Sunday, December 16, 2012

1st John Chapter 5 Part 6

5:9-10 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.
The beginning of verse 9 is a lead off from the last several verses we have been examining. The idea here may be that this witness of men John refers to is either one of two things. He may simply be using a static argument that if a man we trust witnesses of some event or truth we have not personally experienced or been exposed to we are prone to believe them based on their character. 

The second possibility is that the witness of men refers to the Christians of John’s day that confirm Christ lived, died, and lived again; that He is the living God and Savior of humanity. Such witnesses were alive and well in Paul’s time, 1st Corinthians 15:6. John may have known or assumed that some yet lived in his own day.

If the latter interpretation is accurate then verse 8 might well have simply been a tacit reminder of fulfilled prophecy in the baptism and death of Christ, since a fair number of people were with Him from the beginning, Acts 1:15, 21-22; 1st John 1:1.

The witness that God has testified is the giving of the Holy Spirit to reprove the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Verses 6 through 8 mentions that the Holy Spirit bears witness to Christ both in Heaven and on earth three times. This is evidently the witness God gave of His Son, and this is the witness every man has in himself when he chooses to believe God’s testimony, Ephesians 1:13-14. The Holy Spirit was given to us to seal us for the future inheritance the overcomer receives with Christ, 1st John 3:24; 5:4-5; Romans 8:14-17. If we have not the Spirit of Christ we are not His, Romans 8:9.

The one who chooses to disbelieve God concerning the testimony of His Son is committing the unpardonable sin: this is the sin of refusing to believe in Jesus Christ and receiving forgiveness of sin and newness of life. As John the Baptist warns: “he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him,” John 3:36. Rejection of the salvation Christ offers in full payment for your sins leaves you in the unsavory position of telling God that you would rather pay for your sins yourself; you don’t want the free gift of eternal life in Christ. Sin separates. It separates man from his Creator. It separates man from his fellow man. It eventually causes physical death which separates the soul from the housing of the body.

We already labor under spiritual death, which will forever keep the soul from restoration with God if our sin is not paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus cannot forgive the sin of unbelief since we refuse to come to Him and repent of it. Entering into an eternal state in our rebellion dooms us to eternal separation from our Creator. We have made God a liar in the sense that He has stated one way in which peace with God truly comes. Rejection of the gospel is saying to God that there are other ways of achieving this coveted peace and the unique way Christ provides is unnecessary. But as God warned the Jews of Jeremiah’s day: “[they] shall know whose word will stand, Mine or theirs,” Jeremiah 44:28.

1 comment:

  1. Great post, Ian.

    No matter which way one chooses to interpret these points, it still comes down to the point of accepting what God has said or rejecting it.


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