“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched — this we proclaim concerning the Word of Life. The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” ~1 John 1:1-3
But I haven’t heard Jesus with my own ears. I didn’t see Jesus with my own eyes or touch his resurrected body with my own hands. Those apostles, those first Christians in the New Testament, had lots of advantages over me. They were real witnesses. I’m not really a witness at all. How can I be expected to proclaim the same ways they did?
As we established in this space yesterday, you have Holy Spirit power. You have the Spirit of God, the personal Spirit of the Christ, living inside you. I don’t know how that works. I promise you right now I don’t know how to explain it. But I believe it. And I trust it.
The Gospels tell us there is a continuity of personal experience with Jesus for all generations of disciples, not just the first generation. In John 14, Jesus promises he’ll never leave his followers as orphans: “I will come to you,” he says.
“If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.” ~John 14:23
Scripture says that Jesus ascending to his throne at the right hand of God in heaven does not mean the end of his presence with his followers. Jesus lives inside you.
“Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.” ~1 John 3:24
“We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the World. If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God.” ~1 John 4:13-15
The power of God’s Spirit belongs to you. It belongs to all disciples of the Christ. The Spirit inside you gives you an ongoing personal experience with our Lord. You know him. And you testify to that by the things you say and the way you live.