Summary: God gave & gives witness to His Son. This witness is of the highest, the most important & the most extraordinary kind. God bears witness through the Spirit, the water & the blood. These witnesses sustain our faith & prove that Jesus is God to all who hon
1 JOHN 5: 6-10
BELIEVE THE WITNESS
[John 5:31-40 / 16:13-14]
An AGNOSTIC professor condescendingly confronted a little girl who believed in Jesus. “There are many throughout history who have claimed they were God. How can you be sure who told the truth? Which one of these men can you believe”
The girl responded without hesitation: “I’d believe the One who rose from the dead!”
The emphasis in the first half of First John chapter five is in trusting Jesus. A person who trusts Jesus Christ with a trust [that moves him into Jesus Christ,] that causes him to follow Jesus Christ, is born of God and is able to overcome the world. Continuous believing in Jesus is basic to the Christian’s overcoming walk. We can live victoriously because within us is the Living Witness.
The key word in verses 6-10 is witness or testimony. God gave and gives witness to His Son. This witness is of the highest, the most important, and the most extraordinary kind. God bears witness through the Spirit, the water, and the blood. These witnesses sustain our faith and prove that Jesus is God to all who honestly listen (CIT).
I. THREE WITNESSES, 6-8.
II. THE WITNESS OF GOD, 9-10.
Verse 6 points us to Jesus as the object of our faith. “This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood.”
The one who gives those who believe in Him the enabling to overcome the world is the one who came by water and blood. The word came is pointing out the One who came to fulfill the messianic hope as the Messiah "the Coming One" (Mal. 3:1). He came by or through (dia) water and blood. This is a perplexing and difficult statement.
Most scholars see it as meaning the water of baptism which inaugurated Jesus’ earthly ministry (Mk. 1:9-11; Mt. 3:13ff) and the blood refers to the close of Jesus’ earthly life when He died by crucifixion. Others see it as the water and blood which flowed from Jesus' pierced side.
Through His water baptism Jesus consecrated Himself to His mission. During His baptism the Spirit descended upon Him visually and the Father bore witness as He spoke out of heaven saying, “This is My beloved Son in whom I am well pleased” (Mt. 3:17). The witness of the Spirit and the Father to the messiahship of Jesus was given publicly at His baptism. The water of baptism refers to our faith, repentance, purification and readiness for ministry.
As the water came at the beginning of His earthly ministry in the flesh, the cross came at the close. The blood refers to the death of Jesus on the cross. He gave His life, when He shed His blood for "the life is in the blood" (Duet. 12:23; Lev. 14:7). The doctrine of atoning blood means that God Himself bore our sins and demonstrates sin-bearing, pardoning love. On the cross He died for the sins of man to redeem mankind out of slavery to sin, Satan, and the way of the world.
His own statement that “It is finished” speaks of the finished work of redemption through His substitution and atonement on the cross. Jesus overcame the flesh by beginning His ministry of redemption and He overcame sin, Satan, and the world as He finished His redemptive ministry. Christ not only came to teach repentance and purification by His baptism but to give new life by His blood.
The last part of verse 6 seems better connect to verse 7 because the Spirit of Truth must bear witness to this truth. “And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth.”
John and the brethren witness to what they have seen and heard, but the Witness supporting their witness is the Spirit. The Holy Spirit of God is the pre-eminent and principle Witness. He was the witness to Christ's baptism when He bore witness by descending upon Him and even at the cross from the centurion's statement, "Truly this was the Son of God," He was the witness bearer. The Holy Spirit bore witness and caused the writing of the Divine Text, the Bible, and the Holy Spirit bears witness of its truth in the hearts of those who read, hear, and study it today.
The Spirit not only bears witness in our hearts that what He is saying is true, He also testifies that we are His. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God (Rom. 8:15f). His witness is our inner confidence that we belong to Christ.
The Spirit bears witness in the community of believers through worship, fellowship, work, and witness. The Spirit witnesses in the believer’s heart and in the believing community and their experience of His power and guidance confirm the truth of the Gospel to which we have committed ourselves. Out of this inner witness He empowers us to become witnesses to a lost and blind world.