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"The Witness of God"
1 John 5:6-13
Wednesday AM Bible Study
February 22, 2006
When John wrote his Gospel, he was concerned that his readers might believe
and have eternal life (John 20:30-31). Now, he writes to those who have
believed; that they may be assured of the eternal life they now possess (1
I. HOW THE WITNESS OF GOD HAS BEEN BORN TO THE WORLD (vv. 6-8).
A. The most sensible way to understand "water" and "blood", in this case,
is as references to Jesus' baptism (water) and crucifixion (blood). Both
are ways that God has borne witness to the world of His Son. They are, if
you will, the 'bookend' events on either side of His earthly ministry; and
both 'bookend' events identify Him as God's Son.
1. In Jesus' baptism, He radically identified Himself with our sin problem
by entering publically into the waters of baptism for repentance - though He
Himself had not sinned (Matthew 3:14-15). At that time, God identified His
Son to the world at Jesus' baptism (Matthew 3:16-17).
2. In Jesus' crucifixion, God also identified His Son to the world. The
veil of the temple, that separated sinful man from a holy God, was torn in
two by an invisible hand (Matthew 27:51); and the graves were opened, and
the dead came out alive (vv. 51-53). Even the centurion proclaimed that
Jesus was the Son of God (v. 54).
3. Note that, in the best ancient mannuscripts of John's letter, the words
"in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are
one. And there are three that bear witness on earth . . ." do not appear.
B. But it wasn't only through these things that God identified His Son. He
also identified Him by the decent of the Holy Spirit upon Him (John
1:29-34). Even now, the Holy Spirit testifies that Jesus is the Son of God
C. These three - the water, the blood, and the Spirit - all testify in a united
way that Jesus is the Son of God. The truth is there for anyone who will
II. HOW THE WITNESS OF GOD IS TO BE RECEIVED BY PEOPLE (vv. 9-10).
A. It is received in an objectively legal way - the same way we receive any
other eyewitness account. The word of two or three is sufficient (Deut.
19:15; also 17:6). In a strictly legal way, we would readily be bound to
accept a testimony on the basis of three witensses. But here, not only is
God Himself the witness; but He gives us three testimonies. Jesus Himself
claimed that, on the basis of more than one testimony, He had sufficient
witnesses to His idenity (John 8:17-18).
B. If we believe this witness, we have an internal witness. The Holy
Spirit Himself continues to testify to the identity of God's Son (1 John
3:24). If we reject this witness, we call God a liar.
III. HOW THE WITNESS OF GOD BLESSES THOSE WHO RECEIVE IT (vv. 11-13).
A. The affirmation is that we have eternal life when we have the Son. He
who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son does not have life
(John 3:16; 6:68-69). Eternal life is our present possession if we receive
the witness of God concerning His Son. It is not our possession if we do
not receive the witness of God concerning Christ (John 3:36).
B. When we receive that witness, we also receive assurance. John wrote
these things so that we, who have believed, may know - as a settled
certainty - that we have eternal life. Assurance comes, not by knowing all
the facts, but by first believing God's own testimony concerning His Son.