Christ's Witnesses
Acts 1:8
But you shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come on you: and you shall be witnesses to me both in Jerusalem…

I. OUR FUNCTION AS WITNESSES FOR CHRIST. In our courts of law a witness is pledged under oath to "speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth," and in our capacity of witnesses a similar obligation rests upon us. Our duty is to bear witness to what we know, and to all that we know of the facts of the gospel, as contained in God's Word, and which we have verified by such means of verification as the nature of the case admits of — objective or subjective, as the case may be, external or internal evidence, which observation or experience supplies. With fancies, conjectures, speculations, or even matters of hearsay which we have not verified, we have as witnesses nothing to do. Our duty is to "speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen." The effect of our testimony depends greatly on the certainty with which it is borne. We must speak with the accent of conviction if men are to be convinced and converted and saved.

II. THE SPHERE IN WHICH WE ARE TO PERFORM OUR FUNCTIONS: "both in Jerusalem and in all Judaea, and Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth." According to this it is manifest that whatever may be our testimony, there is no country, or province, or city, or locality in which it can possibly be borne, from which it can be intentionally withheld, or by arrangement, or compact, even temporarily suppressed. We may, of course, use discretion as to the localities in which it should first be borne. Being unable to enter every field at once, we may, as wise men, give our first and chief attention to that in which as a whole it is most required. But we cannot, in loyalty to our Lord, consent that men, in any locality, should either arbitrarily or to suit the convenience of parties be left in ignorance of it.

III. THE TESTIMONY WE HAVE TO BEAR. This consists of all that the Lord hath made known to us — the things we have seen and heard and verified. The most important part of our testimony is not that on which we differ from our fellow-Christians, but that which relates to the Divine feelings towards sinful men; and to that we ought to give the first and most prominent place. There is a fulness of meaning in the gospel which we have not unfolded yet — a note of music in it more capable of charming the ear than has ever yet been heard — a power to thrill the hearts of men such as has never yet been felt.

IV. THE ENDOWMENT WHICH FITS US FOR OUR WORK. "Ye shall receive power when the Holy Ghost is come upon you." It is by the light the Divine Spirit supplies that we know what part of our testimony is most required. It is the firm conviction He imparts that gives authority and persuasiveness to our word. The whirlwind spreads devastation, the thunder shakes the sphere, the earthquake convulses and overthrows; but it is through the still small voice that the power of God enters the soul of the derelict prophet, and produces a mighty and beneficent revolution.

(W. Landels, D. D.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.

WEB: But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. You will be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the uttermost parts of the earth."

Christianity Diffused by the Apostles
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