3
January
2018

1 JOHN 5:6-12 THE WITNESS OF GOD

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If you want a witness from God, if you want to be one of God's witnesses who echoes God's testimony, there isn't really a better place to go than right here. 

  1. The witness of God concerning His Son, says verse 9 It is our faith in Him that overcomes the world.  We must believe in the true Son of God, the true Christ, the eternal one. 

 in chapter 2 verse 22, "Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ, this is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son...that is the equality between God the Father and God the Son.  Whoever denies the Son doesn't have the Father, the one who confesses the Son has the Father also."  One's Christology is critical, one's right view of Christ is essential to salvation.  Again in chapter 3 John affirms this.  Verse 23, "This is His commandment that we believe in the name of His Son Jesus Christ."  Chapter 4 again, verses 1 and 2, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, tests the spirits to see whether they're from God because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the Spirit of God.  Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God and this is the spirit of antichrist." 

chapter 4 to verses 9 and 10 we read: "By this the love of God was manifested in us that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him.  In this is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins."  Understanding and believing the truth about Christ and His redemptive work is absolutely critical.  Chapter 5 verse 1, "Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God."  And what is our faith?  Verse 5, "Believing that Jesus is the Son of God." his is the witness of God concerning His Son.  This is the testimony of God.  Down in verse 10, "The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself." That is if you believe Jesus Christ to be who the Father says He is, you have received God's testimony.  The one who does not believe that Jesus is who God said He is, makes God into a liar.  And so we have in this text this most important theme of the witness of God.  God here summarizes His testimony concerning His Son.  John here is elaborating on a single statement that he made in his gospel, John 20:31, "These are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and that believing you might have life through His name."  That was the purpose for which he wrote the whole of the gospel of John the great "I Am" titles that compose so much of that gospel.  And, of course, the gospel of John starts with the great statement that” In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. 

If you want to know the testimony of God, don't listen to the Jehovah's Witnesses, listen to God's true witness recorded through the gospel writers, Matthew, Mark, Luke and most notably John, whose purpose is to write things that we might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God and believing have life through His name.

What does "water and blood" mean?

That is not any divine statement, that's a very physical, very human affirmation that this person was dead.

Then there's a second view that has gained some popularity that this refers to the two ordinances of the church.  Water, referring to baptism; and blood, referring to the communion service...baptism and the Lord's table. that doesn't give any divine witness either because that's a function of the church.  That's not a God-given witness, that's a church witness, isn't it? 

And I would say something else, as well.  In the baptism of Christ He identified with sinners, didn't He?  He identified with sinners.  You see, baptism was baptism of repentance.  It was baptism of repentance.  He didn't have anything to repent of.  But there in that most unique way He told John, "You have to baptize Me."  John said no, the reverse is true.  And He said, "No, you have to baptize Me.  I need to fulfill all righteousness."  And there He was in His baptism identifying with sinners and defining the reason He came.  And the Father gave witness, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."

And the second divine testimony was given at His blood, as it were, or at His death, that at the end of His ministry...at the end.  That too defined His ministry because as He had identified with sinners in going into the waters of a baptism of repentance, He fully identified with sinners at the cross by taking their punishment.  Those are tremendously defining events, two monumental experiences bracketing His ministry of redemption.  And so the Father says, "I gave testimony at His baptism, testimony at His death."

sometime after 90 A.D., a serious heresy had already developed which said that Jesus was God's Son at His baptism, but not at the cross.  .  This is part of the developing of Gnosticism. We've seen how they believe that spirit was good and matter was evil, and so they denied the full doctrine of the incarnation that God, the good Spirit, could ever take up permanent residence in a human being, was unacceptable to the dualism of their thinking.  They did allow the Christ's Spirit to come down at the baptism, stay awhile and then go away.  They could not involve God in flesh in any permanent way and certainly not in the sufferings of death. 

Verse 7, "And it is the Spirit who bears witness because the Spirit is the truth," or, "Because He is the Spirit of Truth."  The third member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, gives witness from the Father of the Son because He's the Spirit of Truth.  He always speaks what is true.  Doesn't just mean that but it does mean that. 

verse 8 then says, "For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood and the three are in agreement."

we find the very same thing here in chapter 5 verse 13, to know you're saved you have to know you believe in the Son of God.  The name of the Son of God means all that He is...all that He's done.  And so belonging to Jesus Christ, belonging to God starts with believing in Jesus Christ Anything else is antichrist and cuts one off from salvation and eternal life.

Now the question is, what is it that brings us to this conviction?  What is it that brings us to this faith?  What is it that brings us to this believing?  And the answer is, the witness of God.  verse 17 of Matthew 3, "This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."  The Father is perfectly pleased with the Son.   bore witness saying, 'I beheld the Spirit descending as a dove out of heaven and He remained on Him.'"

Matthew chapter 27, verse 45. "From the sixth hour, darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour."  Supernatural darkness,  verse 51, "Behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom."  That cannot be done by men, far too high, far too heavy. And the earth shook."  God literally shook the planet.  "And the rocks were split and the tombs were opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised and coming out of the tombs.  After His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many." 

 verse 54 says, "Now the centurion and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became frightened and said...what?... 'Truly this was the Son of God.'" Not only did the centurion say it but those who were with him said it.  There's no other conclusion.  This was the Son of God.  Here was God's testimony at the cross. And you could also say that the Father's testimony was given at the cross by the fulfillment on the cross of the Old Testament pictures.  For example, Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 He was smitten of God and afflicted, that's why He said, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?"  

All right, God then gave His testimony.  Why did He give it? 

  1. verse 11, let's look at the purpose for God's testimony, very simple.  "And the witness is this..."  Here's the reason for the witness.  "The witness is this, that God has given us eternal life." the reason that God gives this witness is because God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son.  So if you don't have the witness of God that brings you to believe in His Son, you don't have eternal life.  Eternal life, zoe aionion, is life in God's Kingdom, the next life, eternal life, life after this life. 

It's always about eternal life. We've talked about the witness of God and the purpose of that witness. 

  1. Let's talk about a response to God's witness.  And with this we'll back up to verse 10 and then look at verse 12 just briefly.  What should be our response?

Verse 10, "The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself.  The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son." You who believe have received an eternal life and you have a lifelong grip on Jesus Christ, you will never let go.  "Those who went out from us went out from us because they never were of us, but you hold on to life through faith in Jesus Christ."

verse 12.  "He who has the Son has the life.  He who does not have the Son of God does not have the life." 

Is that simple enough?  If you don't have Christ, you don't have life. 

John 1:12 is a good place to end.  "As many as received Him, as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name."  If you haven't received Him, Jesus Christ, believed in His name, you have not been saved. All of that the Father's testimony through these three great confirming categories of evidence.  And the end result is if you believe, you embrace the truth and you are saved and you are given eternal life.  If you don't, you make God a liar because you will not believe.  It's as simple as this.  If you have the Son, you have eternal life.  If you don't, you have no eternal life.