. He becomes clearly seen in our words and in our actions. Paul encouraged His converts to follow him as he followed Christ. The testimony of Jesus was bearing fruit in others.
I Thessalonians 5-6 For our gospel did not come to you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Spirit and in much assurance, as you know what kind of men we were among you for your sake. 6 And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit
Faith, however, is a divine work in us. It changes us and makes us to be born anew of God (John 1:13); it kills the old Adam and makes altogether different men, in heart and spirit and mind and powers, and it brings with it the Holy Ghost. O, it is a living, busy, active, mighty thing, this faith; and so it is impossible for it not to do good works incessantly. It does not ask whether there are good works to do, but before the question rises; it has already done them, and is always at the doing of them. He who does not these works is a faithless man. He gropes and looks about after faith and good works, and knows neither what faith is nor what good works are, though he talks and talks, with many words, about faith and good works.
The testimony of Jesus was clearly seen in the ministry of the Apostle Paul. One of the clearest displays of the power of God in Paul’s ministry is seen in the outpouring in Ephesus in Acts 19.
First we see 12 disciples baptized in the Holy Spirit, speaking in other tongues. Then we see these same men prophesying. As we read on in this chapter, we see Paul leading daily meetings for two years. Can you imagine; preaching, teaching, prayer led by the Apostle Paul for two years? A supernatural explosion was the result. The results of these meetings were incredible. The Bible says everyone in Asia (modern day Turkey) heard the word of God. It also says that “extraordinary” miracles began to be seen. Prayer cloths carrying the anointing were sent out resulting in healings and deliverances. That is the testimony of Jesus.
Today, the testimony of Jesus is being seen in our world. Not only in the great crusades in Africa and India or in the underground church in China or the revivals of South America, but also right here right now in our very lives. The testimony of Jesus continues every day, birthed in prayer and Bible Study. Just as the believers soaked in the word and anointing in the Ephesian revival, we can soak in the word and the Presence of God in our private prayers and in our corporate meetings. The testimony of Jesus is the Spirit of Prophecy. Let Jesus live and prophesy in you today.