First John 5:6-12 speaks about the witness of God: "This is He that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.... And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself; he that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
The theme of this passage is the term "witness." The word "record" in some translations is identical to the word "witness." Verse 9 says, "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son." God is involved in attesting to a great truth: the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. If someone is a true witness of God, they will manifest the pattern of this passage.
A. The Preparation for the Witness
1. In John's epistle
First John 5:4-5 says, "Whatever is born of God overcometh the world; and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" Jesus Christ is God in human flesh who took upon Himself the form of a Son in servitude. To be an overcomer is to believe that Jesus is who He said He was, and the key to that is faith.
To have faith in something, you have to be convinced that object is worthy of your faith. I'm not going to drive my car across a bridge unless I think it's going to hold me up. Likewise, I'm not going to put my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ unless there is some evidence that He is worthy of my faith. Having stated that we need to believe in Jesus Christ, John tells us why we should in 1 John 5:6. He gives us the testimony of God about who Jesus is, and gives us a warning in verse 10: "He that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."
2. In John's gospel
Throughout his gospel, John stated at great length our need to believe in Jesus Christ. John 20:31 says, "These are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name." The entire gospel is filled with evidence that Jesus is God by the clear witness of the Father. Jesus said repeatedly, "My Father is testifying of me" (John 5:37; 8:18) and, "My Father bears witness about Me" (John 15:26). The gospel of John was written as irrefutable evidence that Jesus is God and that in believing, you might have eternal life. John is saying the same thing in 1 John 5:4. We believe because we see and hear the witness of God and are convinced.
B. The Pattern of the Witness
The word "witness" deserves study because it is used nine times in this text alone, and is therefore the key to this passage.
1. The grammatical pattern
The word "witness" is used 168 times in the New Testament. The Greek word is martureo, from which we get the English word "martyr." The noun form is marturia. The root word means, "One who remembers or who has knowledge of something by personal experience." In biblical and extrabiblical literature, it has been used of a witness to facts in a legal matter. For example, that term appears in the trial of Christ. It can be used to describe those who witness or give testimony to truth of any kind.
2. The historical pattern
The word "witness" was used in the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament. Isaiah 43:9 says, "Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear, and say, It is truth." Here God is calling together all the nations in a trial-like setting to decide whose God is real, which is reminiscent of Elijah on Mount Carmel (1 Kings 18:20-40). The nations are given the opportunity to witness about the deity of their gods.
The scene continues in Isaiah 44:9-11: "They that make a carved image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know, that they may be ashamed." God is saying the idol itself attests to the fact that it is man-made and therefore without knowledge or speech. He says further in verses 10-11: "Who hath formed a god, or melted and cast an image that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his fellows shall be ashamed; and the workmen, they are of men. Let them all be gathered together, let them stand up; yet they shall fear, and they shall be ashamed together." All nations are brought in who worship idols, and it is agreed by their testimony that their gods are absolutely useless.
In Isaiah 43:10-12 God speaks to Israel and says, "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he; before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord, and beside me there is no savior. I have declared and have saved, and I have shown, when there was no strange god among you; therefore, ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, that I am God." Isaiah 44:8 concurs by saying, "Fear not, neither be afraid; have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? Ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God; I know not any." If God doesn't know of any other gods, then there aren't any! Three times God referred to Israel as his witnesses. They were to relay to men the truth that He is God, and give testimony to the existence and character of God. All 168 uses of the root word martus, gives evidence that something is true. According to 1 John 5:6-12 then, God is giving witness to the truth of the deity of Jesus Christ.
3. The numerical pattern
Another feature about witnesses in the Bible is that one witness isn't sufficient. The one witness might be truthful, but to convince men of the truth, the Bible prescribes at least two or three witnesses.
a) Deuteronomy 19:15--"One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth; at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established." There is an obvious reason for more than one witness. It would be too easy for false accusations to occur if you didn't have at least two or three witnesses.
b) Matthew 18:19-20--"Again I say unto you that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them by my Father, who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." The Scriptures declare that there should be two or three witnesses in all cases. In our day, that is also the standard procedure.
c) 2 Corinthians 13:1--The apostle Paul said, "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." God always gives testimony to Himself and to His Son through multiple testimony.
d) Hebrews 11:1-2; 12:1--"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, for by it the elders received witness." The elders received God's witness concerning faith, and lived lives that passed that witness on. Chapter 12 begins, "Seeing we....are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us us run with patience the race that is set before us." The elders received the witness in chapter 11, and spread it throughout their ministry. Now they stand as a great cloud of witnesses.
God's formula is very simple: Reveal the truth to men who in turn pass it on to others. He revealed His witness to the apostles, who wrote the New Testament and therefore passed it on to us. We in turn receive the truth from the apostles and pass it on as God's continuing witnesses.
C. The Purpose of the Witness
There is much material that witnesses to the deity of Christ in the New Testament. John's primary concern, as is the concern of every writer in the New Testament, is that this witness leads to the conviction that Jesus is God. They were not trying to say He was a miracle worker or man who was so in tune with God, He was able to tap into divine power. The Bible portrays Christ as God in human flesh. The ultimate witness is not what He did, but who He is. Many say, "O yes, Jesus is a wonderful person. Just look what He did." That isn't the entire point. You need to move from the interpretation of what He did to who He is.
1. John 1:15--"John [the Baptist] bore witness of Christ, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spoke, He that cometh after me is preferred before me; for he was before me." The one John had spoken of was the coming Messiah.
2. John 5:32, 36--Jesus said, "There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true (v. 32)." He continued in verse 36: "I have greater witness than that of John; for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me." Jesus was saying, "I want you to see who I am by what I've done."
3. John 8:13-18--"The Pharisees, therefore, said unto him, Thou bearest witness of thyself; thy witness is not true. Jesus answered, and said unto them, Though I bear witness of myself, yet my witness is true; for I know from where I came, and where I go; but ye cannot tell from where I come, and where I go. Ye judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgement is true; for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true. I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me." Throughout John's gospel, God bears witness about who Christ is.
God is the great witness to the Son of God. He has witnessed throughout history to the truth of the Messiah. In 1 John 5:6-12, John presents two kinds of testimony: external and internal.
I. THE EXTERNAL WITNESS (vv. 6-9)
A. The Contemporary Denial
First John 5:6 says, "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth." God has given witness to Christ in a very objective and historical way. But Christ`s contemporaries weren't convinced that He was the Son of God. They said He was a liar, deceiver, drunkard, rebel, fanatic, and madman. Some would even say that if His contemporaries didn't believe in Him, what makes Him believable today. Evidence is needed to believe in Christ. There are three witnesses listed in verse 6 establishing that Jesus is God incarnate: the water, the blood and the Spirit. The water and blood in this verse can refer to only two things: Christ's baptism and death. God has given testimony to the deity of Jesus by Christ's baptism and death.
1. Recounting the gnostic heresy
John adds, "Not by water only, but by water and blood" (v. 6). The Gnostics taught that Jesus was only a man. They believed all matter and flesh was evil, but that spirit was good. Since God is a spirit, they assumed He would never become a man and pollute Himself, thus they concluded Jesus was only a man. They believed that at the baptism of Jesus, the Christ spirit--the dove--rested on Jesus, and that He then became the spokesman for God's truth. They also taught that prior to the cross, the divine Christ left again because they assumed divinity would never suffer on a cross.
2. Refuting the gnostic heresy
John renounced the Gnostic heresy by reaffirming that Jesus was the Messiah from His baptism through His death. His baptism was a part of His Messiahship, and so was His death. Any heresy that denies the efficacy of Jesus' death and blood for the sins of the world is Satanic. John affirms that Jesus Christ was the man Jesus and the Christ of God from His birth to His death-- and forever. Some day you will see Jesus with nail prints on His hands and feet in a glorified body, but He will be no less God. You will not see God the Father, for He is a spirit. From His incarnation, throughout all eternity, Jesus will maintain that duality. Cerinthus and his gnostic friends are dead and their creed is dead with them, but today many other heresies deny the deity of Christ. If Jesus hadn't died on the cross as a man, He could not have paid for the sins of men, and if He weren't God, His death wouldn't have meant anything because He would not have had the power to overcome sin. The resurrection is evidence that Jesus is the Messiah.
3. Reaffirming the Spirit's witness
Verse 6 says, "It is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth." John is speaking of the testimony of God that comes through the Holy Spirit. You can believe what the Holy Spirit says because He is truth. Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6). The Bible says that God is a God of truth (Ps. 31:5), and the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of truth (John 14:17), so they all speak truth. The Holy Spirit continuously bears the supreme witness to the world about the deity of Jesus Christ.
B. The Corroborating Data
Three witnesses corroborate Christ's deity.
1. The witness of the water
a) The baptism of Jesus (Matt. 3:13-16)
Matthew 3:13 says, "Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to the Jordan unto John [the Baptist], to be baptized by him." John the Baptist was the last Old Testament type prophet. He administered a Jewish ceremonial cleansing for repentance. He baptized as a sign of inward cleansing to prepare the people for the coming of Messiah.
Jesus, the true Messiah, arrived to be baptized by John. Verse 14 says, "But John forbade Him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me?" John was saying, "I'm the sinner. I should be baptized by you!" He felt the lesser could only be blessed by the greater. "And Jesus answering said unto him, Permit it to be so now; for thus it becometh us to fulfill all righteousness" (v. 15). Jesus was saying, "I have to fulfill all God's requirements." And in every sense, Jesus identified with and honored God's laws and standards. For example, when it came time to pay the Temple tax, Jesus paid it. When it was time for Jesus to fulfill God's standard for repentance and ceremonial washing, He honored it by identifying Himself with the Messianic people and their sin. It was God's will that all Israel be baptized and prepared for the Kingdom, thus God's own Son claimed no exemption to God's standards. He set the perfect example of obedience to every area of God's standard.
Matthew 3:16 says, "Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water; and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him." The text says that the Spirit descended "like a dove" (emphasis added). Some people think it was a dove. I think it might have been the appearance of light in the form of a dove.
b) The baptism of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:11-12)
That kind of appearance by the Spirit must have shocked John the Baptist because he was in the tradition of the Old Testament prophets. Very often in the Old Testament when the Spirit of God came on the body, there was a violent shaking effect. But this time, it was calm and peaceful. In Matthew 3:11-12 John was preaching about the Messiah when he said, "I, indeed, baptize you with water unto repentance, but he who cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Spirit, and with fire; Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the granary, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire." John conceived of fierce judgment when the Messiah came, but when Jesus arrived, the Holy Spirit appeared like a dove, not like fire. The baptism of the Holy Spirit with fire refers to the Judgment Day. Some people want to make this passage refer to the day of Pentecost, but that wouldn't be correct because the people at Pentecost did not burn up with unquenchable fire. The first time Jesus came, He came in meekness and lowliness, riding on a donkey. But the next time He comes, He will be King of kings and Lord of lords.
c) The mark of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:17)
Many people think that before this time, Jesus did not possess the Holy Spirit, but that cannot be true because He is God and therefore has always possessed the Holy Spirit. The baptism of Christ was God's way of putting His stamp of approval on the public ministry of Jesus Christ. Matthew 3:17 says, "And, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." God's testimony came right out of heaven proclaiming Jesus as the Son of God. Christ's baptism marked the beginning of His special ministry.
d) The guidance of the Holy Spirit (John 1:32)
The Holy Spirit was a constant guide to the earthly ministry of Jesus Christ. The entire Trinity is seen in operation in His ministry. The Father's approval is seen in Matthew 3:17, and the Spirit's role is seen in John 1:32: "And John [the Baptist] bore witness, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode [rested] upon him." The Holy Spirit remained fixed on Christ and controlled His human nature. When Jesus--God in human flesh-- came into the world, He did not cease to be God, but restricted the use of His divine powers to what the Holy Spirit wanted to accomplish. He simply became a Son, a servant through whom the Holy Spirit worked. Jesus restricted the use of His divine powers and became a living illustration of obedience through which the Holy Spirit took control.
2. The witness of the blood
The second testimony was given at the cross:
a) The roman soldier's confession
First John 5:6 says, "This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood." There was an unbelieving roman soldier at the cross when Christ died, but in Matthew 27:54 he said, "Truly this was the Son of God." The cross witnessed to the deity of Jesus Christ.
b) The Holy Spirit's cooperation
The Holy Spirit was also involved in giving testimony to the deity of Christ at the cross. Hebrews 9:14 says, "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Christ, by restricting His divine prerogatives, set the pattern for a life of service and obedience. We also are to restrict our own desires and let the Holy Spirit run our life.
c) The Father's confirmation
There was also a staggering amount of confirmation by God the Father at the cross. The first thing He did was cause complete darkness to occur in the middle of the day. There were earthquakes and broken tombs with people being raised from the dead. The veil in the Temple was ripped from top to bottom.
d) The thief and the centurion's confirmation
The thief on the cross recognized God the Father's witness and said in Luke 23:41: "And we, indeed, [suffer] justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds. But this man [Christ] hath done nothing amiss." The thief was redeemed that day while a Roman centurion stood by and affirmed God's witness (Matt. 27:54).
e) The prophetic confirmation
So many prophecies were fulfilled at the cross that it's hard to think of them all. John 19:18 tells us that they crucified Christ and fulfilled the story of the brazen serpent given in Numbers 21. Psalm 22 gave so many prophetic details of the Messiah's death that any Jewish person who knew Psalm 22 and stood at the cross would have realized that all those prophecies were being fulfilled. Psalm 22:14- 16 says, "I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me; the assembly of the wicked have enclosed me; they pierced my hands and my feet."
That prophecy gives witnesses to the Promised One, the Messiah. Verse 18 says, "They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." Verse 24 says, "He hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted, neither hath he hidden his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard." That is a marvelous fulfillment of the exaltation of Christ by the Father that follow His humiliation (cf. Phil. 2:8-11).
Isaiah 53:2 says of the Messiah, "There is no beauty that we should desire him." He wasn't handsome, but was "brought as a sheep to the slaughter." Every prophecy concerning the Messiah's death was fulfilled to the very letter at the cross. The New Testament records for us about 332 prophecies fulfilled concerning Christ. Many of them were at the cross. In John 19:30 Jesus said, "It is finished." He was God right to the finish. Throughout Christ's crucifixion, the Holy Spirit witnessed to His deity. If you look at the cross of Christ, study the facts, and do not believe Jesus is the Son of God, your problem isn't a lack of confirming witnesses; your problem is sin. The evidence is irrefutable.
3. The witness of the Spirit
The apostle John says there's a third witness to Christ's deity: the Holy Spirit. His witness is two-fold. First, it's objective--historical and external. And secondly, it is subjective--personal and internal.
a) The Spirit's record
The Holy Spirit's witness to the deity of Christ is presented throughout Scripture. In Luke 1:35, the Bible says that Christ was conceived by the Holy Spirit. Mark 1:12 says Christ was led by the Spirit, Acts 10:38 says He was empowered by the Spirit, and Luke 4:14, 18-19 says He was filled with the Spirit. All through Christ's life the Spirit was at work giving testimony to who He was.
b) The pharisees'response
(1) Their conclusion was absurd (Matt. 12:22-26)
Matthew 12:22-24 says, "There was brought unto him one possessed with a demon, blind, and dumb; and he [Jesus] healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw. And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David? But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This fellow doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub, the prince of the demons." The Pharisees' response to Christ should have been that He was the Messiah, but their response to His healing of the demoniac was the exact opposite. They said He cast the demon out by Satan's power and was therefore Satanic. The Pharisees' conclusion was absurd. Verses 25-26 say, "Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand. And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?" Satan does not go around casting out Satan. The facts militated against it.
(2) The truth was obscured (Matt. 12:28)
The second thing the Pharisees did was to obscure the truth. In Matthew 12:28 Jesus said, "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God is come unto you." Jesus was saying that if they believed their lie, they were going to miss the kingdom and obscure the truth in the meantime.
(3) Their evil was exposed (Matt. 12:31-32, 34)
Verse 34 says, "O generation of vipers [snakes], how can ye, being evil, speak good things? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh." Jesus' response was: "What you do, you do by Satan." Verses 31- 32 are the key to the passage: "Wherefore, I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men; but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven men. And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, neither in the age to come." That passage refers to the unpardonable sin. Their conclusion was to attribute the works of the Spirit to Satan, and that is unpardonable. The works of the Spirit were to convince men that Christ is God. But the Pharisees were 180 degrees from the truth, and were hopelessly lost.
Throughout 1 John, God has been saying that Jesus is God in human flesh. Based on that witness, we are to believe what He says. According to 1 John 5:6-9, we are to believe because of the multitude of witnesses: the water, the blood, and the Spirit. The Holy Spirit was active at the baptism of Jesus, at the cross, and in the miracles He produced in Christ's life. That's all one great testimony.
First John 5:9 is a transition verse to the second main point: the internal witness. It says, "If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son." God was giving testimony at Christ's baptism, the cross, and through the Spirit. It is God who bore witness in the external water and the blood, and it is God also who gives the internal witness.
II. THE INTERNAL WITNESS (vv. 10-12)
A. The believer's confidence (v. 10a)
"He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself."
We not only have the witness of God in the record of Scripture and history, but if you believe in the Son of God, that witness is confirmed in your heart as well. One of the reasons I know I'm a Christian is that I know it for a fact in my heart. The Bible teaches that there is an internal, subjective testimony of the Holy Spirit.
1. Expressed in Romans 8:15-16
According to this portion of Scripture, "Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God." When we believe in Christ, God bears witness within us by His Spirit that we are true children of God. That is something an unbeliever will never experience.
2. Expressed in Galatians 4:6
This verse says, "Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." The Spirit gives us confidence that we are children of God, and we respond by calling Him "Abba," which means "Pappa," or "Daddy." The Spirit witnesses not only externally in history, but also internally when you believe. Some might say, "I see the external evidence, but I'm not too sure about this internal witness." If you believe and take the step of faith, the witness will be confirmed in your heart by the presence of the Holy Spirit.
B. The unbeliever's choice (vv. 10b-12)
There are only two possible responses to the testimony of God:
1. Reject the evidence (v. 10b)
"He that believeth not God hath made him a liar, because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son."
If a man refuses to accept the witness of God regarding Christ in Scripture and the evidence of what He has done through the Holy Spirit, he is standing defiantly before God and calling Him a liar. Continued unbelief is not just a misfortune to be pitied, but a sin to be hated. It is the one thing for which man will never be forgiven because it contradicts the Word of the true God and calls Him a liar. There is no place for being patronizing or sympathetic with people who reject God's clear testimony. They are not to be treated as poor misguided souls, but as blatant blasphemers. A man is a fool who waves his frail fist in the face of Almighty God and calls Him a liar. That is exactly what happens when someone denies that Christ is God incarnate. Judgement is the fate of those who reject the clear and true testimony of God, for God is not a liar (Tit. 1:2; Heb. 6:18; Num. 23:19).
2. Receive the evidence (vv. 11-12)
"This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son." He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life."
By accepting God's witness, His gift to you is eternal life. John now forgets the rejecting unbeliever and speaks to the believer, one who receives the witness of God. God has given clear, irrefutable testimony. Every man has the opportunity to act as a judge and draw a verdict. If he chooses to reject the witness concerning Christ, he stands with his fist clinched, calling God a liar; but if he responds to the witness of God, he receives eternal life.
What is eternal life?
1. Eternal life is the divine presence of Jesus in us
First John 5:20 says, "We we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true; and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life." To receive eternal life is to receive the divine presence of Jesus Christ.
2. Eternal life is a gift
First John 5:11 says, "This is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son." Eternal life is a gift to us given by the Son of God.
3. Eternal life is a present and forever possession
The moment you believe in Christ, you receive the gift of eternal life and will be yours throughout all eternity. What a promise!
The last thing Jesus said on earth before He ascended to the Father was, "Ye shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). The question you need to ask yourself is, "Am I a true witness of God?"
Focusing on the Facts
1. What word characterizes the theme of 1 John 5:6-12?
2. What great truth is God attesting to in this passage?
3. What is the key to being an overcomer?
4. What does the apostle John state as his reason for writing his gospel (John 20:31)?
5. What is the key word to 1 John 5:6-12?
6. What does the root word for "witness" literally mean?
7. Why is one witness not sufficient, according to the Bible?
8. What is God's formula in revealing His witness to man?
9. What was the main concern of every New Testament writer?
10. True or False: The ultimate witness to Christ is what He did, not who He is.
11. Whom did Christ's contemporaries think He was?
12. There are three witnesses 1 John 5:6 that give testimony to the deity of Jesus Christ. What are they?
13. Explain the witness of the blood--the many things that were going on during the death of Christ.
14. What is the source of any heresy that denies the efficacy of the death and resurrection of Christ?
15. Explain why it is important that Jesus be both man and God.
16. Why did Jesus insist that He be baptized by John the Baptist?
17. Why might John the Baptist have been surprised at the coming of the Messiah?
18. What was the reason for the Holy Spirit descending like a dove on Jesus?
19. What were five specific things going on during the death of Christ?
20. What would a Jewish person have to conclude after seeing the crucifixion?
21. What is the two-fold witness of the Holy Spirit concerning the deity of Christ?
22. How did the Pharisees respond to the deity of Christ?
23. What is the meaning of the unpardonable sin in Matthew 12?
24. Cite two passages of Scripture that clearly teach about the internal witness of the Holy Spirit.
25. What are the two ways to respond to Christ's deity? Explain the result of both.
Pondering the Principles
1. Do you have any unsaved friends who need to be convinced of the deity of Jesus Christ? Think of how God has witnessed to you internally through the Spirit, and externally through Christ's death. How do you think you could witness to them concerning those truths? What changes in your life must you make to be a better witness? Ask God right now to begin to change you to be that better witness. Ask Him for specific opportunities to begin to share the truths you've learned in this chapter with those whom you know desperately need it.
2.Why is it that so many people deny the reality of the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ? Is it is because of a lack of convincing evidence or because of a deliberate refusal of the facts? Write down all the reasons you can think of explaining why so many deny the witness of God. Take that list and look again at the verses in this chapter that confirm the deity of Christ. Answer the critic's claims, just like Jesus did to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:22-32.
3.Many people are unsure of their salvation, even those who have grown up in churches and Christian homes. Part of the Holy Spirit's job is to internally confirm the validity of a person's salvation. Look up Romans 8:15-16 and Galatians 4:6 and make those verses your prayer, asking God to confirm your salvation in your heart. If you are unsure of your salvation, reread this chapter. Believe that what God has testified concerning His Son is true. Remember, God is not a liar. He will do what He has said. If you repent of your sins and put your faith in Jesus Christ, God will not only save you, but confirm that salvation in your heart. Ask Him now.