Sunday, July 17, 2011

New Testament Lesson 28: “We Are Witnesses”

by: Mhe-anne L. Ojeda

(Eight Witnesses to the Book of Mormon)

Scripture Block: Acts 1-5
Location: Aspen Branch, Colorado

A witness is someone who has firsthand knowledge about an event through his or her senses (e.g. seeing, hearing, smelling, touching) and can help certify important considerations about an event. Witnesses are often called before a court of law to testify in trials. As a lawyer, I dealt with, presented, depose and heard testimonies of witnesses a number of times.

Today's lesson is about the early Apostles, who were witnesses of the resurrected Jesus Christ.These witnesses in this scripture block are utterly unique in the history of the world. They had seen and touched and talked with and eaten with a being who had been dead and buried, but who was alive again—and not just alive, but eternally, gloriously alive - as He had risen from the tomb, folded his grave clothes, and walked by his own power from death into eternal life. This event, more than any other, proved the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. And of that event, they were to be witnesses. When the Apostles testified of Him, many people believed them and were baptized into the Church.

“But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you, ye shall be witnesses un to me both in Jerusalem [Acts 1-5], and in all Judea, and in Samaria [Acts 6-9], and unto the uttermost part of the earth [Acts 10-28].

(outpouring of the Spirit similar to Acts 2:1-4 occurred at the dedication of Kirtland Temple on March 27,1836)

Peter took the lead in explaining and teaching (Acts 2:14), bearing a powerful witness of the mission and resurrection of Christ (Acts 2:31,32), and 3000 new members were added to the fold. We are told that they:

* gladly received the word (2:41)
* continued steadfastly in the doctrine of the apostles (2:42)
* continued steadfastly in fellowship (2:42)
* continued steadfastly in breaking of bread (2:42)
* continued steadfastly in prayer (2:42)
* had all things in common (2:44)
* parted their goods to all men in accordance with need (2:45)
* continued daily in the temple (2:46)
* praised God (2:47)

Like Peter, I have become a witness of Jesus Christ and many souls have joined the Church as I shared to them my testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ during my mission. As members of the Church, each of us has the responsibility to bear witness of Him. I know that the Holy Ghost can help us know when and how to testify of Christ. As we follow the Spirit's promptings, our faith will increase, our sensitivity to the Spirit will grow, and we will become more effective witnesses to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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