Since Christianity claims that men and women encounter God through Jesus Christ, it follows that those who have entered into a relationship with God have a story to tell. We call these stories “testimonies.”
Testimonies are personal accounts of how faith in Christ and repentance unto God occurred. They convey not only the initial conversion to Christ, but also something of the subsequent life of faith. While they are not intended to replace the preaching of the good news of Jesus Christ, they are useful for:
- Corroborating what the Bible teaches about salvation.
- Affording a way in which God’s children can offer a reason for the hope within them (1 Peter 3:15).
- Affirming to those seeking God that the path being trod is not an isolated one. It is a personal one for sure, but not an isolated one. Countless numbers have encountered God through Christ.
- Supplying an opportunity to rejoice in what God has done in others as well as in ourselves.
The second-century church father, Tertullian, began his tract The Passion of the Holy Martyrs Perpetua and Felicitas with these words:
If ancient illustrations of faith which both testify to God’s grace and tend to man’s edification are collected in writing, so that by the perusal of them, as if by the reproduction of the facts, as well God may be honoured, as man may be strengthened; why should not new instances be also collected, that shall be equally suitable to both purposes,~ if only on the ground that these modern examples will one day become ancient and available to posterity, although in their present time they are esteemed of less authority, by reason of the presumed veneration for antiquity? (Ante-Nicene Fathers, 3:699)
The testimonies we’ll be collecting will differ considerably, but the vital truth is central to each; namely, that “Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners” (1 Timothy 1:15). May God use them to encourage you, whether you be a seeker or a saint!