1 John 5:6-13 - The Assurance of Our Salvation

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The Source of Our Relationship With God: Jesus Christ

Believing the Witness About Christ: That He is the Son of God 5:6-8

1.       There is the mission of Jesus Christ (v.6)

       A Description of How Jesus Came Into the World

This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. 

Historically There Have Been Three Different Types Of Answers.

1.    His Birth The Greek indicates a particular historic coming, which was at the time of Christ’s incarnation.  Immediately after in relation to water, another preposition is used in which indicates water as being the surrounding physical element.  This is why there are three views to this passage.

As a human being He was conceived of the Holy Spirit (Matt.1:18; Luke 1:53) and as a baby spent the appointed nine-month period of development (Luke 1:31; 2:7) in His mothers womb in water, more accurately called the amniotic fluid, the fluid in the thin, membranous sac enclosing the embryo. 

q         It is called amniotic fluid from the Greek word amnoŒs, a lamb for sacrifice... amnoŒs is found only in (John 1:29, 36; Acts 8:32; 1 Pet. 1:19; Ex. 12:5). This indicates that Jesus Christ was born in the flesh as the God-Man for the purpose of dying, and through His death accomplished the purpose of our redemption.

q         The Lord Jesus is called the AmnoŒs of God because He sacrificed Himself at the time of the Passover (John 2:13; 1 Cor. 5:7).

q         If this is the case, John would be essentially writing, “Jesus was born like a man and died like a man. He was completely human, not some super-spiritual being who had no real contact with the material world.”

       2.     His Baptism – Some Say This Is Stating The Mission Of Jesus Christ.

               Some take the term “water” as a reference to the baptism of Jesus by which His public ministry was initiated (Matt. 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; Luke 3:21-22). “Blood” would then refer to His death, by which His earthly work was terminated.  Two things happened at the baptism:

               1.    The Spirit of God came upon Christ in the form of a dove (John 1:32-34)

               2.    The voice of God proclaimed Jesus Christ to be the Son of God.

Þ  Matthew, Mark & Luke testify that God’s voice called Jesus Christ His Son (Matt.3:17; Mark 1:11; Luke 3:22).

       3.    The Cross – Some of the Church Fathers Linked the water & blood to His Pierced Side (John 19:34)

Yet the essence of the cross was not that water flowed, but that blood was shed. In fact, no other New Testament text mentions water in connection with the cross. At the time of the spear-thrust Jesus was already dead; it only proved that he was in fact dead. Finally, the order of words in John 19 is different from that in John 5:6-8, which indicates that the author was not thinking of the Gospel passage when he wrote.

The Purpose Of The Statement: affirming that it is the historical Jesus who is the Christ, the Son of God. Although the false teachers may have acknowledged Christ as the Savior, the divine Son of God, they denied his true human existence. Like Cerinthus, they probably held that the Christ came on the man Jesus at his baptism and remained till the time of the Crucifixion. In this way they could deny that the Christ had ever been truly human and subject to suffering and death.

2.       There is the witness of the Holy Spirit (v.6c)

And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.

This is in the present tense (cf. John 14:26; 15:26; 16:8, 12), because the Spirit, as ultimate truth, is the only one capable of bearing witness.  We know that Christ abides in us by the Spirit whom He has given us (1John 3:24; 4:13).

God sent Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners, the Spirit of God is to declare this.  How Does The Spirit Bear Witness In The World?


Scripture Says Several Ways The Spirit Does This.  He does this by:

Þ     convicting the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:7-11)

Þ     quickening—giving life to—men when they are willing to believe in Christ (John 6:63; 2 Cor.3:6; cf. John 5:39-40 they were not willing)

Þ     giving the believer assurance and guaranteeing his salvation (2 Cor.1:22; Eph.1:13-14; 4:30; 1Jn.3:24)

Þ     bearing witness with the heart of believers, assuring them that they are children of God (Rom.8:16; Gal.4:6; 1John 3:24; 4:13; 5:6).

Þ     teaching the believer about Christ (John 14:26; 1Cor.2:13), & testifying about Jesus (John 15:26)

Þ     living within the believer and making his body a holy temple for God (1Cor.3:16; 6:19-20; 2Tim.1:14)

Þ        showing believers things to come (John 16:13)

Þ        giving believers the power to witness (Luke 24:49; Acts 1:8; 2Tim.1:7-8)

Þ        proclaiming the things of God through believers (1Cor.2:12-13; Luke 12:12)

Þ        leading and guiding the believer (John 16:12-15; Rom.8:14)

Þ        choosing believers for special ministry and gifting them for that ministry (Acts 13:2; 1Cor.12:4-11)

Þ        quickening (making alive) the mortal bodies of believers at death (Romans 8:11)

There Are The Witnesses Of Heaven & Earth (v.7-8)

Readers of the Authorized or King James Version will notice that in the niv and other modern translations 1 John 5:7 does not contain the three who “testify in heaven: the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit.” The reason for this omission is thus:

1.    The clause appears in late manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate, not in the early ones. And in the Greek manuscripts it does not appear before the sixteenth century.

2.    As a result, scholars universally conclude that the original text of 1 John lacked this statement, which was probably added by a scribe in the margin at some later time as a “Praise the Lord” and got copied into the text by a still later scribe (doubtless thinking that the first scribe was putting in the margin something that he had accidentally left out).

(v.8) – And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit (Holy Spirit), the water (take your pick), and the blood (of Jesus) ; and these three agree as one.

Believing the Witness About Christ: That He is the Son of God 5:9-15

1.       There is the witness of God Himself (v.9-12)

       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. (1 John 5:9 NKJV)

A)       God’s Witness Is Greater Than Any Testimony Of Man (v.9)

We will believe and accept many things man will say to us as being true.  Some men will even lie and exaggerate the facts and we will still believe, but the fact remains that God’s witness is greater than any human witness.  He never exaggerates or twists the facts, He never lies or deceives.  What God says is always true and truth.  Therefore, God’s record about His Son should be believed. 

The Father Has Sent Jesus and Has Testified of Him.

q         We know that in Matthews Gospel at Jesus’ baptism, a voice came from heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (3:17).

q         At the transfiguration a voice came out of the cloud saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him”! (Matt.17:5)

q         Jesus Himself said in John’s Gospel that “the God the Father has set His seal on Him” this means that the Father has authorized and authenticated the Son as the Giver of life (6:27). 

q         At the Triumphal Entry, Jesus said to the Father, “Glorify Your Name.”  Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.”

q         Jesus also said “the Father who sent Him bears witness of Him” (8:18)

q         Jesus says that no one receive His testimony; but if you do receive His testimony you certify that God is true (John 3:31-36).  Which is also to say if you do not receive God’s testimony you call Him a liar (1Jn.5:10)

q         Jesus says there is another who bears witness of Him & His witness is true & has testified of Jesus.  But they do not believe and were not willing to come to Him that they may have life (John 5:31-36).

q         Luke wrote in the book of Acts (17:31-34) that the resurrection of Jesus affirms that all that God has said is true.

Do you believe that George Washington ever lived?  How do you know this?  How do you know that he lived?  Have you ever seen him?  Then why do you believe this?  Because you read it in a book.

In the same way God has let us know that salvation is certain and secure by putting it down in a book (Psalm 119:89)

B)       God’s Witness Lives Within The Heart Of The Believer (v.10a)

He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself… (1 John 5:10 NKJV)

                   Remember it is the Spirit who bears witness (v.6), therefore, the witness that we have in ourselves is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit seals and guarantees the believer, gives him assurance that Jesus Christ has saved him from sin, death, and condemnation and has made him acceptable to God.

q        John 1:12-13 whoever receives Jesus, God gives the power (Holy Spirit) to become His Child

q        Romans 8:16-17 the Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God

q        Galatians 4:4 God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts in which we cry Abba, Father

q        Ephesians 1:13-14 after we heard the word of truth and trusted in the gospel of our salvation, God sealed us with the Holy Spirit of Promise.

q        Ephesians 4:30 we must not grieve the Holy Spirit

C)       God’s Witness Is Rejected By Unbelievers (v.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… (1 John 5:10)

       This is very strong language, the person who does not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God makes God a liar. How could this be? Note the verse: because he does not believe the record that God gave of His Son. God has given witness after witness that Jesus Christ is His Son:

q        the witness of the life of Christ, His works and words.

q        the witness of the baptism of Christ, of the blood, the cross and death, of Jesus Christ.

q        the witness of the resurrection & of the Scriptures.

q        the witness of the Holy Spirit that convicts the human heart.

q        the witness of believers who have experienced the power of Christ in their lives.

But God did send His son into the World & has born witness to this truth (John 3:16-21, 36; 8:24)

D)      God’s Witness Is Clearly Stated In Verses 11-12  (v.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, and he who does not have the Son does not have life (1 John 5:11-12)

Apart From Jesus There Is No Life.

1)        Jesus Christ Is The Source Of Physical Life

q         The Bible says “all things were made by Him” (John 1:3), and He holds everything together by the Word of His power (Heb.1:3).

2)        All Spiritual Life Comes from the Lord Jesus

q         Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (Jn.10:10).

q         Jesus not only opens the door, He is the door (John 10:7, 9) & if anyone enter’s by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  Note this that Peter stood at the door outside (John 18:16).

q         Jesus not only promises bread, He is the bread (John 6:31-35, 41, 48-58 God gave His only Son)

q         Jesus not only shows the way, He is the way (John 14:6)

q         Jesus not only bestows life, He is life (John 14:6)

3)        The Word “Life”, “To Live” Or “To Have Life” Have A Depth Of Meaning.

(a)      Eternal Life Is A Present Possession, Not Merely A Future Hope.

1.         Ephesians 1:3 says God has blessed us with every Spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.

2.         Ephesians 2:5-6 Even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.

3.         Both passages, the verbs are past tense, a accomplished reality, we already possess eternal life.

a.         Our citizenship is in heaven (Phil.3:20), therefore, we must be preoccupied with heavenly things (Col.3:1-3), not with earthly things (1Jn2:15-17),communing with God now, through prayer & the study of the Word of God (2Tim.2:15).

(b)      Eternal Life is a Quality of Life.

1.         It is life in fellowship, communion, & oneness with God (John 17:3)

2.         Christ said “the kingdom of God is within you” (Lk.17:20-21), God governs your life.

(c)      Eternal Life Is Being Changed From The Inside Out.

1.         Holy Spirit gives us a new set of holy desires (Ezek.36:26), a hunger for righteousness (Matt.5:6) and a desire for Him.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26).

2.         From that point on God uses everything to move us toward being like Christ (Rom.8:28-29).

3.         We are clothed with a perfect righteousness (Isa.61:10; Rom.4:5), giving us a right standing before God without any fear of condemnation (Rom.5:1; 8:1).  We have been made “complete in Christ” (Col.2:10), and have been granted all things that pertain to life & Godliness (2Pet.1:3).

What Does Scripture Say About the Word “life”?

q         Life is the opposite of perishing (Jn.3:16,36; 5:24,29; 10:27-28)

q         Life is eternal-forever (Jn.10:10)

q         Life is satisfaction (Jn.6:35)

q         Life is self-denial (Jn.12:25)

q         Life is sowing to the Spirit (Gal..6:8)

q         Life is to live for & magnify Christ (Phil.1:20-21)

q         Life is described as a race (Heb.12:1-4)

q         Life is described as a narrow gate (Matt.7:13-14)

q         Life is being spiritually minded (Rom.8:5-7; 2Cor.10:3-5)

q         Life is found only in Christ (Jn.5:26; 6:27, 40, 47; 11:25-26), who abolished death, and brought life & immorality to light through the gospel (2Tim.1:10).

q         Faithfulness in this “life” determines your rewards in eternity (Lk.16:10-12 cf. 1Cor.4:1-2).

He who has the Son has life, and he who does not have the Son does not have life (v.12)

2.       There assurance of eternal life (v.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.

A Person Can Be Assured In This Life of Possessing Eternal Life Now

We are not left to wait until we die to discover whether we have eternal life or not. 

Yet, this assurance is grounded upon the individual believer possessing the marks of a true believer discussed throughout this epistle. A true believer lives:

q        in the light (1John 1:5-7)

q        in constant fellowship with God (1 John 1:8. 2:2).

q        true to the Gospel  (1 J 2:24).

q        with love for others (1 John 3:18, 19. 4:7)

q        in obedience to God (1 John 2:3-6; 3:23. 5:2-5)

q        in the light by loving one another (2:10-11)

q        untainted by the world (1 John 2:15-17. 5:4, 5).

q        practices righteousness (1 John 2:29)

q        in victory over Satan, not living in sin (1 J 3:8, 9. 4:4. 5:18).

q        concerned about souls (1 J 5:16; James5:20).

q        assured of personal salvation (1 J 4:17; 5:13).

If you bear these “birthmarks,” you can say with confidence that you are a child of God.

q        We must examine ourselves (Matthew 18:8; John 8:31, 52-55 obedience to God)

q        We must continue to walk with the Lord (Acts 11:23; 14:21-22; Col.1:21-23; 2Tim3:12-16)

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