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← God's Testimony Must Be In Us - Tim Conway

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Showing Revision 6 created 01/07/2018 by Carrie Spradlin.

  1. 1 John 5:5-13
  2. This probably needs to be said
  3. right here at the beginning.
  4. I have tried to encourage
  5. that our church never divide;
  6. there would not be disunity among us
  7. over Bible translations.
  8. I will never try to pry
  9. the old King James Version
    out of anybody's hands.
  10. I am preaching to you today
  11. from the English Standard Version.
  12. I could probably recommend
  13. four or five translations that I believe
  14. are good translations.
  15. Some might be more excellent than others.
  16. Obviously, anybody that knows anything
  17. about textual criticism
  18. knows that 1 John 5:7
  19. is a highly debated and
    highly contested text.
  20. I do not mean to preach today at all
  21. about that controversy.
  22. I believe that even for
    those of you that are here
  23. that may have the old King James,
  24. the New King James -
  25. you will see that what I want to emphasize
  26. from this text is emphasized equally
  27. by your Bible.
  28. I firmly believe in the Trinity.
  29. And I do not for a second believe
  30. that the English Standard Version
  31. or the New American Standard versions
  32. or the Holman Christian -
  33. I do not believe that
    they deny the Trinity.
  34. I do not believe that
    they attack the Trinity.
  35. I could show you numerous passages
  36. where the Trinity is very much supported.
  37. But I would just say this,
  38. if you're holding a New King James
  39. or an old King James in your hand today,
  40. what I am going to emphasize
  41. is equally emphasized in your Bibles.
  42. You may want to make
    a case for there being
  43. more witnesses to this fact,
  44. than what I'm going to
    talk about this morning,
  45. but nevertheless, I'm talking about
  46. what is being witnessed to,
  47. not so much how many witnesses there are.
  48. Although, I am going to talk
    about some of the witnesses.
  49. Certainly, the Father, the Word,
  50. and the Holy Ghost attest and affirm
  51. what I am going to say
    in these minutes ahead.
  52. So, I've entitled my sermon,

  53. "God's Testimony Must Be in Us."
  54. And I hope to bring this title to life
  55. as we consider these verses together.
  56. So, let's read them.
  57. And I am reading from the
    English Standard Version.
  58. "Who is it that overcomes the world
  59. except the one who believes
  60. that Jesus is the Son of God?"
  61. Brethren, remember the
    big picture of 1 John.
  62. Antichrist, deceivers,
  63. those who had gone out from among us.
  64. They were denying that
    Jesus is the Christ.
  65. They were denying that
    Jesus came in the flesh.
  66. They were denying the Son.
  67. We've seen this as we've
    gone through 1 John.
  68. They're denying the very thing that
  69. you have to believe if you would be saved.
  70. Who overcomes except the one who believes
  71. that Jesus is the Son of God?
  72. You remember this:
  73. When Jesus declared Himself to be
  74. the Son of God,
  75. the Jews said that warranted His death.
  76. Remember what they said to Pilate?
  77. We have a law.
  78. He's declaring Himself
    to be the Son of God.
  79. By our law, He deserves to die.
  80. When He declared to be the Son,
  81. and He declared that God was His Father,
  82. He was declaring Himself
    to be equal with God.
  83. Make no mistake about that.
  84. Son of God means God the Son.
  85. It means that He shares divinity
  86. with the Father and the Spirit.
  87. Verse 6 - now watch this.

  88. This is the issue that's
    on the table here.
  89. Jesus is the Son of God.
  90. That is how you overcome.
  91. "This is He Who came by water and blood -
  92. Jesus Christ."
  93. Not just "Jesus," but "Jesus Christ."
  94. He is the Christ.
  95. The Christ is that which points us
  96. to His being the Son;
  97. to His being the anointed.
  98. "...not by the water only,
  99. but by the water and the blood."
  100. You say, what's that?
  101. Well, we're going to look at that.
  102. "And the Spirit is the One Who testifies;"
  103. That's bear's witness.
  104. "...because the Spirit is the Truth.
  105. For there are three that testify:
  106. (or bear witness)
  107. The Spirit and the water and the blood;
  108. and these three agree.
  109. If we receive the testimony
  110. (or the witness) of men;
  111. the testimony of God is greater.
  112. For this is the testimony of God
  113. that He has borne concerning His Son.
  114. Whoever believes (here it is again)
  115. Whoever believes in the Son of God..."
  116. That's the issue.
  117. This is all about believing
  118. that Jesus is the Son of God -
  119. believing in the Son of God.
  120. They have this testimony in himself.
  121. That's where my title comes from.
  122. God's testimony must be in us.
  123. "Whoever does not believe God
  124. has made Him a liar,
  125. because he has not
    believed in the testimony
  126. that God has borne concerning His Son.
  127. And this is the testimony,
    that God gave us eternal life,
  128. and this life is in His Son.
  129. Whoever has the Son has life;
  130. whoever does not have the Son of God
  131. does not have life."
  132. You see what's at stake.
  133. Life.
  134. Life and death.
  135. "I write these things to you
  136. who believe in the name of the Son of God
  137. that you may know
  138. that you have eternal life."
  139. So my title:
    God's Testimony Must Be in Us.

  140. Now, it's very helpful
    when we study Scripture
  141. to notice repetition.
  142. Why?
  143. I mean, when you find repetition,
  144. that is a good indicator that we have
  145. something the author
    is seeking to emphasize.
  146. Look, why does anybody repeatedly talk
  147. about the same thing
  148. over and over and over again?
  149. Repetition.
  150. Because he has something that
  151. he deems important that
    he wants to give you
  152. a lot of information about
  153. and he wants to bring clarity about.
  154. Repetition means emphasis.
  155. Emphasis and repetition
  156. point to importance.
  157. There's something
    important happening here.
  158. Let me tell you this.
  159. In the space of six verses,
  160. "testimony" or "witness" -
  161. either in the noun form or the verb form
  162. is used ten times.
  163. Notice it again.
  164. Look at v. 6.
  165. "The Spirit is the One Who testifies..."
  166. Or your Bible may say "bears witness."
  167. Same thing.
  168. To testify is to bear witness.
  169. You see it again in v. 7.
  170. "There are three that testify."
  171. You see it in v. 9.
  172. "If we receive the testimony of men,
  173. the testimony of God is greater.
  174. For this is the testimony of God
  175. that He has born..."
  176. In the ESV, "borne" is testified
  177. or witnessed to concerning His Son.
  178. "Whoever believes in the Son of God
  179. has the testimony in himself.
  180. Whoever does not believe God
  181. has made God a liar
  182. because he has not
    believed in the testimony
  183. that God has testified (or borne)
  184. concerning His Son.
  185. And this is the testimony..."
  186. You saw all ten of them right there.
  187. Six verses. Ten times.
  188. Testimony.
  189. Ok, what do we think of?

  190. David, what do you think of
  191. when you think of testimony or witness?
  192. Speaking the truth about something.
  193. And I'm asking David
    because he's an attorney.
  194. When you think about a witness,
  195. somebody is going to give testimony,
  196. we think of in a trial;
  197. we think of a courtroom situation.
  198. Facts presented in a court.
  199. That would be the idea:
  200. the evidence is being given.
  201. Someone is trying to prove a case.
  202. A witness is one who goes up on the stand,
  203. and he provides information
  204. about what he knows about the case
  205. or about an individual
  206. or about certain circumstances
  207. that surround an event, right?
  208. That's what a witness is.
  209. Well, let's ask ourselves this.
  210. This term is used ten times.
  211. Well, who is bearing testimony to what?
  212. Let's ask that question.
  213. Look at v. 10.
  214. What sort of testimony is it that
    John's all worked up about?
  215. And obviously, if you're
    going to use that word:
  216. bang, bang, bang, bang...
  217. ten times,
  218. he has something to say about testimony.
  219. It matters.
  220. And listen, if for no other reason
  221. that we would conclude that it matters
  222. is because he says it has
    to do with eternal life.
  223. It has to do with life and death.
  224. You either have this testimony in you
  225. or you don't, and if you don't,
  226. you call God a liar,
  227. and if you don't, you don't have the Son;
  228. and if you don't have the Son,
  229. you don't have life.
  230. This is not a small matter.
  231. Now, who's bearing testimony to what?
  232. Notice v. 10.
  233. "Whoever believes in the Son of God
  234. has the testimony in himself.
  235. Whoever does not believe God
  236. has made Him a liar
  237. because he has not (notice this)
  238. believed in the testimony
  239. that God has testified to
  240. (or borne witness to)
  241. concerning His Son."
  242. Do you see that?
  243. It is God Who bears witness to the Son.
  244. (incomplete thought)
  245. Think about this.
  246. If you consider a courtroom situation,
  247. who's on the witness stand?
  248. Who's bearing witness?
  249. The Father.
  250. He's bearing witness about who?
  251. About the Son.
  252. God is bearing testimony.
  253. It creates this image
  254. of facts being presented in a courtroom.
  255. It's like God Himself
    takes the witness stand.
  256. Why?
  257. What is He bearing witness to?
  258. Who's on trial?
  259. It's as though God allows His Son
  260. to be put on trial.
  261. Do you know that's what 1 John is about?
  262. Charges are being brought
  263. against the Son.
  264. Do you know what those charges are?
  265. What are the charges being
    leveled against the Son?
  266. He's an imposter.
  267. He's not the Christ.
  268. Brethren, that's always the issue.
  269. It's been the issue -
  270. people who call into
    question who Christ is.
  271. Charges about who He is;
  272. about what His character's like,
  273. the nature of His work.
  274. Brethren, you think about the big picture
  275. here in 1 John.
  276. Do you remember back in chapter 2?
  277. Listen, 1 John 2:19.
  278. "They went out from us..."
  279. Who are these people that go out from us?
  280. Well, they're not of us.
  281. "If they had been with us,
    they would have continued with us,
  282. but they went out, that
    it might become plain
  283. that they're not of us."
  284. And what are they like?
  285. 1 John 2:22
  286. "Who is the liar but he who denies
  287. that Jesus is the Christ?"
  288. They didn't deny Jesus
  289. as a historical figure,
  290. but they denied certain
    realities about Him.
  291. "This is the antichrist - he who denies
  292. the Father and the Son."
  293. They were denying the Son.
  294. "No one who denies the Son
  295. has the Father.
  296. Whoever confesses the Son
  297. has the Father also."
  298. You go down to v. 26 of chapter 2.
  299. "I write these things to you about those
  300. who are trying to deceive you."
  301. You know what?
  302. Many false prophets,
  303. John says in this epistle,
  304. have gone out into the world.
  305. You know what you've got?
  306. You've got a lot of people out there:
  307. deceivers.
  308. They are running all around.
  309. And you know what they do?
  310. They claim to be witnesses for Christ.
  311. "Let me tell you about Christ."
  312. Some of them are even so bold
  313. to take that name:
  314. Jehovah's Witnesses.
  315. (incomplete thought)
  316. They show up at your door.
  317. Jehovah's Witnesses.
  318. "We're the 'witnesses.'
  319. We're here to witness to you
  320. about who God is,
  321. but let me tell you this:
  322. Jesus is not God."
  323. See, that's what we have in this world.
  324. People who are bringing accusation
  325. against Christ;
  326. against who He says He is in Scripture.
  327. Charges being brought against Him by men.
  328. And you know what?
  329. They bring these charges -
  330. they bring this witness,
  331. that's contrary to the witness
  332. of the apostles.
  333. We have it today.
  334. Brethren, you know what I see in all this?
  335. I see a fantastic picture
  336. of just the mercy of God.
  337. Why?
  338. Brethren, do you know
    back there 2,000 years ago,
  339. those Jewish leaders,
  340. they called Jesus an imposter.
  341. You remember that?
  342. "This imposter said that He was
    going to rise after three days."
  343. They put Him on trial.
  344. They said, "If You're the Son of God,
  345. You tell us."
  346. And you know when they went to Pilate,
  347. they said we have a law.
  348. He did claim to be the Son of God.
  349. "Tell us if You're the Messiah."
  350. He says, "I've told you.
    You won't believe."
  351. You said it, guys.
  352. You know what God allowed?
  353. God allowed His Son to be put on trial.
  354. God allowed His Son to have accusations
  355. brought against Him.
  356. But you know what's amazing to me?
  357. God has allowed His Son
  358. to be put on trial every day since then
  359. right up until today.
  360. God actually allows this world
  361. to be filled with many false witnesses
  362. who bring charges and bring accusations
  363. and who seek to witness
  364. about who Christ is,
  365. and they're false and they're liars.
  366. He allows Christ to be put on trial
  367. and to have His character called out
  368. and tested.
  369. And God condescends
  370. in the sight of you and me
  371. to take the witness stand
  372. and let us sit on the jury
  373. to hear the facts;
  374. to hear the evidence,
  375. and to come to a conclusion
  376. about this matter.
  377. And I'll tell you what,
  378. you know what's amazing about it?
  379. Is a lot of us who He allows to sit
  380. in that jury to hear the evidence,
  381. we're the very mockers;
  382. we're the very fault-finders.
  383. What's amazing to me
  384. is that God doesn't put
    us immediately on trial;
  385. find us guilty and just snuff us out.
  386. Instead, like I say, brethren,
  387. He stoops to say,
  388. you're hearing all these accusations.
  389. You're hearing what the deceivers say.
  390. You're hearing the false witnesses.
  391. But I'm going to declare to you
  392. the facts about My Son.
  393. And hear these.
  394. And brethren, all we have to do
  395. is side with God in these facts
  396. and He says, "you have eternal life."
  397. That's what He says.
  398. Hear My testimony of My Son.
  399. And you believe that testimony,
  400. and you will have life.
  401. He mercifully lets us hear
  402. His own testimony concerning His Son.
  403. Receive it. Embrace it.
  404. And what we're going to look at:
  405. Internalize it.
  406. A testimony needs to be in you.
  407. And you have life.
  408. But, as v. 10 says,
  409. if we refuse to believe God's testimony
  410. about His Son,
  411. we make God out to be a liar.
  412. You know what that tells us?
  413. Sometimes we can view
    unbelief as ignorance.
  414. We can view unbelief as
  415. just some kind of weakness to be pitied.
  416. But do you see what John says here?
  417. John doesn't let us do that.
  418. If we refuse God's
    testimony about His Son -
  419. you must understand this,
  420. unbelief - it's an attack on
    the very character of God.
  421. It questions His honesty.
  422. Unbelief is criminal.
  423. Unbelief is a sin to be deplored,
  424. to be hated,
  425. to be abominated.
  426. It's wicked.
  427. That's what we're being shown here.
  428. So, here's what I want to ask you.

  429. What is the content of God's testimony
  430. that He bears about His Son?
  431. What does He actually
    have to say about the Son?
  432. When God takes that witness stand,
  433. what does He testify to?
  434. That's the question.
  435. Notice this.
  436. Notice the flow of v. 7,8, and 9.
  437. If you've got the King James,
  438. they're moved around a little bit,
  439. but you get the same flow.
  440. Notice this,
  441. "there are three that testify:
  442. the Spirit and the water and the blood,
  443. and these three agree."
  444. Now, notice that.
  445. We've been talking about God
  446. bringing testimony about His Son.
  447. But, notice this,
  448. "there are three that testify:
  449. the Spirit, the water, and the blood.
  450. And these three agree."
  451. Now, notice how he just very naturally,
  452. very fluidly flows into v. 9.
  453. "If we receive the testimony of men,
  454. the testimony of God is greater.
  455. For this is the testimony of God
  456. that He has borne concerning His Son."
  457. You see what He says?
  458. This is the testimony of God.
  459. What?
  460. Well, these three that agree.
  461. Their testimony: the Spirit,
    the water, and the blood.
  462. This is the testimony of God.
  463. I mean, he just so smoothly transitions
  464. from the testimony of the Spirit,
  465. the water and the blood,
  466. right into talking about
    the testimony of God,
  467. because what the Spirit says
  468. and what the water says
  469. and what the blood says
  470. is what God says.
  471. This is the testimony.
  472. What these three have to say
  473. is precisely what the Father has to say.
  474. All three of these testimonies
    are in agreement.
  475. All of them agree.
  476. You know what that means?
  477. What the Spirit says
  478. is in agreement with what
  479. the water and the blood say.
  480. What the water says is in agreement
  481. with the Spirit and the blood.
  482. What the blood says in agreement
  483. with the first two,
  484. and all of those are God bearing testimony
  485. about His Son.
  486. They all are in agreement
    with God's testimony.
  487. They all perfectly agree.
  488. What do all three testify to individually
  489. that is in agreement collectively?
  490. That's what we have to ask ourselves.
  491. If we want to know, ok, what is it
  492. that God is saying about His Son?
  493. Then, we have to ask this:
  494. What is it that the Spirit says?
  495. What is it that the water says?
  496. And what it is that the blood says
  497. that they each say individually,
  498. but when you compare them,
  499. they all agree collectively?
  500. Well, you know what?
  501. To figure that out,
    we've got to figure out
  502. what the water is and what the blood is.
  503. Look, I can't tell what somebody is saying
  504. unless I know who it is
  505. that I need to go listen to.
  506. Tell me what the water's saying.
  507. Well, if you don't know where to find
  508. this water or what the water is,
  509. you're not going to know what it's saying.
  510. You're not going to know
    who to listen to, right?
  511. So, I think we have a good idea
  512. about Who the Spirit is.
  513. If you've got the King James Bible,
  514. you have idea about
    Who the Father is.
  515. You have a good idea
    about Who the Word is;
  516. Who the Holy Ghost is.
  517. We have an idea about the Spirit.
  518. Blood - I would suppose
  519. that's easier than the water.
  520. But, let's think about these.
  521. What is John talking about here?

  522. Listen, eternal life is at stake.
  523. So we want to hear
  524. what the water and the blood
  525. have to say,
  526. but we've got to figure out who they are
  527. so that we can listen to them.
  528. Because what they have to say
  529. has to do with life.
  530. Ok, let's talk about this.
  531. Water and blood.
  532. I know - you've all read this,
  533. and you've probably thought,
  534. what is that?
  535. I have.
  536. And you might flip something open
  537. and look at a commentary or something.
  538. I don't know.
  539. How many of you have ever read that
  540. and thought I wonder what that means?
  541. Just a few?
  542. Ok, let me tell you some
    theories historically.
  543. And I want to go through them,
  544. because I want you to wrestle
    through these things.
  545. Here are some of the theories.

  546. One, this is speaking of natural birth.
  547. Some say this has to do
  548. with the Incarnation
  549. and Jesus being born of a virgin
  550. because in natural birth,
  551. the amniotic fluid - the water breaks.
  552. We talk about that.
  553. There's your water.
  554. And then there's typically blood.
  555. Why? Because women sometimes tear
  556. and the placenta detaches
  557. and so some have said that.
  558. That's what John has in mind.
  559. Others have said

  560. this is not birth -
  561. this is humanity itself,
  562. because man is just basically
  563. water and blood.
  564. That one doesn't even sound convincing,
  565. but some have thought that.
  566. Now, one that is very obviously
  567. going to come into people's minds
  568. is the spear thrust in Jesus' side.
  569. And out came blood and water.
  570. John himself actually mentions that
  571. over in his Gospel in chapter 19.
  572. Some have believed

  573. that the water is baptism,
  574. and the blood points to the Lord's Supper.
  575. And so you have the two ordinances,
  576. or if you're in certain circles,
  577. the two sacraments.
  578. So some have thought that.
  579. Others have thought that water,

  580. because of Ephesians 5 -
  581. washing of the water of the Word,
  582. that this has to do with the Spirit
  583. and with Scripture and with the cross.
  584. Ian Paisley believes that
  585. and he preaches from this text
  586. and preaches about revival.
  587. And even though I might not agree with
  588. how he's interpreted it,
  589. I would probably recommend
    his message on that.
  590. Some have looked at this and said

  591. the water refers to
    Jesus' baptizing ministry.
  592. He baptized people.
  593. And others believe that this deals

  594. with Jesus Himself being baptized
  595. by John the Baptist,
  596. and then the blood deals with the cross.
  597. That's what I believe
    that this is talking about.
  598. Let me show you why.
  599. First, I want you to notice the text.

  600. Notice v. 5.
  601. "Who is it that overcomes the world
  602. except the one who believes
  603. that Jesus is the Son of God?
  604. This is He who came..."
  605. Notice the word "came."
  606. Scott picked a song today:
  607. "O Come, O Come Emmanuel."
  608. Come... to ransomed Israel.
  609. Come.
  610. You know what?
  611. Whatever the water and the blood is,
  612. it describes the manner of His coming.
  613. That you can see.
  614. Brethren, this idea of coming -
  615. it was captured in that song.
  616. Come. Come.
  617. Listen to John 11:27.
  618. "Martha said to Jesus,
  619. 'Yes, Lord, I believe
    that You are the Christ;
  620. the Son of God,
  621. Who is coming into the world.'"
  622. The verb tense there is interesting.
  623. "...Who is coming."
  624. Why not just all-said-and-done past tense?
  625. I believe You came.
  626. Why talk this way?
  627. "...Who is coming."
  628. Maybe because coming doesn't have
  629. so much to do with His birth
  630. in the beginning
  631. as much as His ministry as a whole.
  632. John 6:14 "When the people saw the sign
  633. that He had done, they said,
  634. 'This is indeed the Prophet
  635. Who is to come into the world.'"
  636. Matthew 11:3 - You remember,
  637. John the Baptist finds himself in jail,
  638. prison by Herod,
  639. and what does he say?
  640. He sends his disciples to Jesus
  641. and he says,
  642. "Are You the One Who is to come,
  643. or should we be looking for another?"
  644. The One Who is to come.
  645. How about 1 John 5:20?
  646. Right as we're wrapping up this epistle.
  647. "We know that the Son of God has come."
  648. Well, here's the thing,
  649. if water and blood
  650. describe something about the manner
  651. in which Jesus comes,
  652. it probably rules out baptism
  653. and the Lord's Supper right off.
  654. It probably rules out the fact that
  655. water is speaking about Scripture.
  656. But here's something else
    I want you to notice.

  657. Look at v. 6.
  658. "This is He Who came by water and blood."
  659. So it describes the manner of His coming,
  660. but notice this as well.
  661. "Jesus Christ - not by the water only,
  662. but by the water and the blood."
  663. Why would somebody say
  664. something this way?
  665. I mean, if you're talking to somebody else
  666. and you want to substantiate
  667. that two things happened -
  668. two separate things.
  669. And you say, look, I want you to know,
  670. it wasn't only this,
  671. it was this and this.
  672. That seems like it's speaking
  673. about two separate things.
  674. Now listen.
  675. There's a courtroom scene here.
  676. God is bearing testimony
  677. by the water and the blood
  678. against the false witness.
  679. You know why you talk this way?
  680. If you're John, you talk this way
  681. because those who are in opposition to you
  682. affirm the one, but not the other.
  683. That's why you talk that way.
  684. Those who are in opposition
  685. may be affirming whatever the water means,
  686. but not the blood.
  687. That's why you say,
  688. He came not just by the water,
  689. He came by the water and the blood.
  690. You want to drive that blood home
  691. because that is what is being contested.
  692. I suspect that these are
    two separate things.
  693. One is being somewhat acknowledged
  694. by the deceivers.
  695. The other is being rejected.
  696. And if they're two separate things,
  697. it would eliminate all these theories
  698. that the two seem to indicate one thing,
  699. like the spear in the side
  700. or birth and the fluid and the blood.
  701. I really believe that what we have here

  702. is we have two distinct events.
  703. I believe that what John has in mind here
  704. is Jesus' water baptism
  705. and His bloody death on the cross.
  706. And here's why I think

  707. that this is what John means.
  708. First, it just works.
  709. That wouldn't be my only
    reason, but it works, right?
  710. I mean, when you think
    about baptism, there's water.
  711. When you think about
    the cross, there's blood.
  712. It works that way.
  713. It's not off in left field.
  714. Here's the second thing.

  715. The second thing is that water and blood
  716. validate the manner of Jesus' coming.
  717. "This is He Who came
  718. by the water and the blood."
  719. Now when you think of
    the Son of God coming,
  720. you know what the baptism
  721. and the cross are?
  722. They're like bookends.
  723. To what?
  724. His ministry.
  725. It's like the start and the end.
  726. He came. He came as the Messiah.
  727. This is pointing to His
    very earthly ministry -
  728. the public ministry of our Lord.
  729. You've got baptism at the commencement
  730. of His ministry,
  731. and the blood brings in the consummation
  732. of His saving ministry
  733. there on the cross.
  734. Water and blood seem to serve
  735. to sum up Christ's redemptive mission.
  736. The inauguration, the consummation
  737. of the public ministry
    of the Incarnate Christ.
  738. But here's another thing, brethren,

  739. think with me here.
  740. You know the thing that John
  741. is wanting to drive home?
  742. Is that Jesus is the Christ.
  743. It is Jesus is the Son of God.
  744. Let me ask you this.
  745. What happened at the baptism?
  746. Listen, we're talking about the testimony
  747. of the water
  748. and the testimony of the blood.
  749. What do they speak?
  750. Is there anything that happened
  751. at the baptism of Christ
  752. that speaks to Him being the Son of God?
  753. Because that is the
    issue on the table here.
  754. Is there anything at His baptism?
  755. That speaks of Him being the Son of God?
  756. Brethren, when He was baptized
  757. a voice from Heaven said -
  758. brethren, listen to this.
  759. This is what we find concerning
  760. the water in John 1.
  761. John says this in John 1:31:
  762. "I myself did not know Him,
  763. but for this purpose I came baptizing."
  764. Now, notice this.
  765. Why did John come baptizing with water?
  766. He says, "that He might
    be revealed to Israel."
  767. This is the revelation.
  768. And notice this:
  769. "John bore witness.
  770. 'I saw the Spirit descend from Heaven
  771. like a dove and it remained on Him.
  772. I myself did not know Him,
  773. but He Who sent me to baptize with water
  774. said to me, 'He on Whom you see the Spirit
  775. descend and remain,
  776. this is He Who baptizes
    with the Holy Spirit.
  777. And I have seen and have borne witness
  778. that this is the Son of God.'"
  779. You see, that baptism was the bookend.
  780. It was the beginning.
  781. It was the inauguration
  782. of His earthly ministry.
  783. His rescuing of sinners.
  784. This is where He comes on the scene.
  785. And when He does,
  786. and when He goes in that water,
  787. John says I knew it. Why?
  788. The Spirit of God came on Him.
  789. He says I knew that was the Son of God.
  790. And if that's not enough,
  791. that voice spoke from Heaven.
  792. "This is My Son."
  793. The water - that baptism -
  794. it declares Him as the Son of God.
  795. The Spirit is one with the
    testimony in all of this.
  796. The Spirit came upon Him;
  797. identified Him.
  798. Brethren, if we go to the blood,
  799. I'll tell you this.
  800. 1 Timothy 3
  801. "Great indeed we confess is
  802. the mystery of godliness."
  803. We know this,
  804. that Jesus Christ,
  805. He was manifested in the flesh.
  806. God manifested in the flesh.
  807. And He was vindicated by the Spirit.
  808. Vindicated. How was He vindicated?
  809. Brethren, when He shed blood,
  810. how was He vindicated?
  811. You know what Romans 1:4 says?
  812. Let me read it to you.
  813. "He was declared to be the Son of God
  814. in power according to
    the Spirit of holiness
  815. by His resurrection from the dead,
  816. Jesus Christ our Lord."
  817. I'll tell you this.
  818. At the baptism,
  819. the Spirit testified by coming upon Him.
  820. John the Baptist said
  821. this is the Son of God.
  822. It's proven. The voice from Heaven:
  823. "This is My Son."
  824. When you go to His death on the cross,
  825. vindicated.
  826. The Spirit of God raises
    Him from the dead.
  827. This declares Him, Paul says,
  828. to be the Son of God.
  829. Brethren, just look at
    what's being said here
  830. by John in 1 John.
  831. "Who is it that overcomes the world
    except the one who believes
  832. that Jesus is the Son of God?"
  833. Look at v. 10.
  834. "Whoever believes in the Son of God
  835. has the testimony."
  836. Notice what it says in 5:12-13.
  837. "Whoever has the Son has life.
  838. Whoever does not have the Son of God
  839. does not have life.
  840. I write these things to you who believe
  841. in the name of the Son of God
  842. that you may know that
    you have eternal life."
  843. What is it that John's making a case for?
  844. Jesus as the Son of God.
  845. He is the Christ.
  846. What is it that the water
    bears witness to?
  847. That fact.
  848. What is it that the blood
    bears witness to?
  849. That fact.
  850. He comes. He identifes with our sin.
  851. Brethren, that baptism -
  852. you think about it.
  853. It was a baptism of repentance.
  854. It was a baptism where
    people confess their sins.
  855. Jesus had none to confess,
  856. but He identifies with us.
  857. He identifies with us in that baptism.
  858. He identifies with us at the cross.
  859. He becomes sin for us at that cross.
  860. He makes atonement for us.
  861. He satisfies the wrath of God.
  862. These two bookend His public ministry.
  863. They both at the beginning and at the end,
  864. they boldly declare
  865. and they are one
  866. with the testimony of the Spirit,
  867. that He is the Son of God.
  868. That is what's being
    put on the table here.
  869. Brethren, there's another reason.

  870. This one has more to do with history.
  871. But we know that in John's day,
  872. there was a gnostic heretic
  873. by the name of Cerinthus.
  874. And he was saying
  875. that the eternal Christ
  876. came upon the man Jesus Christ
  877. at the baptism.
  878. But that eternal Christ left the man Jesus
  879. prior to the cross.
  880. It would make perfect sense
  881. why John would say,
  882. not the water only -
  883. the water and the blood.
  884. Christ was there in the water
  885. and in the blood.
  886. And He is One. He is the Christ.
  887. You have to see that in v. 6.
  888. He plants that right in there.
  889. Jesus Christ.
  890. You see, we don't experience
    a lot of the attacks
  891. on Christ's person like they did then.
  892. They're different.
  893. They tend to morph.
  894. But you know what?
  895. In every age it's the same.
  896. It's an attack on Christ.
  897. And what God testifies to
  898. when He takes the witness stand
  899. and He bears witness to
  900. is what is true about His Son.
  901. And what is true about Him?
  902. God came. Immanuel.
  903. God with us.
  904. God came and God identified with sinners
  905. as a man Himself.
  906. And He was baptized;
  907. He was declared to be the Son of God.
  908. He did these miracles.
  909. He publicly displayed Himself.
  910. And these works attested to Him.
  911. And He comes all the way to the end,
  912. and the Spirit vindicates Him
  913. and raises Him from the dead,
  914. and shows that the shedding of His blood
  915. was acceptable to the Father.
  916. The grave could not hold Him.
  917. And in that, He is declared
    to be the Son of God.
  918. That's what Scripture says to us.
  919. Now, folks, here's the thing.

  920. The whole basis of my
    overcoming this world;
  921. the whole basis for my eternal life
  922. is what?
  923. V. 5 says it: The basis of
    my overcoming the world
  924. is that I believe He's the Son of God.
  925. The basis for my eternal life
  926. we find in v. 11-13.
  927. It is that I have the Son.
  928. It is that I believe in the Son of God.
  929. I believe that He is the Son of God.
  930. Brethren, if the whole
    basis of my overcoming
  931. and the whole basis of my life
  932. is in Christ as the Son of God,
  933. God the Son -
  934. if I am to look there;
  935. if my only hope is to be there,
  936. if I am to rely on Him;
  937. if I am to rest on Him;
  938. if it's absolutely essential
  939. that I know that I have this life
  940. or that I'm going to overcome,
  941. it's got to be that I, brethren,
  942. it's only going to be that if you believe
  943. in Jesus Christ.
  944. If you're supposed to
    believe in Jesus Christ
  945. to have this life and to overcome,
  946. I'll tell you this,
  947. brethren, it is absolutely essential
  948. that you know that you can believe in Him.
  949. That's the issue.
  950. That's why God takes the stand.
  951. He takes the stand to say,
  952. "Sinner, I'm not here just to tell you
  953. that He's like this,
    but I'm here to tell you
  954. He's like this to know that you can
  955. put your faith in Him."
  956. That's what this is all about.

  957. He is the One Who came from glory.
  958. He is the One Who could suffer
  959. in the place of a multitude of sinners,
  960. because He isn't man only.
  961. Oh yes, He became like man.
  962. He came like man.
  963. He came in the likeness of man.
  964. He came fully man;
  965. in every respect man,
  966. yes, like the offspring of Abraham.
  967. Yes, He did and He had to.
  968. He had to be man.
  969. And He had to fulfill the law as a man.
  970. And He had to die as a man.
  971. But He was more than man.
  972. He is the God-man.
  973. And that will be attacked all the time.
  974. And He was the God-man when He came.
  975. He was the God-man there
  976. when He was baptized.
  977. He was the God-man when He died;
  978. when He hung His head and He said,
  979. "It is finished."
  980. And He gave up His spirit.
  981. Brethren, and He was vindicated.
  982. What He did, He did as the Son of God,
  983. and He was declared to be so.
  984. You have to recognize this.
  985. His coming out of the grave
  986. vindicated that He was
    indeed the Son of God.
  987. Because if He was merely a man,
  988. He would have never come out of the grave.
  989. Because one man cannot pay the sins
  990. of a whole multitude of men.
  991. No way.
  992. There's nothing just about that.
  993. He actually had to have the ability
  994. to pay what all of us owed.
  995. And the fact that He
    came out of that grave,
  996. showed that it was paid.
  997. Brethren, if I am to rely on Him;
  998. if I am to rest on Him;
  999. it is absolutely essential
  1000. that I know that I can rely on Him.
  1001. And John says you can know.
  1002. There is a testimony.
  1003. Brethren, men will come to you
  1004. and they will say all sorts of things.
  1005. Men will tell you what they
    know, what they've heard,
  1006. what their opinion is.
  1007. But what we're told here
  1008. is that there is a greater testimony.
  1009. This is not just the
    testimony of a mere man.
  1010. This is the revelation of God Himself.
  1011. You must know God stepped in.
  1012. He had this book written.
  1013. He's given it to us.
  1014. The testimony is here, brethren,
  1015. of Who Christ is,
  1016. and the fact that you can rest on Him.
  1017. This is a much greater testimony
  1018. than any man can give.
  1019. This is the greater testimony.
  1020. Now, here's the thing, brethren.

  1021. Here is the thing.
  1022. Here's were my title comes in.
  1023. This revelation does not simply mean
  1024. I look at some external fact and I say,
  1025. oh, well, that's nice.
  1026. I can read that. I see it.
  1027. He's the Son of God.
  1028. What John says in v. 10,
  1029. "Whoever believes in the Son of God
  1030. has the testimony in himself."
  1031. Make sure you don't miss that.
  1032. John says that for the true believer,
  1033. God's testimony is internalized.
  1034. What does that mean?
  1035. What does that mean to have
  1036. God's testimony in you?
  1037. Well, I'll tell you this,
  1038. it's no longer just an
    external fact to you.
  1039. It's something that
    finds a place within you.
  1040. Certainly, it means that
  1041. what God has testified to
  1042. concerning His Son
  1043. is not just out there,
  1044. or in here.
  1045. It's in here.
  1046. It means it's mine.
  1047. It's inside.
  1048. I've internalized it.
  1049. It means the truth concerning Christ
  1050. resonates in me.
  1051. It's like a plant that has roots
  1052. that go into the ground.
  1053. This goes into me with roots
  1054. that go down deep inside.
  1055. The testimony of God is in me.
  1056. I feel it in myself.
  1057. My whole outlook on life, on death,
  1058. is controlled by this.
  1059. I view everything by the testimony of God
  1060. about His Son.
  1061. I hope, I rely, I find
    my confidence there.
  1062. Brethren, don't you want this?
  1063. Don't you want it?
  1064. Don't you want that resonating within you
  1065. where you look at Christ and you say,
  1066. I know it. I know this inside.
  1067. It regulates. It motivates.
  1068. It constrains me.
  1069. Everything I do, my conscience -
  1070. everything that's within us.
  1071. What's within you?
  1072. Your will, your conscience,
  1073. your memory, your desires.
  1074. Brethren, when it's in you,
  1075. all those things that are in you
  1076. find rest there; find confidence there.
  1077. All your hopes, all your faith,
  1078. that's the foundation.
  1079. This is that which rules us.
  1080. It motivates us.
  1081. God's greater testimony must be in us.
  1082. I must know for certain
    that it's within me.
  1083. Brethren, do you know that?
  1084. Oh, brethren, there was a day in my life,
  1085. I can remember,
  1086. Christ - He was kind of out there.
  1087. He was, yes, He was the Son of God;
  1088. He wasn't God. He was somehow inferior.
  1089. I had these low views.
  1090. Really, it didn't motivate my life.
  1091. It didn't resonate in here.
  1092. It wasn't in my mind all the time.
  1093. Brethren, if you've
    got something inside you,
  1094. it's going to be
    something you think about.
  1095. To be inside you means it fills you.
  1096. It fills your mind.
    It fills your memory.
  1097. It fills your thoughts.
    It fills your hopes.
  1098. It fills your faith.
  1099. Suddenly, when I came to Christ,
  1100. everything changed.
  1101. Everything. The place. It was in me.
  1102. It was something that I thought about.
  1103. It was where my hopes are.
  1104. I could feel it.
  1105. I could feel that.
  1106. There was a resting there.
  1107. There was what God said
    about His Son was mine.
  1108. I possessed it.
  1109. And it takes hold of you.
  1110. But here's the thing,

  1111. you find this in v. 11.
  1112. "This is the testimony,
  1113. that God gave us eternal life..."
  1114. You see, the life is in His Son.
  1115. This testimony is this:
  1116. it's about who the Son is
  1117. and about the fact
  1118. that if you've internalized it,
  1119. you have eternal life.
  1120. But remember,
  1121. part of the testimony is eternal life.
  1122. The testimony is in us.
  1123. Do you remember how
    Jesus defines eternal life?
  1124. It's to know the only God,
  1125. and to know His Christ.
  1126. You see what it's saying?
  1127. If that's what eternal life is,
  1128. and eternal life is part of the testimony,
  1129. and that testimony has to be in us,
  1130. then guess what?
  1131. You know what's in you?
  1132. You know what grabs you?
  1133. I know God.
  1134. Brethren, can you say that?
  1135. Can you say that?
  1136. Because it's in you?
  1137. Can you say, "I know God."
  1138. I know Him.
  1139. He's revealed Himself to me.
  1140. I know Him in that family
  1141. like David was talking about.
  1142. I know He's my Father.
  1143. I know it.
  1144. Brethren, that's the
    thing that blew me away.
  1145. That floored me after I got saved.
  1146. God was real to me.
  1147. I knew Him!
  1148. I loved Him.
  1149. I found a beauty in Him.
  1150. I found a desire in Him.
  1151. That's what's being said.
  1152. This has to be internalized.
  1153. You get to v. 13, and John is saying,
  1154. look, I'm writing these things to you
  1155. that those of you that
    believe in the Son of God,
  1156. you may know that you have eternal life.
  1157. Brethren, it's internal.
  1158. It's been internalized.
  1159. V. 11 is saying this testimony
  1160. that God gave us eternal life.
  1161. Life in His Son.
  1162. That's in us.
  1163. If you believed in the Son,
  1164. you have the testimony of God in you.
  1165. And that testimony of eternal life
  1166. is that you know Him.
  1167. Brethren, can you say that?
  1168. Do you know God?
  1169. Look, I'm not asking you
    whether you come to church.
  1170. I know you're all sitting in church today.
  1171. This isn't just about whether you pray
  1172. or whether you've ever read your Bible.
  1173. I'm asking you.
  1174. Can you sit there and say with confidence,
  1175. because that testimony of God
  1176. has resonated in your own soul?
  1177. Jesus Christ is not like any other man.
  1178. He is God come down
  1179. and He has done such things
  1180. as satisfied God on my behalf.
  1181. And I know my only hope
  1182. and my only confidence is in Him
  1183. as the Christ, the Messiah,
    the Son of God.
  1184. I know He is the One Who is to come
  1185. and I know He's come.
  1186. And I know what did has satisfied God
  1187. on my behalf.
  1188. And that is where my hope is.
  1189. And I know Him,
  1190. and He has made Himself real.
  1191. And He has spoken peace to my soul.
  1192. He has said, "I love you."
    And you've heard it.
  1193. You are my son.
  1194. I've laid down my blood for you.
  1195. Brethren, can you say that?
  1196. Because that's what's being said here.
  1197. You know, whether you've
    experienced this or not,
  1198. you know that's what you want.
  1199. Any other kind of religion,
  1200. it's a sham.
  1201. It's shallow.
  1202. Because any kind of religion that
  1203. doesn't have this testimony of God
  1204. resonating within you, it's no good.
  1205. I want the real thing.
  1206. I want the fullness of the real thing.
  1207. You say, pastor, I
    haven't had that happen.

  1208. What do I do?
  1209. I'll tell you what you do,
  1210. is if that's true of you,
  1211. it's offered to you nonetheless.
  1212. And God says to you,
  1213. "Hear My testimony concerning My Son."
  1214. You confess your sins to God.
  1215. You call upon Him to save you.
  1216. You call upon Him to
    give you real salvation.
  1217. True salvation.
  1218. With hope in nothing else.
  1219. Hope in nothing else,
  1220. except this One Who is the Son of God -
  1221. Jesus the Christ.
  1222. Oh, brethren, do you know that He's yours?
  1223. Can you say,
  1224. God is my Abba Father?
  1225. I know it.
  1226. I know it.
  1227. That's what it is to have
    the testimony in you.
  1228. God's testimony must be in us.
  1229. This is for you.
  1230. I died for you.
  1231. I went to that bloody cross
  1232. and I poured out My soul
  1233. for you,
  1234. that you might have life;
  1235. that you might know Me.
  1236. Father, oh, I want it to be a reality

  1237. among all of us.
  1238. Thank You for the redemption that we have
  1239. in Christ Jesus.
  1240. Amen.