Internal Evidence.

Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. – 1 John 5:10 ESV

1 John 5:6-12

John has mentioned three witnesses that testify to the truth of Jesus’ claim to be the Messiah, the Son of God. “For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree” (1 John 5:7-8 ESV). Then he adds the testimony of God Himself. “If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son” (1 John 5:9 ESV). Even God the Father has testified on the behalf of Jesus, declaring Him as His Son and claiming to have sent Him to “to bring good news” and “to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed” (Isaiah 61:1 NLT). But John had more evidence to add to his argument. So far, his proof has all be external in nature – the baptism of Jesus, His crucifixion, the coming of the Spirit, and the verbal acknowledgement of God. Now he brings us the testimony within – the very indwelling presence of the Spirit of God that every believer receives upon acceptance of Jesus as their Savior. The apostle Paul tells us, “but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God” (Romans 8:15-16 ESV). When brought before the Jewish council, Peter said, “The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him” (Acts 5:30-32 ESV).

The Holy Spirit is living proof of Jesus’ messiahship. The very presence of the Spirit within the life of the believer should unequivocally convince us of any of His other claims. Jesus told His disciples that the Holy Spirit would come. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you” (John 14:16-17 ESV). He had told them that the Holy Spirit would testify to them regarding Him. “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me” (John 15:26 ESV). And that’s exactly what the Spirit does. He bears witness, testifies and gives evidence of Christ’s life-changing, heart-transforming power in the life of the believer. “So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image” (2 Corinthians 3:18 NLT).

We have the very Spirit of God within us, empowering, equipping and testifying. His presence should make a profound difference in the way we live our lives. Paul explains it quite succinctly. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:22-24 ESV). As we see that fruit produced in our lives, we can know that Jesus’ death and resurrection are what made it possible. Had Jesus not died, rose again, and ascended back into heaven, the Holy Spirit would not have come. His presence here is proof that Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, and that someday He is going to return to this earth to finish what He began. He will restore this world back to its original God-ordained glory. He will destroy sin and death once and for all. He will remove all pain, sorrow, tears, heartache and any other evidence of the fall – forever.

The evidence is overwhelming in favor of Jesus. He is the Son of God. He is the Savior of the world. He is the long-awaited Messiah whom the prophets of old had long-ago predicted. And over the last 2,000 plus years, His claims have been proven true by the miraculous spread of the Good News of Jesus Christ around the world. Millions have come to faith in Christ, of all walks of life and every conceivable people group. And the Kingdom continues to expand. The Holy Spirit is hard at work, guiding, motivating, sending, and equipping God’s people to do His Work. But at the end of the day it all boils down to a fairly simply formula: “Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:12 ESV).


Can I Get A Witness?

For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. – 1 John 5:7-8 ESV

1 John 5:6-12

Jesus is the Son of God. That has been John’s assertion throughout his letter. He was countering the claims of those who had left the congregation there in Ephesus. Those people had cast doubt on the validity of Jesus’ incarnation and divinity. They had denied that He was the Christ, the Son of God, and the Savior of the world. But John would have nothing to do with their false assertions. Over and over again, he wrote that Jesus was the Son of God. He even asked the somewhat rhetorical question, “Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:5 ESV). Then John backed up this bold statement with facts. He provided “witnesses” to the reality of Jesus’ deity and humanity. “And the Spirit is the one who testifies because the Spirit is the truth” (1 John 5:6 ESV). Eight different times, John uses words that have to do with testifying and testimony. He uses the Greek words, martyreō and martyria. The first one is a verb and means, “to be a witness, to bear witness, i.e. to affirm that one has seen or heard.” The second one is a noun and refers to the testimony itself. John wanted his readers to know that the claims of Jesus had been backed up by expert testimony and it was not the testimony of men. First of all, the Spirit testified. But John added that the water and the blood were expert witnesses as well. “For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree” (1 John 5:7 ESV). The very fact that the Spirit of God indwells the people of God is proof that Jesus was who He claimed to be. He had promised the when He left, He would send the Holy Spirit. “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever; even the Spirit of truth” (John 14:16-17 ESV). “Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’ Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” (John 7:38-39 ESV). John made it clear that the Spirit’s presence in the life of the believer was proof that Jesus had come as the Son of God, died a substitutionary death on behalf of sinners, and rose again. His resurrection and ascension set the stage for the Spirit’s coming. “By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us his Spirit” (1 John 4:13 ESV).
But what about the water and the blood? What is John referring to with these two seemingly obscure words? It seems that there were some in the early church who believed that Jesus, the man, was the literal Son of God. They taught that when Jesus was born, he was born as a man. But at His baptism in the wilderness by John, the Spirit of the Christ came on Him. He was still just a man, but had the anointing of God on His life. They further taught that when Jesus hung on the cross, the Spirit of the Christ left Him. So when Jesus died, He did so only as a man and not as the Son of God. John rejected this teaching – vehemently and decisively. In fact, he used the occasions of Jesus baptism and death as witnesses for the deity of Christ. “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased’” (Matthew 3:16-17 ESV). Jesus did not become God’s Son at that point. He had been His Son from before the foundation of the world. But it was at His baptism that God used the beginning of His earthly ministry to confirm His deity and role as the long-awaited Christ. It is interesting to note that Jesus did not NEED the baptism of repentance, because He was sinless. But He was identifying Himself with sinful man. Just as Jesus did not DESERVE to die on a Roman cross, because He was sinless and without guilt. He was identifying Himself with the sins of mankind, and He “bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24 ESV). Jesus began His ministry at the Jordan and completed it on the cross when He claimed, “It is finished!” (John 19:30 ESV). The shedding of His blood culminated and completed His mission. His death was the crowning glory of His saving work for mankind. When we celebrate the Lord’s Supper, it is a remembrance or commemoration of His broken body and shed blood. At the exact moment Jesus died on the cross, we are told, “the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split” (Matthew 27:51 ESV). There were other supernatural events that accompanied His death. But the tearing of the curtain that acted as a barrier into the Holy of Holies of the Temple was a stark visual illustration that Jesus’ death had made access to God available to all. But John would have us remember, that it is belief in Jesus as the Son of God and the Savior of the world that makes access into God’s presence possible. “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 John 5:11-12 ESV). God has done something remarkable and great. He has provided salvation for sinful man through His sinless Son. And the Spirit, the water, and the blood testify to the reality of that incredible truth.