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The Testimony of God

Nothing could have more serious ramifications than denying Jesus as the Savior and Lord.

“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater” (1 John 5:9, NKJV). 

Witness is a significant concept in John’s writings, as in witness that testifies to the truth. In both his Gospel and first epistle he amasses evidence for the reader to consider. He opens his Gospel account by speaking about witness and closes it saying, “This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true” (John 21:24). 

John opens his first epistle by giving testimony of his firsthand witness (1:1-2). Now, as he moves toward the close of his letter he brings to the stand the strongest testimony possible. “This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one” (1 John 5:6–8). 

Water and blood have to do with the incarnation, Messianic mission, and sacrificial death of Jesus. Throughout, John has reminded us that Jesus is true flesh, fully human, and that He died to atone for our sins and to suffer the wrath of God in our stead. These truths are essential to the gospel and if they are false, our faith is unfounded, our hope is in vain, and the love that John has showcased throughout is sham not substance. 

But all these things are real and true, and can be rested in and counted on. They are validated by the testimony of the Spirit and by those on earth who saw these things actually happen, just as Jesus indicated. “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning” (John 15:26–27).They are also validated by the witness of the triune God whose testimony is recorded in the pages of Scripture and in the hearts of men. 

John’s bottom line is that the amount and quality of testimony is overwhelming. “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son” (1 John 5:9). 

John will go on to flesh out this testimony but for now we want to feel the weight of what he is writing. To doubt or to reject Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God incarnate to save, is to disregard the entirety of redemptive history, the witness of the word of God, the testimony of those who lived it, and the Spirit of truth who upholds it for our scrutiny. 

Mankind will always have its deniers, even in the face of incontrovertible evidence. But nothing could have more serious ramifications than denying Jesus as the Savior and Lord. 

Why do you believe as you do?

Stan Gale

Stanley D. Gale (MDiv Westminster, DMin Covenant) has pastored churches in Maryland and Pennsylvania for over 30 years. He is the author of several books, including A Vine-Ripened Life: Spiritual Fruitfulness through Abiding in Christ and The Christian’s Creed: Embracing the Apostolic Faith. He has been married to his wife, Linda, since 1975. They have four children and ten grandchildren. He lives in West Chester, Pa.
Books by Stan Gale

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