14But you disowned the Holy and Righteous One and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, 15but put to death the Prince of life, the one whom God raised from the dead, a fact to which we are witnesses.
- Acts 3:14-15
Peter and the Apostles were not only witnesses of the resurrection (and serve as this for every generation of believers in this way), they also served their generation and nation as witnesses that the people were guilty of killing the Messiah. They were the conscience of their nation and their generation.
I believe that the church (modern-day disciples) serves the society and the generation we live in, in the same way. We not only witness for the resurrection of Jesus with our preaching, teaching and communion, we also serve as the moral conscience of the society we live in. We are salt, we are light, and we do this in several ways.
1. We declare Christ
The world will have no excuse at judgment because we have declared that Jesus is the Son of God, the Christ, the Lord and the Savior. We proclaim this not only to save souls, but also to serve as witnesses on judgment day for those who do not believe, those who fell away and those who believed something else.
II Thessalonians 1:10 says that the church will be there on judgment day to say, "I told you so, you should have believed, you should have stuck it out, you should have followed Jesus and no other."
2. We provide a moral compass
Christians provide a moral compass for our society. Paul says that the church is the pillar and ground for the truth. The truth, the plumb line, the center for what is right, what is good and what is of God are contained in God's Word.
The church has been given the responsibility to reveal and teach God's Word to the world. That responsibility does not belong to schools, religious groups or publishers, only to the church. It is not self-righteous, therefore, to denounce evil and immorality in this world; it is the essential work of the church.
This is why we must guard the purity and accuracy of the Word as well as the purity and accuracy of its teachers. The church must not only teach the Word, it must also pass it along intact to the next generation and train them to understand and teach accurately the Word (II Timothy 2:1-2)
One other way that we, as the church, provide light:
3. We offer an alternative
There are many lifestyles offered in this world promoted by various groups, and they all end up the same way: in death and destruction.
There is a way that seems right to a man but its end is the way of death.
- Proverbs 14:12
The church offers an alternative to death. We offer the way of Christ, we offer eternal life through Him. The life we lead, the message we preach, the witness we make is a model offered to a dying world that there is a better life, a better hope than what exists here, and it begins with faith and obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord.
What kind of witness are you? Are you a witness for disbelief, disobedience, rebellion, weakness, immorality, gossip, selfish ambition? Or are you a witness for love, perseverance and faithfulness to God's Word? In the end both God and the world will know.