“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”(Matthew 5:16).
A German historian once said to a Christian, “Show me your redeemed life, and I might be inclined to believe in your Redeemer.” That’s a pretty straightforward approach, isn’t it? If I’m trying to tell you how great my doctor is, and I’m dying under his care, you might question his skill. This is something of the principle that’s behind what Jesus said here. What good does it do to tell others what a wonderful Savior we have when they cannot witness the manifestation of His presence and power in our lives? We must let our light shine!
What is “light” in this sense? Essentially, it is the life of God in us. It is the indwelling Christ. “Christ in you, the hope of glory” ( Colossians 1:27b). It is the transformation wrought in our lives by the power of God’s indwelling Spirit. In our attitudes, as well as our actions, in the things we say and the things we do, we are to allow the light of Jesus Christ to shine through our lives! And when people see that, then they will say, “You have a great Savior. You do have a wonderful Father in heaven.” In other words, a godly life lays down the platform on which our individual testimony becomes convincing.
On the other hand, it’s so sad when someone proclaims Jesus Christ as Savior and then lives a sinful life. Not only does it dishonor Christ, but it becomes a stumbling block to keep others from finding Him. A sinful life is going to be ineffective in convincing anyone else of the power of Jesus Christ. I’m sure you’ve heard someone complain that the reason they’re not a Christian is because of the poor testimony of another who claimed to be a Christian.
Here’s the bottom line. We are called to be more than witnesses; we are called to be the evidence! As witnesses, our responsibility is to tell the world that Jesus Christ can transform lives. That is only believable if they see a transformed life.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17).