Testimony: Christ Is Lord and Savior
1 John 5: 5-12
Additional texts: John 16:33; Rom. 8:31-39; 1 John 4:7-5:4
For Christians, our personal testimony must have one common, overriding fact: Jesus Christ is Lord, through whom we have eternal Life. Yet, John makes sure we understand that the knowledge of this testimony is not man-made but is of the water, the blood, and the Spirit.
The focus of this lesson is to gain a clearer understanding of this God given testimony. In order for us to fully embrace this testimony and use it as a basis for “walking in the Light,” we need to be inspired by John's holy message, which he experienced first hand.
1. What is the testimony that John says will overcome the world? Also see Rom. 8:31-39
The truth that Jesus came to this earth to sacrifice himself for our sins is a testimony that the world may reject but is true, even if it is rejected. However, for any one who accepts this truth and lives by this truth will be able to overcome the world. The battles on earth may be lost physically but not spiritually because Jesus has already won the war for us. Victory is ours. Remember that darkness will not overcome the Light. John asserts that faith in this testimony is the means by which victory over the world becomes real for Christians.
2. What does John mean by “overcoming the world”? As Christians, why should we be concerned about overcoming the world? Note: John 16:33
Rom. 8:37 mentions, “that neither death nor life..angels…nor
demons, etc., will separate us from the love of God through Christ.” In verse 4, of I John 5 it says that everyone “born of God” has overcome the world. This victory over the world is speaking about overcoming what the world naturally offers---total separation from God through sin which results ultimately in physical and spiritual death.
We have won the victory by accepting God's love. This acceptance is evidenced by our faith, which must be placed in His Son. We have won over the world because Jesus died once for us all so that we will live eternally.
3. What are the three sources of testimony concerning Jesus as Christ?
The water, the blood and the Spirit are the three sources of testimony concerning Jesus as Christ. (vs. 7). As Christian we have access to all 3 sources of this testimony. From our act of faith through baptism we come into relationship with the death and life of Jesus and his blood. All Christian then have imparted to them the gift of the Spirit at baptism. Our power to influence the world is the fact that we have access to these sources! We are not alone is the battle with Satan and his world.
4. What is at stake if we reject or accept the testimony of God and His witnesses (the Spirit, water, and blood)?
If we choose to deny God's witness then we essentially are saying that God is a liar (verse 10). This act of failing to believe God's witness will ultimately result ( verse 12) in not having what the Son can give-eternal life. Remember some Christian may worry about “really” being saved. From last week's lesson we understand that love cast out fear, especially concerning our salvation. Jesus secures our salvation! Now if we add the verses from this week's lesson, we understand that true separation from God is the denial that Jesus is the Christ! Thus, our victory is not only over the world but also over our own fears or worry about our salvation.
5. What did John mean by “God's testimony is greater”? What is that testimony
We listen to man's testimony because as humans we deem credible the testimony of other humans. However human beings are not infallible, our testimonies are tainted by self-interests, greed, revenge, envy, etc.
God's testimony (verse 9) is greater because it is not about self-interest, but is rather, about another---His Son! The Son (verse 11) represents eternal life for all who believe in Him. God's testimony is about giving up His Son's life so that we might live eternally. God's testimony is the only truly credible testimony because it about giving His Love to others through His Son.
6. In what specific way does John say that we might be liars?
As John said earlier in 1John 1:10, we are liars not God. Through the rejection of the Truth and unbelief, people become liars. The world rejects God's testimony thereby rejecting Jesus as Christ is basically calling God a liar! Such rejecting the truth is sin and leads to totally forsaking salvation.
7. What does John mean by “Jesus came by water and blood”?
Scholars disagree about this phrase in every way possible. The following represents some possible explanations.
A) The water and blood indicates what happened when a spear opened Jesus' side while on the cross (John 19:34); water and blood came forth. Jesus was flesh and blood and not spirit only.
B) The water represents baptism while the blood represents the cross.
We must understand that John makes clear that Jesus is the son of God and that he died on the cross. Life and death are symbolized by water and blood; rebirth at baptism and death to our sin by the blood of cross. John is still fight the Gnostic view of dividing the life of Jesus into spirit and flesh, each separate. However, make clear that both testify to his life and death and they are not separate but the same.
8. The word “trinity” is not used in the New Testament and scholars have long debated the source and the time of inception of this doctrine. However, within the verses of 1 John 4:7-5:12, we can see clearly that John recognizes God; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each is distinct but interrelated, completely one but separate. Why is the relationship between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit important for us recognizes?
One major point John makes throughout this letter is that fellowship is central to a strong Christian walk. We have fellowship with one another, with Jesus, and with God the Father. As an example for us, the relationship of the Godhead is a true form of fellowship. One yet separate. That is the what we should be as the body of Christ.
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