1 John 5:9-11, “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. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”
The Apostle John has been talking about the witnesses or the testimony that verifies and acknowledges Jesus Christ, not just as the Son of God, but the true Anointed of God, to be Savior and Redeemer.
John continues on with this line of thought concerning the true witness concerning Christ Jesus. He uses a hard to argue with statement in that, “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater.” This is an easy statement for anyone to relate too. After all, this is a part of our lives, not just in the social arenas but also in the affairs of dealings with various businesses. We trust the words of our friends and those we have dealings with and we HOPE that they are honest and above board, yet we know that very often there are those who wish to deceive for monetary gain or for various other reasons. Sometimes it is just a matter of mistaken testimony and not always just outright deceit. Nonetheless, the Apostle is telling us that in comparison to our everyday dealings with our fellow man, the greater testimony belongs to God Almighty.
God does not and cannot lie. His testimony and His witness to anything is beyond reproach, so if we are willing to accept the testimony of mankind in our everyday dealings, all the more reason we SHOULD accept God’s witness concerning His Son! In other words, even common sense would tell you that it would be unreasonable NOT to believe God, for His testimony and witness are absolutely credible.
Remember, John tells us that the witness is from and of God and even if you discount the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit from the previous verse 7 as we have discussed in our previous study, here we can see that God Almighty, the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit are all encompassed as witnesses in God Himself! So there can be and there should be no doubt whatsoever concerning Christ Jesus as the Son of God! Again, within God Himself, these three Characters of the Triune God are three that testify to the truth of Christ Jesus as the Son!
Now continuing on with John’s theme of witness and testimony, he goes on to write about the evidence of even ANOTHER witness. When a person accepts Christ Jesus’ gift of Salvation through Him and the sacrifice He made, God, our Heavenly Father seals the truth WITHIN that person by the very witness of the abiding Holy Spirit. So, those who believe God’s witness and testimony have the TRUTH of that witness within themselves!
So now, a man who accepts Jesus Christ within himself has not just the outward testimony as described before, but now has an inner testimony to the truth as well! Remember the words of the Apostle Paul, “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:16-17.
Most everyone remembers verse 17 of Paul’s statement but look at how verse 16 confirms what the Apostle John is also saying; “now, we regard no one according to the flesh, even Christ Jesus whom we’ve known according to the flesh.” So the testimony, the witness of the three that agree, though obvious to all according to the flesh, their witness is infallible, yet now because we are a NEW creation, a spiritual creation, now we recognize the witness of the Holy Spirit within!
In our lives, the ways we have thought of things, the way we have analyzed different things was all done according to the natural and according to the flesh, the carnal. Now, however because with Christ Jesus, the Son abiding in us by His Holy Spirit, we have a NEW dimension as it were, to our thinking and to the way we see and perceive things. NOW we look at things not just in a temporary natural way, but now we see things and think on things with an eternal, an infinite scheme of things. Our minds as well as our spirits are renewed AND reborn! All because of Christ Jesus to those who believe!
This is a new addition for those who believe in the witness of those things that lead them to Christ. Now those witnesses actually have the “stamp of approval” of the very Spirit of Christ abiding within. But, and I’m sorry there always has to be a but, if we accept the testimony and allow it to become a living part of our lives, abiding within us as a living witness, then those who choose to NOT believe in the witness and testimony of God, aren’t just rejecting Him and His Word, which we know to be infallible and without reproach, but they are actually accusing Him of being a liar, a deceiver! John is making the point, rather emphatically that it is not just a matter of rejecting God Himself, but a person who rejects God’s Word and His witness concerning His Son is accusing Him of outright dishonesty.
Those who reject the Son of God, as the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer, sent to pay for OUR debts with His own blood and life are saying that God’s witness, His testimony does not matter! In all of my years of trying to serve the Lord and with all the missteps and stumbles I have taken, some of which were temporarily rebellious, even during those times, I NEVER once thought of calling God Almighty a liar! In fact during one particular bad time when I was outright sinning, I stood on the ramp of a warehouse dock and cried out for God to save me, cause I KNEW I couldn’t do it myself! Yet, because His testimony is ALWAYS true, He reached down and spared me through His grace and instead of discarding me for my rebellion, He actually TAUGHT me through this situation the DEPTH of His unconditional love and I no longer just had an intellectual assessment of what God’s love was, I had a deeply personal and spiritual experience of God’s Agape (love). That experience changed my life forever and when I teach on God’s love it is no longer on an intellectual basis only, but from deep spiritual experience. My life became a witness then to the truth of God’s witness and testimony concerning His Son!
Now I read this in Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible and I hope I give it justice because I’m not quoting the whole thing (only the italicized part), but paraphrasing it; if a person denies God’s witness about His Son and rejects the truth of Christ Jesus, then He not only believes God is a deceiver, but that the “religion” or spiritual lifestyle that evolved from Christ’s teachings and that of the disciples who followed must also most certainly be a lie and a falsehood and though it is based on “a pure, holy, heavenly, undefiled institution, and so worthy to be embraced by the reason of mankind, and yet is but a delusion and a lie.” Then to top that off, the Lord sent His Holy Spirit with power and anointing to further spread this new lifestyle, so those rejecting God’s truth are saying these are all deceitful lies authored by the God they supposedly don’t even believe in. To me, it doesn’t even stand up to “common” sense!
The Apostle Paul demonstrates this foolishness in mankind when he wrote, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing to be wise, they became fools, . . .” – Romans 1:20-22a.
A person who rejects God CHOOSES to have his heart and mind blinded by the god of this world, and thus becomes as confounded and foolish as the rest of the world system to which he becomes an integral part!
But the Beloved Apostle sums up the theme of the witness and testimony of God with verse 11. “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” This is the summation of the Gospel, the Good News and of the Christian message as a whole!
All that has been laid out as a foundation before has led up to this very message; “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” It is God, our Heavenly Father’s Gift to mankind and it is the Son’s voluntary Gift to us as well by His willingness to pay for our sins and debts by His Sacrifice. All the testimony, all the witnesses that we have before us, has been to lead us to this AWESOME and AMAZING truth; God desires us, His creation, to have eternal life. This has been His eternal plan all along.
I love the well-know verse by the Apostle Peter; “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” – 2 Peter 3:9. This is an avenue into the Heart of God, Himself. His desire for mankind is that ALL should come to repentance. As we know from the rest of Scripture and what we have just discussed from the Apostle John, there are those who will deny and reject God’s truth, but that doesn’t change God’s desire, or His love for mankind and His creation!
This verse doesn’t just sum up the Gospel most appropriately but simply as well and yet there is so much depth to it. Our eternal life is found ONLY in Christ Jesus. Yet, it is a Gift also from God Almighty to those who choose and desire it. “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6. Jesus came to give us eternal life but you have to follow through with that train of thought. Why does He want us to have eternal life?
So many think that Salvation and Redemption is the main reason for being born-again, saved. But that is a narrow train of thought. There is a REASON why we are saved and redeemed. Jesus followed through after stating that He was the way, the truth and the life by stating the purpose for it. The ONLY way to the Father is THROUGH Christ Jesus! We are quick to tell people and to evangelize with the thought of being born-again, just as Jesus instructed the teacher Nicodemus. But we do not always and in fact very seldom teach those we are evangelizing WHY they need to be born-again. It’s NOT just to go to Heaven! Remember, Heaven is ONLY a dwelling place and I am not belittling it when I say that. It is the place of God’s Throne and it will be our abode forever, but that which I just stated is the reason why we NEED to be born-again; to be in the PRESENCE of our Heavenly Father Who GAVE us eternal life through His Son! We were SAVED to have that spiritual unity with our Heavenly Father and to be ONE with the Son!
We are born-again to have a spiritually renewed and reborn life with our Heavenly Father through Christ Jesus as empowered by the Holy Spirit. Jesus told His disciples He was going ahead to prepare a place for all of His disciples. Why? So that we have an abode, a place to be with Him, and the Father. When we are in the presence of Christ Jesus, we WILL be in the presence of the Father for we know and go to the Father THROUGH Christ Jesus! I can’t seem to stress this enough. I am not an Evangelist per se, but I evangelize as the doors open and when I do, I ALWAYS give people a REASON why salvation is so important. Heaven is an awesome reason, but an even GREATER reason, is the Person of our Heavenly Father, God Almighty and the relationship we will have eternally with Him through Jesus Christ!
THIS is God’s testimony: He has given us eternal life and that LIFE is IN Christ Jesus, the Son! Have YOU availed yourself of this FREE gift? I pray and hope so, for your eternal well-being depends on your answer!
God loves you and He will ALWAYS love you and that is based on what He has already done for you and all of His creation. If you do nothing else, think upon that for in that is eternal HOPE!