Summary: In a day when atheism and agnosticism abound, Christianity presents the Rock solid case for Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord on the basis of three witnesses, not the least of which is one's personal Christian testimony.
PRAISING GOD FOR THE WONDER OF ETERNAL LIFE
Over the course of my lifetime, it has not been unusual to have my faith in Christ challenged by an agnostic who would seek to discredit the Christian belief that Jesus was in fact the Messiah sent by the Father. (A point previously argued by Jesus and recorded by John in John 5:36-40 . . .)
An agnostic says something like, “There have been many throughout history who claimed to be the One sent from God. How can you be sure which one told the truth?” Meant to be a “gotcha” question, my response has been, and still is: “I believe the One who was raised from the dead.”
The Apostle John argued the case for Jesus the Christ, son of the living God on the basis of the testimonies of three witnesses – the number three a reflection of Jewish law which required three witnesses to settle any and all disputes of great importance.
The purpose of the testimonies was to convince believers once and for all that Jesus was in fact the One sent from God to bring salvation - AND to give us confidence that we have (are in possession of) eternal life – 1 John 5:5-13 . . .
In court rooms years ago any witness who was about to give testimony at a trial was “sworn in” by raising their right hand while placing their left hand on the Bible, then asked, “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” With that in mind:
Focus on the last part of verse 6 . . . “And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.” Now, think back to the Upper Room - the night of the Last Supper. Jesus promised the eleven apostles that the Holy Spirit would be sent to: “testify about me” because, as John intimated, “the Spirit is (tells, speaks) the truth” inasmuch He communicates God’s wishes on behalf of the Father who cannot lie.
Folks, we ourselves know this is so - in our personal experiences; the Spirit convicted us of sin and, upon our confession plus our acceptance of Christ as Lord and Savior, the Spirit came into our lives to dwell within and, through the years, has communicated with us the meaning of truths taught by Christ Jesus, and has led us to think and do right – the reason for this being:
The righteous, by faith, are being saved . . . counseled for daily living . . . comforted for dying . . . consecrated for making the most of their reward of eternal life with the Lord. “And so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
The essence of how we come to know the truth is this: Jesus has revealed to us who the Father truly is; the Holy Spirit reveals to us who Jesus really is . . . what Jesus meant by what He said . . . why Jesus did what He did – if we stay in touch.
Be that as it may, our God-given ability to learn (to be guided into all truth) the Spirit’s way does not stay with us if we stray so as to allow ourselves to be allured away by false teachers – be they the Gnostics of John’s day or the agnostics in our day - which brings us to the reason why John used the terms water and blood – both of which are essential to our comprehension of who Jesus really is.
That He “came by water” refers to His baptism at the beginning of His public ministry. He was baptized to demonstrate what type of Messiah He came to be – humble servant - and to identify with those He came to save.
At His baptism, the Father testified: “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased” . . . That Jesus is the Christ was testified to by the Spirit descending upon Him . . . John the Baptist testified that Jesus is the Christ by pointing at Him, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world”.
That He “came by blood” refers to His shedding of blood for the remission of our sin . . . His atoning sacrifice . . . His substitutionary death – the only person of flesh and blood who never sinned yet paid the price for our deliverance from the consequence of unforgiven unbelief and rejection – spiritual death - eternal separation from God.
You see, false teachers (Gnostics) espoused the view that Jesus was merely a man . . . “Christ” was a heavenly being that descended upon Jesus at His baptism and departed from Jesus before He died on the cross. Thus, deceivers denied not only the incarnation but also the atoning sacrifice of Christ on the cross – both of which are absolutely essential for salvation to be of any effect whatsoever.