Peninsula Community Church
Displaying the Life Of Christ – Eternal and Abundant Life Through Christ
August 12, 2012
As we take a look at this last chapter of 1 John we see that John focuses on Jesus’ work on the cross and the eternal life that comes from a personal relationship in knowing Christ. He does this so that we will have the assurance of our faith and our commitment to Christ.
1 John 5:6-11 This is he who came by water and blood–Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. 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. 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. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
John begins this passage by countering one of the prevalent false teachings of his day. There were many teachings being circulated through the church during John’s time. The Gnostic thought of the day was that Jesus could not be the Son of God because all material things were evil and spiritual things were good so the two could not exist together. A second thought was that Jesus did not become divine until His baptism and since Christ, the Son of God, could not die his divine nature departed from him before the crucifixion. Another teaching of John’s day was that Jesus was just a ghost and that he was not real. Others simply denied that Jesus was incarnated as the Christ.
As a result of this John throughout his writings countered these teachings. In John 1 he states that in the beginning was the word and the word was God and the word became flesh. This is a direct correlation to Christ’s birth as the son of God by way of the Virgin Mary. In 1 John 1 John states that “the life was made manifest, and we have seen it and testify to it and proclaim to you eternal life.
There must be no doubt that Christ is the Son of God and the Son of Man. He came fully as man and God to die for us so that we might have life and have it more abundantly. John clarifies this and assures that his readers understand that Christ is nothing less than the Son of God born of the Virgin Mary.
In this passage, John states that the Spirit, the water and the blood all serve as a testimony to who Jesus is: In a matter of law a defendants witnesses and the evidence for and against him is critical. In a court of law even on credible witness is enough to effect the trial positively or negatively. In Jewish custom the law required that there be at least two witnesses to bring a case to trial.
The Water – The witness to who Christ says he is in the water which represents the fact that Jesus was born as the Son of God through the Virgin Mary. The water here also points to the initiation of Christ’s ministry at his baptism. In both of these cases the water testifies to the fact that Jesus is the anointed one who came to redeem all of mankind.
The Blood – The second witness is the blood of Christ which was shed for us so that we might have eternal life. Without the blood there is no salvation for there needed to be sacrifice for all of mankind’s sin. Christ as man and as God took on our sins and nailed them to the cross so that we would not have to carry the penalty of sin upon our shoulder.
The Spirit – The witness to Christ as Savior is the testimony of the Holy Spirit whose s role is to point to Christ and to glorify Christ.
Christ’s main purpose was to give us eternal life and an abundant life. The salvation which is in Christ includes deliverance from numerous, varied, immense, unending evils. It is deliverance from “perishing.” It includes also restoration to numerous, varied, immense, unending blessings. It is the enjoyment of “eternal life.” (John MacArthur, The Love of God: He Will Whatever It Takes to Make Us Holy).
John Piper had this to say about this passage. “John sums it all up in the word LIFE. He who has the Son has life! Eternal life is not just the extension of all the frustrations and half-joys of this life. When Jesus finishes doing his thing, every frustration will be gone and every half-joy will be full. As he said in John 10:10, “I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.” If you HAVE the Son, it means that anything that infinite love and infinite power and infinite wisdom can do for your good will in fact be done for you.”
Closing – Fanny Crosby, the blind hymn writer was visiting her friend Phoebe Knapp as the Knapp home was having a large pipe organ installed. The organ was incomplete, so Mrs. Knapp, using the piano, played a new melody she had just composed. “What do you think the tune says?” asked Knapp. “Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine”, answered Fanny Crosby.
The hymn appeared in the July 1873 issue of Palmer’s Guide to Holiness and Revival Miscellany, a magazine printed by Dr. and Mrs. W. C. Palmer of 14 Bible House, New York City. It appeared on page 36 (the last page) with complete text and piano score, and indicated it had been copyrighted by Crosby that year. It is not certain that this was the first printing of the hymn, but it certainly helped to popularize what became one of the most beloved hymns of all time. Although she was blind she knew the fullness that came from experiencing eternal life: life given freely and fully by the Father.
Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine!
O what a foretaste of glory divine!
Heir of salvation, purchase of God,
Born of his Spirit, washed in his blood.
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long;
This is my story, this is my song,
Praising my Savior all the day long.
Perfect submission, perfect delight,
Visions of rapture now burst on my sight;
Angels descending bring from above
Echoes of mercy, whispers of love.
Perfect submission, all is at rest;
I in my Savior am happy and blest,
Watching and waiting, looking above,
Filled with his goodness, lost in his love.