Summary: 16th in First John Series
THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT
INTRO: We are living in an age that is filled with doubt. Very few people have any certainty of any kind whatsoever. 1 John was written to give us assurance. The Bible says it is possible for us to know that we’re saved. In v. 6, we are told it is the Spirit that bears witness. I want to talk to you about the witness of the Holy Spirit and I hope this message will be an encouragement to you, and I hope when you walk out of here you’ll be able to say, “I know that I know that I know that Jesus is my personal Savior.”
I. THE HOLY SPIRIT WITNESSES TO THE SON (vv. 6-8).
This is the HISTORICAL WITNESS. The Bible says that the Spirit of God is truth and He bears witness unto the Son, the Lord Jesus. The Spirit bears witness to the Son in a two-fold manner.
His Coming Into the World (v. 6). There was a heresy that John was combating in his day. They said that Jesus Christ was merely a man and that at His baptism, the divine Christ, came upon the human Jesus and was with Jesus through His ministry. Then when Jesus was carried to the cross, the divine Christ abandoned the human Jesus so that Jesus died as a mere man on Calvary. That is the heresy which forms the background for the statement which is made in v. 6.
John says the Spirit bears witness to the coming of Christ. It says here that He came not only by water but He also came by blood. That is a reference to the cross.
His Cleansing of the Saints (v. 8). Here is the witness of the Spirit to the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ. Do you notice it says that there are three that bear witness, the Holy Spirit, the water and the blood?
This demonstrates that when Jesus died on the cross He dealt fully and finally with the sin problem. The blood means that He has dealt with our sin judicially. It means that sin’s penalty has been fully paid.
ILLUS: Back in the Old Testament there is a beautiful symbolism which illustrates the meaning of the blood payment. It is in the symbolism that was used in the cleansing of a leper. When a leper came to be cleansed there was a ceremony followed. They took the blood of the sacrificial victim and applied it to the leper. It was applied to his right ear, his right thumb, and his right foot. That represented the judicial cleansing of the man who had come. It represented that the sin debt had been paid. Do you know what they did with that leper then? They told that leper that he was to be washed in water. He had the blood applied and then he was washed in water.
II. THE HOLY SPIRIT WITNESSES IN THE SAINT (vv. 9-10).
“He that believes on the Son of God has the witness in himself.” That’s what I call the EXPERIMENTAL WITNESS, the reality of the Holy Spirit on the inside of you. Romans the 8th chapter says, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His.” Well if that be true then the reverse is true, isn’t it? If any man has the Spirit of Christ, he is His. The moment you were saved God, in the person of the Holy Spirit, came to dwell inside you. The Holy Spirit is in you to bear witness. Look at v. 9. “If we receive the witness of men...” The if there does not mean to suggest doubt. The word if could be translated Since.
Because the fact of the matter is, we do receive the witness of men. Every day you and I live on the basis of the testimony of men. We receive the witness of the doctor, the pharmacist, newspapers. He’s saying if we receive the witness of men how much more should we listen to the witness of God. I want to give you three verses of Scripture tied together here to show you how the Holy Spirit witnesses to three realities. The Holy Spirit witnesses to facts, He witnesses to faith, and He witnesses to feelings.
He Witnesses to Facts (Hebrews 10:15). Notice the prepositional phrase, the Holy Spirit is a witness. The Holy Spirit witnesses to you concerning the facts of the gospel. Every person who is ever saved has to have the witness of the facts of the gospel. You can’t be saved apart from the facts of the gospel.
He Witnesses to Faith (Romans 8:16). That has to do with faith for it is by faith we respond to the facts of the gospel and the Holy Spirit witnesses with us that we are the children of God.