1 John 5:6-13
Stephen Caswell © 2001
Carried To Your Own Room
A little boy named Kenny developed leukemia. The disease progressed rapidly. Soon he was unable to go to school, then unable to go out at all, and finally confined to his bed. One day he asked his mother the question she feared hearing. Mother, he said, what is it like to die? Though she'd steeled herself for that moment, she couldn't handle it when it came, so she excused herself and went out of the room. And there in the bathroom she prayed, her knuckles as white as the porcelain in the sink top. Then, guided by God's Spirit, she went back into the bedroom.
She said, Kenny, you remember how when you were a very little fellow you sometimes would fall asleep in my bed? And how the next morning, when you would waken, you would find yourself in your own bed and in your own room? Do you know how that happened? It happened because while you were sleeping, your father came with big strong arms and he carried you gently into your own bed in your own room. That, Kenny, is what death is like. The youngster smiled trusting in Jesus completely. A few weeks later he fell asleep, his Heavenly Father came and carried him off to his own room and to his own bed.
Last week we answered the question, Can we have confidence in the Savior, Jesus Christ? To do this we looked at the testimony of the saved. We saw how that faith in Jesus Christ brings A New Life, eternal life, A New Love, God's love and A New Liberty, overcoming evil. I want to look at eternal life again with a new question. Can we know that we have eternal life? Only this time we will see God's testimony concerning His Son. Firstly, we will see The Testimony Of The Spirit. Secondly, we will see The Testimony Of The Father.
Firstly, The Testimony Of The Spirit
1 John 5:6: This is He who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.
Most conservative scholars agree that the water refers to Christ' baptism and the blood to His crucifixion. Christ's public ministry on earth took place between these two significant events. John wrote these verses to provide assurance for believers. False teachers denied Christ's ability to save. Some challenged His deity whilst others questioned His humanity. They said that the Christ came upon Jesus at His baptism and departed before His death on the cross. So John reminded them of Holy Spirit's witness concerning Jesus Christ.
a. The Water - Christ's Baptism
1. The Father. The Father testified of His Son. Luke 3:21-22: When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.
God spoke from heaven witnessing on behalf of His Son. He sent the Holy Spirit upon Jesus in the form of a dove. This testimony happened at the beginning of Jesus' ministry. God wanted the world to listen to His Son and believe in Him. He was pleased with His Son and told the world so. God gave a public testimony about His Son on at least three occasions.
2. John The Baptist. He testified about God's Son. John understood the significance of the Jesus' baptism. He recognized God's Son! John's testimony perfectly harmonizes with the Father's testimony of His Son. John 1:29-34: The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! This is He of whom I said, After me comes a Man who is preferred before me, for He was before me. I did not know Him; but that He should be revealed to Israel, therefore I came baptizing with water. And John bore witness, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and He remained upon Him. I did not know Him, but He who sent me to baptize with water said to me, Upon whom you see the Spirit descending, and remaining on Him, this is He who baptizes with the Holy Spirit. And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.
b. The Blood - Christ's Crucifixion
1 John 5:6a: This is He who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. The blood speaks of Christ's sacrifice on the cross for our sins.
Origin Of Yellow Fever Vaccine
In West Africa, in 1927, a blood specimen was taken from a native named Asibi, who was sick with yellow fever. A rhesus monkey which had just been received from India, was inoculated with the specimen. Asibi recovered, but the monkey died of the disease. All the vaccine manufactured since 1927, by the Rockefeller Foundation, the government and other agencies as well, derives from the original strain of virus obtained from this humble native. Carried down to the present day from one laboratory to another, through repeated cultures, and by enormous multiplication, it has offered immunity to yellow fever to millions of people in many countries. Through the creative imagination of science, the blood of one man in West Africa has been made to serve the whole human race. Christ's blood cleanses all sin.
1. The Father. The Father gave further witness as the time drew near for Jesus to die. He spoke audibly to Jesus from heaven for the third time. John 12:27-30: Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save Me from this hour? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name. Then a voice came from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it and will glorify it again. Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, an angel has spoken to Him. Jesus answered and said, This voice did not come because of Me, but for your sake. God the Father wanted the world to listen to His Son. Therefore He did all that He could to point people to His Son.
The Father also gave witness through miraculous power when Jesus died on the cross: the supernatural darkness, the earthquake, and the rending of the temple veil. No wonder the centurion cried out, Truly this was the Son of God! Jesus did not receive the Christ at His baptism and lose it at the cross. On both occasions, the Father witnessed to the deity of His Son. God has testified about His Son. Are we listening to Him?
Atonement Verses In Bible
The New Testament contains 290 references to God's love. 290 times God declares His love for us. But in the same chapters and the same verses there are more than 1,300 references to the atonement, 1300 assurances that salvation is obtained through the blood of Christ.
2. The Apostle John. John was present when Jesus was crucified and he gave testimony about Christ's blood. John 19:33-35: But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. The blood speaks of Christ's death on the cross. Jesus Christ is in fact the lamb of God slain to take away the sins of the world. Christ's blood proves that He was a perfect man. He was not a spirit or phantom. God cannot bleed, but a God Man can. He was true God and true man. Yes Jesus Christ shed His blood as the spotless Lamb of God to redeem us from our sin.
How Can Blood Cleanse Sin?
A preacher was speaking from the text, The blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanses us from all sin. Suddenly he was interrupted by an atheist who asked, How can blood cleanse sin? For a moment the preacher was silent; then he countered, How can water quench thirst? I do not know, replied the infidel, but I know that it does. Neither do I know how the blood of Jesus cleanses sin, answered the preacher, but I know that it does.
c. The Spirit - Christ's Witness
1 John 5:6-8: This is He who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.
The Spirit testified about God's Son. But how did the Spirit testify concerning Jesus seeing He didn't speak? The Spirit testified about Jesus in at least three ways. One, He gave testimony when He descended upon Jesus in the form of a dove. Luke 3:21-22: When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him. The Spirit exalted Jesus Christ at His baptism and all those present saw it. At Christ's baptism the Holy Spirit anointed Jesus for His earthly ministry. Luke 4:18-19 confirms this!
Two, He moved the holy prophets to write about the Son in the sacred Scriptures. This testimony still speaks today. We weren't there when the Father spoke and the Spirit descended upon Jesus Christ. But the Holy Spirit was and He has moved God's servants to record this for us in the sacred Scriptures. 2 Peter 1:20-21: knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
1 Peter 1:10-12: Of this salvation the prophets have inquired and searched carefully, who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, searching what, or what manner of time, the Spirit of Christ who was in them was indicating when He testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow. To them it was revealed that, not to themselves, but to us they were ministering the things which now have been reported to you through those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven — things which angels desire to look into.
Three, He testifies to the hearts of men whenever the Gospel is preached. The Spirit convicts and confirms the Gospel to the hearts of men. How does the Spirit witness within the heart of a believer? Romans 8:15-16 tells us clearly: For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, Abba! Father! The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. His witness is our inner confidence that we belong to Christ — not a confidence that we work up for ourselves, but a confidence that God gives us. The Spirit also witnesses to us through the Word. As we read God’s Word, He speaks to us and teaches us.
How can we have confidence in Christ's salvation? Because of the Spirit's testimony. He was present during Christ's ministry. He witnessed Christ's baptism at the Jordan River and His crucifixion at Calvary. Firstly, the Spirit gave testimony to Christ at His baptism when He descended upon Him as a dove. Secondly, the Holy Spirit moved the prophets to record it for us in the Bible. They recorded the Father's testimony and that of John the Baptist and the disciples. Thirdly, the Spirit confirms these truths to our hearts. Have you believed the witness of the Holy Spirit? Do you listen to Him when He speaks through the Word or a preacher? Do you listen to Him when He touches your heart to confirm or convict you?
Secondly, The Testimony Of The Father
a. His Testimony Is Greater
1 John 5:9: If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.
In court the judge and jury listens to the evidence given by witnesses. Men and women give testimony of what they have seen and heard. The court receives their evidence even though men are fallible and often make mistakes. When Jesus ministered on earth many people saw Him and heard His words. Four accounts of Christ's ministry are recorded in the Gospels. But John reminds us that the greatest testimony Jesus Christ received came from God the Father. On at least three occasions He spoke from heaven about His Son. The testimony of Almighty God is far greater than the testimony of finite, fallible man. Consequently we can have complete confidence in what God says even though men might oppose it.
1. Believers Are Confirmed
1 John 5:10a: He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself.
When we believe God's testimony about His Son the Holy Spirit confirms the decision in our hearts. The Spirit gives us an internal witness that we have made the right choice. He lets us know that we have indeed believed the truth. God doesn't want us to have doubts about our salvation. So when a sinner believes in God's Son the Holy Spirit fills their heart with peace and joy. Romans 8:16: The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. This inner witness is like the instrument gauges in our motor cars. They confirm that everything is okay in our vehicles. They tell us that there's gas in the tank and the engine is running at the right temperature. The Spirit testifies that we are right with God.
2. Non Believers Are Condemned
1 John 5:10b: He who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
Consequently when we don't believe God's testimony we are condemned. Why are we condemned? Can't we just make a different choice? No to disbelieve God's testimony of His Son is to call Him a liar. The logical evidence proves that God is telling the truth. No one can deny that all men are sinners. Our lives prove it. No one can deny that the wages of sin is death since everyone dies. No it is very apparent that the whole race has been infected with sin. We need help and only God can save us. He did this by sending His Son to die for us.
b. His Testimony Is Guaranteed
1. Eternal Life
5:11-12: And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
God has gone on the record telling us that eternal life is available only through His Son. Jesus Christ is eternal life. 1 John 1:1-2: That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life — the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us. Our eternal destiny depends upon our relationship with Jesus Christ. If we have received the Son of God then we have eternal life. But if we reject the Son of God we condemn ourselves. It's as simple as that, there is no other option. Years ago there was a bumper sticker that said this, Don't be caught dead without Jesus. If you die without Jesus Christ then you will spend eternity in hell. You won't enjoy eternal life but eternal suffering and torment.
Speculation Or Salvation
When Sir James Simpson, the discoverer of chloroform, was on his deathbed, a friend asked him, Sir, what are your speculations? Simpson replied: Speculations! I have no speculations! For I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.
2. Eternal Security
1 John 5:13: These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.
John wanted Christians to have assurance of eternal life. Since eternal life is obtained by personal faith in Christ then those who do this can have absolute assurance they are saved. The word know oi#da is in the perfect tense. The perfect tense speaks of a past action that has consequences which continue forever. When we believe in Jesus Christ we receive eternal life. We can know this for sure and it will never change. We know that we have eternal life!
We have the witness of the Spirit within and the witness of God's Word. John wrote these words so that believers might have confidence in their Christian faith. Paul wrote something similar to Titus. Titus 1:1-2: Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began.
God Would Be Greater Loser
The old Scottish lady was right. When she was visited by a very young minister who was short on experience, she held fast to her firm assurance of her safety in Christ. But just suppose that after all God should let you sink into hell? said the minister. He would lose more than I would, came the firm answer to faith. All I would lose would be my own soul, but He would lose His good name.
This is the major difference between Christianity, false religions and cults. Members of cults and religions don't know if they are saved or not. They are not sure if they have done enough good works. They don't know if their good works will outweigh their sins. But salvation is a free gift from God. It can't be earned through works. This gift is received by faith. God has gone on record in His Word as offering eternal life to those who will believe on Jesus Christ. Millions of Christians have proved that God’s record is true. Not to believe it is to make God a liar. And if God is a liar, nothing is certain. God wants His children to know that they belong to Him. That is why He testifies through His Spirit and the Word.
Salvation Assurance Of
Several years ago one of the astronauts who walked on the moon was interviewed and asked, What did you think about as you stood on the moon and looked back on the earth? The astronaut replied, I remembered how the spacecraft was built by the lowest bidder. I wondered if it would be able to get us safely home. I worried that the manufacturer might have cut one to many corner. Christians will never have to worry about whether our salvation is able to get us safely to heaven. Christ's work is perfect and the Father guarantees it.
A second source of confidence in Christ is found in the Father's testimony. His testimony is greater than man's. Have you taken God's testimony of His Son seriously? Your eternity depends on it. Have you believed in Jesus Christ the Savior? Do you have the Son and the life that he gives? Do you know that you have eternal life? Does the Holy Spirit give you that inner witness that you are a child of God? Will you be condemned for all eternity because you rejected Jesus Christ? Please consider God's testimony about His Son!
Today we looked at the question, Can we know that we have eternal life? Is God's guarantee of eternal life reliable? Yes. We saw God's testimony concerning His Son. Firstly, we saw The Testimony Of The Spirit. Then, we saw The Testimony Of The Father.
Benediction Jude 24-25: