What we thought about...



25th May, 2005

Seeing God articles
Faith & Reason articles
Bible Teachings articles

What God has done for me

A man recently asked me if I would listen to his testimonial. If I was called upon to do the same, my testimonial would go like this.

God made the universe, stocking it with marvels and mysteries beyond all accounting. He made the earth, filling it with staggering phenomena and things that sing His praises. He made man, male and female, and commanded them to fill the earth with human beings. In the course of time, He promised Abraham that He would give his spiritual seed the promised land as an eternal possession. Later, God led Israel out of Egypt, and set in motion a marvelous plan of salvation, the outline of which I see through dark smoke. In the course of time, God Himself entered flesh in Jesus and walked among my forebears. He willingly gave up His life to atone for sin and to begin the process of dealing once and for all with human sinfulness.

I was born as a seed of Adam and Eve and, by means that He alone knows, God opened my eyes to see His glory and the atonement made possible through Jesus. He cleansed me of sin, made me a seed of Abraham and heir to eternal life. Now the raised Jesus Christ is busy at work perfecting me. He monitors my every move and thought, counts the hairs on my head, suffers when I suffer and rejoices when I rejoice. He clothes and

feeds me day by day, as He does for others.

Testimonials are problematic in a number of ways:

1. They presume we can read events, knowing when and how God has been involved or has intervened, when in fact even believers are subject to “time and chance” (Eccl. 9:11).

2. They may actually lead us away from seeking God's glory and tempt us to seek our own glory.

3. Recounting what “God has done for me” may exacerbate the natural human tendency to want to be seen as better than others (Eccl. 4:4).

4. They may risk dividing a community of believers into those whose lives have seemingly been dynamically molded by God and those in whom He has little interest.

Does Psalm 66:16 justify making public testimonials? “Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will declare what He has done for my soul.” No, it doesn't. These words were spoken by a person offering a sacrifice in response to God's fulfillment of a request made in a vow — a one-off affair. The speaker did not say that he wanted to tell everybody his life story, but only about a specific event in which the psalmist sought God's intervention in a vital matter and got it.


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