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Wednesday in the Word

Second Baptist Church

October 16, 2013

1 John 5:6-13

  1. Verses 6-8. If you did not know this is a difficult passage to understand if you are reading from the King James Version. The King James Version was translated from the Latin Vulgate which has a verse that is found in no other Greek Manuscript. In the King James Version verse 7 is most likely a side not written by a scribe that over time was thought to be part of the original text. That is why most modern versions place this extra verse in the side notes. There are only a few of these passages in our bible, but everywhere you will find one, most modern translations have tried to show that they were most likely translator notes that were somehow copied when reproducing ancient text. The NIV translates the verse correctly without the added verse 7 found in the KJV. The best translation of this text is to see this as a verse that counters the Gnostic teaching that was popular of the day that Jesus as the Christ did not suffer. The popular teaching could not conceive of a God who would come to suffer, but the true believers know that only through the sacrifice of the God-man could that be possible. We needed a sacrifice that could be like us, but good enough for God.

    1. Let’s examine the figurative language that John uses. John uses three words the water, the blood, and the Spirit. Most likely the water is a reference to his water baptism. As baptism, it would speak to the fact that Jesus submitted himself to water baptism at which God declared that this is his son in whom he was well pleased. I like the understanding that the water refers to being baptized because it was there that the Father testified to the divine nature of Jesus. John is big on declaring that Jesus had the testimony that he was the Son of God not by his own testimony, but by the testimony of the father.

    2. The picture of the blood could easily be seen in his death on the cross. It was his blood sacrifice that pleased God and purchased our eternal life. It was on the cross that Jesus fulfilled the love of God for humanity and demonstrated that a perfect sacrifice was needed to atone for the sins of man. The blood testified to the sacrificial atonement that God required for the salvation of humanity. The blood still testifies that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice, and that we are now covered under that same blood. The blood was a physical sign that the sacrifice had been made and the sins atoned for.

    3. The Spirit descended on Christ at his baptism as a sign that he was the only begotten of the father. The Spirit testified that he was God’s Son. It is this same Spirit that still testifies that Jesus is the only begotten of the Father and that no one can come to God but through Jesus. The Holy Spirit bore witness to Jesus at His baptism and at His death. In Leviticus 8, when the priests were consecrated, they were washed with water, anointed with oil (a type of the Holy Spirit), and the blood of a sacrificial ram was applied to their ear, thumb, and toe. Even so, Jesus our great High Priest was washed with water at His baptism, anointed by the Spirit, and offered His own blood as the final and sufficient sacrifice for our sins.

    4. All three, the water, the Spirit and the blood all testify that Jesus was sent by God, came in the flesh, suffered for the sins of the World, and was resurrected by the power of the Spirit.

  2. Verses 9. The testimony of people is great, but John wants you to see that the testimony of the Father, through the water, the blood and the Spirit is a far better testimony than any man or women could give. John’s point here is that God has borne witness to His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Spirit of truth bore witness to Jesus at His baptism, when He identified with sinners, although He Himself did not need to be cleansed. He testified of Jesus throughout His earthly ministry, through His miracles, His teaching, and His obedient life. He bore witness to Jesus as the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, initially through John the Baptist’s witness (John 1:29), but supremely at the cross. He confirmed that witness through the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Rom. 1:4). The Spirit bore further witness when, in fulfillment of Jesus’ promise, He descended on the church at the Day of Pentecost. He further affirmed the witness to Jesus through the miracles that the apostles performed. We have that witness in the New Testament. Thus John’s point is that God’s threefold witness to His Son—the Spirit, the water, and the blood—is trustworthy. In a court of law, truth is established when numerous witnesses say the same thing and when those witnesses are shown to have credible character. John shows us that the three witnesses all agree and they are not just the testimony of men, but of God Himself.

  3. Verses 10. The issue is clear, who will you believe? Will you believe God or man? God has declared that Jesus is the Christ. This is the testimony or the witness of God on the matter. If you don’t believe you are saying that God was lying about his Son.

  4. Verses 11-13. For John, and us, the record is clear Jesus is the Christ. It was confirmed by the testimony of God. What is the testimony that we must have? God has given eternal life and this life is through Jesus Christ. It was God who gave it, and what God gave is nothing short of wonderful. God has decided to give all those who believe eternal life. If you have the Son, you have this eternal life. If you do not have the son, you do not have this eternal life. If you have Him, you have eternal life. If you don’t have Him, you do not have the life. All of God’s promises are yes in Him (2 Cor. 1:20). All that God offers us, He offers in Jesus Christ. He is the only sure, solid foundation for your faith. Do you believe this testimony that God has given about His Son? If so, you have eternal life. John has written this letter so that his little children will not be unsettled by the false teachers. If they believe in the name (= person) of the Son of God, then they may know that they have eternal life. John doesn’t want us to hope so, but to know so. You can know because God’s testimony about His Son is trustworthy. Your faith must rest in Jesus Christ alone, not in anything or anyone else. If your faith is in Christ, then you have the inner witness of His Spirit, that you are a child of God. You have the evidence in your life that He has changed your heart. You now believe the truth about Jesus. You obey God’s commandments. You love God and others.

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