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 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
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
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
John 17:3 (MSG)
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.”
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
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.
Post a Comment