In this special emphasis on living life on purpose, we are going through the Dave Ramsey course, “Financial Peace University.” When people think about Dave Ramsey, they often think about getting out of debt, etc. But what people need to know is that the teaching he shares through financial Peace University is based on biblical principles. In fact, through-out the course, he quotes Scripture after Scripture. The course was developed by him after having made money in real estate, only to go bankrupt. He met Christ during this time, and as a result, when he found himself at rock bottom, turned the Christ and God’s Word for answers. Those answers that he found in the Bible are what he now teaches. He often says that he met Christ on the way down, and came to really know Christ on the way back up. That’s why Dave always ends every radio broadcast with the words, “There’s only one way to truly know financial peace, and that’s to walk daily with the Prince of Peace, Christ Jesus.”
Today, we’re starting this series about living life on purpose by thinking about where one finds purpose in life. Here’s the answer: you find purpose in life by connecting with the One who gave you life, and that’s God. And you connect with God through trusting in Jesus Christ as your own personal Savior and Lord. It is only by meeting Jesus and then walking with Jesus that you can live life on purpose. That’s John’s point in verse 5 of our text for today’s message.
And the Bib1e teaches that the child of God has a “know-so” salvation. In the book of 1 John the word “know” is used almost 40 times. We can know beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are a child of God.
In these verses, the Lord gives us divine authentication of the fact that we can know we are a child of God. The word, “testimony” or “testify” occurs ten times in these verses. John is referring here to the witness of the Holy Spirit, that authentication given by God to His children to let them know they are indeed His. There are three simple aspects of the witness of the Spirit are important to keep in mind.
1. The Holy Spirit bears witness to the Son - vs. 6-7
Every time the Holy Spirit is prominent in the Bible, He is doing the work of exalting the Lord Jesus (John 16:13-15). He will not speak of Himself, but will bear witness to Christ.
The Holy Spirit bears witness to the Son in a twofold manner:
A. The Spirit bears witness to the Lord’s coming.
There is a heresy which lies in the background for this letter. A group called the Cerinthians, believed Jesus was a mere man. At His baptism, the eternal Christ came upon Him, stayed with Him until the cross, and then was withdrawn, so that Jesus died as a mere man. One purpose of John’s gospel and His letters was to refute such false teaching.
He tells us that Jesus came by “water and blood,” an allusion to the beginning and the climax of our Lord’s ministry. The Lord Jesus inaugurated His public ministry by a public baptism. When He was baptized, the Spirit bore witness to who He was by descending upon Him in the form of a dove, and the Father declared, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17). John also says Jesus came by blood - a reference to the cross. What’s emphasized here is that Jesus was just as much the Christ in the moment He died on the cross as He was when He was baptized. He did not cease to be the Christ. He did not cease to be the eternal Son of God. Jesus was God before His birth (John 1:1), He was God at His birth (John 1:14), He was God at His baptism, He was God on the cross, He was God in His resurrection and He is God for all eternity! God was intimately involved in the sacrifice of Calvary!
“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.” - 1 Timothy 1:15 (NIV)
The whole purpose of God taking human form in the person of Christ was to pay the price for the sins of the world! The Spirit testifies the cross was no accident of history, or “plan B” in the work of God; it was God’s primary purpose!
His holy fingers made the bough, which grew the thorns that crowned His brow. The nails that pierced His hands were mined, in secret places He designed. He made the forest whence there sprung the tree on which His body hung. He died upon a cross of wood yet made the hill on which it stood. The spear which spilled His
precious blood was tempered in the fires of God. The grave in which His form was laid was hewn in rocks His hand had made. The throne on which He now appears was His from everlasting years. But a new glory now crowns His brow, and one day to Him every knee shall bow.
One can either choose to bow the knee to Christ today, resulting in their eternal salvation; or they will bow the knee one day, prior to their eternal condemnation.
B. The Spirit bears witness to the Lord’s cleansing.
I believe John also has a deeper meaning in what he says here. He’s also emphasizing how the Spirit testifies to the cleansing power of the Lord. In John 19:34, John refers to blood and water coming out from the wound in His side after His death. Physicians tell us that around the heart there is a sac of fluid and sometimes when the heart bursts, this sac of fluid also bursts. As a result of having the weight of the sins of the world placed upon Him, Jesus died of a broken heart.
1) Jesus came by blood - Eternal Cleansing.
The blood testifies to the fact that when God looks at a sinner who has received Christ as Savior, He looks at a sinner who has been washed clean in the precious blood of the Lamb (1 John 1:7). Though my
behavior may not always be acceptable in the sight of God, my standing is that of being accepted in the sight of God.
2) Jesus came by water - Daily Cleansing.
When you walked into the Old Testament tabernacle, there was, first of all, a brazen altar where the sacrifices were made and then there was a laver, a big basin of water. That pictures the normal progression of our experience with God. First, we have to come to the altar where the sacrifice is made, where the blood of the lamb is poured out. Then we must also go to the laver of water where we experience daily cleansing from the practice and power of sin in our lives. God has made it possible for us to not only be saved from sin’s penalty, but to be saved from sin’s power on a day-to-day basis. Through the cleansing made available in Christ, not only is my standing that of being accepted in the sight of God, but my behavior can be made more acceptable in His sight as well (Ephesians 5:26).
“Let the water and the blood from thy wounded side which flowed, Be of sin the double cure, save from wrath and make me pure.”
Secondly, the Holy Spirit bears witness . . .
2. The Holy Spirit bears witness in the saint - vs. 9-12
The Spirit of God not only bears witness to the Son in order to convince a lost world of the sufficiency of the salvation God offers, but He also bears witness in the saint in order to convince the believer of the certainty of his salvation.
“The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God.” - Romans 8:16 (ESV)
The Holy Spirit works on us to convict us of our need for Christ and the Holy Spirit works in us to convince us that we belong to Christ.
3. The Holy Spirit bears witness through the Scriptures - v. 13
My wife, Donna, was once one who lacked assurance. She had been baptized as a child while going to church with her Granny, but never felt assured of her salvation. After we married, she began to share her doubts with her preacher husband. I would take here to passages like Romans 10:9 and ask her if had prayed (confessed with her mouth) and believed. She said, “yes,” but still had doubts. Frustrated, I finally told her to never embarrass me by coming forward in church one Sunday to say she needed to be saved. I was convinced she was. But I wasn’t the one who needed the assurance; and it wasn’t my eternal soul on the line. I was very selfish.
One day, we were having an evangelistic meeting and the evangelist was extending the invitation to those there to trust in Christ. I was praying and the Lord spoke to me saying that my wife was going to be the first one to come forward that night and that I was to keep my mouth shut and get out of the way and let Him take care of business. Sure enough, when the congregation began to sing the invitation hymn, she was the first one down. She settled her salvation that evening.
My wife will now tell you that her favorite verse is Romans 5:1: “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
With the Spirit having taken up residence within her, she now found assurance in God’s Word. It’s the same with us.
What’s more, when you know that you know Jesus and have a personal relationship with god through Him, but His Spirit and by His Word, you can learn more and more each day how to live a life of purpose - the kind of life God designed you to live.
Conclusion: Do you know that you know, that you know Christ? Why not make sure today?