Exploring 1 John Session 29 1 John 5:6-12

 


Exploring 1 John Session 29  1 John 5:6-12

This is our 29th exploration of the letter of 1 John.  The portion of the letter we will consider must be understood in the times in which it was written.  The Gnostic Christians taught that Jesus was not the Christ and the Christ was not Jesus.  The Gnostic taught that when Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist the “Christ Spirit” descended from the spiritual realm and indwelt the man Jesus.  On the Cross, when Jesus quoted Psalm 22:1 “why have you forsaken me” the Gnostic taught that the “Christ Spirit” left Jesus before he died.  John once again refutes this teaching. 

 For John there is no division in Jesus, Jesus is God incarnate, God with flesh on, fully human, fully divine.  John will cite 3 witnesses that confirm his belief. The Message paraphrase of the scripture does some interpretation for us.  That is both the blessing and danger of a paraphrase.  In this case, the Message paraphrase has done a decent job in conveying the meaning of John’s words concerning three witnesses: the water, the Spirit, and the blood.

 We have previously explored the reasons why Jesus has to be fully human and fully God, in the one, representing both, to make atonement for sins possible.  Instead of belaboring John’s arguments, we are going to focus on the life that Jesus makes possible for us to experience, eternal life. The really good news about life eternal is that you can choose to possess it right now and live it right now. 

The most important thought I want you walking away with today is this:  To know God you have to consciously spend time with God.

 1 John 5:6-12 (MSG)

Jesus—the Divine Christ! He experienced a life-giving birth and a death-killing death. Not only birth from the womb, but baptismal birth of his ministry and sacrificial death. And all the while the Spirit is confirming the truth, the reality of God's presence at Jesus' baptism and crucifixion, bringing those occasions alive for us.

 7 A triple testimony: the Spirit, the Baptism, the Crucifixion. And the three in perfect agreement.

9 If we take human testimony at face value, how much more should we be reassured when God gives testimony as he does here, testifying concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God inwardly confirms God's testimony. Whoever refuses to believe in effect calls God a liar, refusing to believe God's own testimony regarding his Son.

 11 This is the testimony in essence: God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son. So, whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life.

 

John tells us that there is no separation between Jesus' human and divine nature.  God lived and died.  That is a mind-blowing statement.  You might be able to understand why the Gnostic Christians rejected this interpretation of the gospel.  That God lived and died and then rose from death just isn’t what god’s do. 

 John uses a cultural president to make his case that Jesus is as his gospel proclaims. In the Hebrew Bible, our Old Testament, and the New Testament, the testimony of three witnesses validated a situation.  To establish something as fact required 2 or 3 corroborating testimonies (Deuteronomy 19:15, Matthew 18:16, and 2 Corinthians 13:1).  John cites 3 witnesses. Scholars have struggled and argued about these three witnesses.  Having studied their discussions, the conclusion I have reached, in other words, this is only my opinion, is that the witnesses are the confirmation of His ministry at His water baptism in the Jordan, the signs and wonders that confirming his message accomplished through the Spirit, and His physical death on the cross culminating in a resurrection:  the water, the Spirit, and the blood.  If that is John’s meaning it is a clear correction of the prevailing Gnosticism of the day. 

 The water, the Spirit, and the blood; John simply asks; if you accept the testimony of two or three witnesses in an everyday legal matter why do you refuse to accept the testimony of these witnesses?  To refuse to accept the testimony of these witnesses is to call God a liar which is another indication that you are part of the Jesus denying world and not walking in the light.

 When you do make the message your own, God gives you eternal life (1 John 5:11).  There are unique and individual paths a person may tread in making the gospel message their own.  The general direction is the acknowledging of your need for a personal savior; believing that Jesus is the savior you need; committing yourself to be a follower of Jesus, and asking God to accept your faith. 

 John 1:9-12 (MSG)

The Life-Light was the real thing: Every person entering Life he brings into Light. He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn't even notice.  He came to his own people, but they didn't want him.  But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said,

He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.

 Jesus is the life-light sent into the world to redeem you from eternal separation from God (John 3:16).  Do you want reconciliation?.  Right now you can accept the testimony and become a disciple of Jesus.  If that is your decision let me know, I want to help you as you move into the Kingdom of God

 Often when we think of eternal life, we think of the afterlife or immortality.  The truth is that eternal life is a present reality with a future consummation.  In walking in the light you partake in eternal life.  Eternal life does not begin when you die. Eternal life is available right now.  Jesus prayed for you and gave us insight into eternal life. 

 John 17:3 (MSG)

 “…And this is the real and eternal life: That they know you, The one and only true God…”

 Knowing God occurs as we walk in the light, walking in the light is an ongoing process of intimacy.  After every wedding comes a marriage.  Two journey together, increasing their familiarity with one another, growing closer as the years roll by.  Good times, bad times, times of victory and times of defeat, the laughter and the tears, forge two hearts together in an unbreakable bond.  There is no love like an old love. 

There is a huge gulf between knowing about God and knowing God.  The way a person gets to know God is by spending time with God.  We spend time with God when our motivation for the daily practice of the 7 habits of a disciple is to do exactly that.  The seminal work about knowing God is a little book called “Practice the Presence of God.”  A stand out lesson in this writing is “just do it,” make it a habit, put reminders into your daily schedule to acknowledge God.  All the resources are there to make this possible, you just need the resolve (Colossians 3:23 (NLT).

 In your notes, there is a website link to “Practice the Presence of God.” 

[https://churchleaders.com/pastors/free-resources-pastors/145403-brother-lawrence-free-ebook-the-practice-of-the-presence-of-god.html ] 

Spending time in the awareness of the presence of God is transformational.  God’s sanctifying grace makes it possible to become like Jesus.  To be like Jesus is to love God and love others.  The scripture makes the case that knowing God is to be transformed into His image.  (2 Corinthians 3:18 & Colossians 1:15).  There was a fad a few years ago, the “What Would Jesus Do?” fad.  As you spend time with God don’t have to ask that question because you gain what the Apostle Paul called the mind that is in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5).  You know what Jesus would do, and you do it.  What would Jesus do?  He would obey God, show respect to even the most despised, and seek to meet the needs of others.

Knowing God empowers you to live your life to the full (John 10:10).  This life is the life every disciple can live right now.  It involves not only being loved by God but also being loved by the family of God, your brothers and sisters in the family of God.  We know that in being loved we are empowered to love, so we enjoy mutual reciprocal relationships of encouragement within the congregation.  With life to the full comes the security that God redeems all things (Revelation 21:5), this security is the basis for a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7).  So we can face the challenges and the oppositions that the world presents us with confidence (Philippians 4:13).  There is no fear of punishment, just the pain of letting someone you love down.  Living life to the full is using the gifts the Holy Spirit has endowed you with, call these gifts a divine job description (1 Corinthians 12:7).  Your life takes on new meaning as you use those gifts to minister the love of God to all others.  As you do these works of love, you become a significant player in God’s plans to save the world.  Your life matters.  You are God’s ambassador to the Jesus denying world (2 Corinthians 5:20).  Some things can only be accomplished by God through you.  The love you have received from God you are returning to God.  As you bless others reconciliation happens. 

 Knowing God is to be continually walking with God.  As you walk in the light your confidence grows that physical death is not the end.  Death is not the end.  In what is commonly called the afterlife, no one knows exactly what will happen, what it will be like, but the scripture gives us glimpses.  The thief on the cross exercised faith in the last moments of his life and Jesus told him that he would join him in paradise that very day (Luke 23:43).  The Apostle Paul was sure that physical death would usher him into the presence of Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8).  Jesus said he was preparing a place for us that his disciples can be with Him (John 14:3).  The follower of Jesus expects that they will continue to follow Jesus after physical death.  There is another promise in Scripture, that promise is a resurrection, the soul (that which is you) being reunited with the body, a new body, a glorified body.

Jesus put it this way: 

(John 6:40 (MSG)

“This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time."

 Living Life Eternal now is not a problem-free existence.  Such a life faces all the challenges of living in a broken world with broken people, even our own brokenness can bring, no one is exempt from pain, hardship, or suffering.  Bad things will happen.  There will be times when your prayers will not be answered in accordance with the desires of your heart.  You will grieve losses, you will lament, you will ask the why question.  But you will have hope. Hope that there is a better day coming when there will be no more sorrow, no more tears, no more death.  Hope that there is a better day coming when justice prevails and righteousness becomes the norm.  Hope that there is a better day coming when love’s victory is fully realized.  That hope is a gift from God, empowerment, that keeps you keeping on keeping on, remaining faithful even in the darkness of doubt continuing to walk in the light.

Knowing God is all this, so much more, and the unfathomable, that which is beyond our imaginations (1 Corinthians 2:9).  Knowing God begins when you ask God to accept your faith.  Your faith that Jesus “is the way the truth and the life” (John 14:6).  Jesus is the Son of God, fully God, fully human, who was from before the beginning (Revelations 1:8), born of women (Galatians 4:4), falsely executed (Mark 15:37), and bodily resurrected (Matthew 28:6), this you believe so you bend the knee making Him both Savior and Lord of your life.

 “Whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life” (1 John 5:12)  I want you to have life, life eternal. I want you to experience the fullness of the abundant life right now.  I want you walking in the light because in the light you will know God.  But it doesn’t matter what I want, it’s what you want.  You can have it all if you will consciously spend time with God.

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