Jesus said, “Even in your law it has been written that the testimony of two men is true” (John 8:17). In the matters concerning this life it is understood that every matter’s conclusion is by plurality of witnesses; no one even questions it. But what about heavenly matters, such as that relates to our salvation? What are the two testimonies we have for it? No doubt one of them comes from us. Then, does salvation even require testimonies? Jesus robustly said that He Himself is a witness concerning Him and His Father is the other that testifies about Him. Taking this into consideration is their evidence to our salvation, which integrates faith, righteousness and obedience, other than our word? As far as Jesus is concerned His word should be good enough to testify Him as the Son of God. Yet, it was necessary for Him to have another witness in the Father. It is for this reason many believed Him as the Christ.
Paul at one place said confessing Jesus as the Lord with our mouth and believing God raised Him from the dead gives salvation. As Christians we have all done it and if anyone missed it, they should do it right away. Christians today use Paul’s saying as the reason to claim salvation and rightly so, unless they have no plurality of evidence. Should we then start doubting everyone’s salvation? No, that’s not the point. If we believe we are saved, we must have the Father as our other witness. Merely saying we are saved cannot stand. You see the reason many believed in Jesus in those days is not by His word alone, but also by the Father testifying for Him at every moment, place and situation. Having the Father as a witness to our salvation gives the perfect confidence that we are saved and that He is leading us; in every matter or situation we see Him working for us. But how can we know Him as our other witness? The way for it is to have His calling or promise. The likes of Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David and all the prophets as well as the disciples of Jesus, Paul and early Christians all had it. It is the pro forma. They received His Word in the form of calling with a promise. Then, He began testifying for them.
Unless the Father is one of the two witnesses concerning one’s salvation, he or she is yet to be saved. Any work in the flesh to go along with his or her claim as the saved is only a witness in the flesh; and baptism too is a work. The one who has God the Father as witness to his or her salvation is truly transformed. Transformation is a sign of having been saved and God testifies for the transformed throughout their life. Having His testimony is for our benefit. Firstly, we know we have not been deceived by the devil. Secondly, righteousness is born in us. For when one believes in Jesus with his or her heart it yields righteousness, a sign of true transformation that compels them to confess Him as the Lord. Now, righteousness comes by hearing God from the Word and then believing it; that which we hear will be His calling with a promise. It is for this reason the Spirit said that Abraham’s belief was credited to him as righteousness. And Abraham was called the father of all who believe, whether the circumcised or the uncircumcised. Therefore, the pattern God used to make Abraham righteous applied to all.
There are parameters that indicate whether or not one is truly transformed.
1. The quality of work. This is what Paul said to the Corinthian believers. “Each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work” (1 Cor. 3:13). It is not the number or the kind of works we do, but it is the quality of them that counts. The basis for quality is having the works of God. If we are acutely aware that whatever we do in God’s name will be tested by fire, we make sure our works stand the test on that day. If our faith has not been credited as righteousness or we have ignored the substance of righteousness, our works will be of impurities. A sign our works are with quality is the Father testifying for them from the Word, His works and ways.
2. Godliness. Paul speaking of malicious men said, “Holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these” (2 Tim. 3:5). Godliness is with power. Having it means the Father has bonded with us to testify concerning us. The rational conclusion is that if we denied its power, we are without it. If we accept it, we see the Father testify concerning us. In other words, He displays His power for us indicating we are the true transformation. Our godliness is exactly the way it is supposed to be, i.e. with the power of God.
3. Love of God. “But whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him” (1 John 2:5). Having the love of God is a sign of true transformation. How far can we love someone or when and how truly can we forgive someone is a quality that is born of keeping the Lord’s Word. As we habitually hear Him from the Word, He leads us to love others or forgive them unconditionally. For His calling and promises mold us to be like Him.
4. Maturity. “Now I say, as long as the heir is a child, he does not differ at all from a slave although he is owner of everything” (Gal. 4:1). Our transformation must indicate that we have passed on from being a child of the world to becoming the adult in Christ. Having God’s blessings, promises, gifts and principles is a sign we overcame the rudimentary things of the world. Unless and until a man’s faith is credited to him as righteousness, he does not own the riches of God.
5. Yearning to meet Christ. Jesus said “There will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves” before His coming (Luke 21:25). Yearning to meet Him is attained by the belief that the above said things will take place and should take place. Nominal Christians do not believe in them; rather, they wonder at them. On the other hand, transformed believers look forward to meet Him by the things He said.
6. Genuineness. “And He said to them, ‘rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: ‘THIS PEOPLE HONORS ME WITH THEIR LIPS, BUT THEIR HEART IS FAR AWAY FROM ME’” (Mark 7:6). Each one can testify to himself of himself. Although God knows our hearts, our conscience also teaches us about our attitude toward Him. If a person’s heart is far away from Him, he or she has pretending faith. Their focus is more on the interests of men and self than God. These are the ones that reject the pro forma God set for all to transform. They reject it, since it does not suit their way of life or the choices they made. Usually it is these that entertain conflicting arguments, philosophies and traditions of men.