by Chris Walls

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God's Testimony (13 of 14)
Chris Walls
1 John 5:6-12

I. God's external Witness (6-9)

A. The external witness of the water and the blood (6a).

There has been much speculation on what this phrase means in 6a. The interpretations are varied. Augustine linked this phrase to the piercing of Christ's side with the spear at his crucifixion where water and blood flowed. Calvin and Luther connected it to John chapters four and six and linked it to the sacraments. Others have related it to the OT sacrificial symbolism, the water of purification and the blood of sacrifice.

Today though most theologians will agree with Tertullian who saw the water reference to Christ's Baptism and the blood to Christ's sacrificial death on the cross.

This announcement is to confirm once again that Jesus was the Christ and God's only Son. Many teachers during this time would say that the deity, Christ, came on the man Jesus at His baptism and then left before he was crucified. This was done to deny that Christ was truly human and was never subject to suffering and death. This according to John would be a denial of the redemptive activity of God. It was the Son of God that came into the world. It was the same divine Son who was baptized and received the Spirit. It was the Son who, with the Father's approval and in fulfillment of the Father's intention, shed his blood on the cross to redeem humanity. God would not be involved in man's redemption apart from the Christ's true humanity, suffering, and dying. Water and blood become, therefore, a true witness to Jesus Christ being the Son of God and the one that fulfilled God's redemptive plan for mankind.

B. The external witness of the Spirit (6b)

The word used here for "testifies" is used nine times in this section by John. The basic meaning is "someone who has personal and immediate knowledge of something." We would say, "someone who has first hand knowledge of something."

The first time the spirit testifi ...

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