January 6, 2022 - Pastor's Corner

Melvin-head-shot

Dear Church Family,

Once again, the key verse of 1 John is 5:13, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life,” and the main theme of his letter is Certainty of Faith in Jesus Christ and Our Subsequent Practice. This assurance is addressed in multiple ways throughout 1 John through contrasts, direct statements, and three specific areas of Christian living—moral (obedience), social (love), and theological (Jesus is the God-man).

In 5:6-12, the apostle John speaks to eternal evidence for the certainty of our faith in Jesus: the testimony of God concerning Jesus. Please take a quick moment to read these verses anew. From this passage come the following brief insights:

  • These verses are among the most perplexing in all Scripture. Indeed, there is much debate among both scholars and biblical historians concerning their meaning, specifically, the meaning of “water” and “blood” mentioned in verses 6-8. [I won’t lay out each of the positions, just the one I affirm to be the meaning of this passage.] A significant help in understanding the meaning of these words is to first jump to verse 11, “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” The reason this helps our interpretation in verse 6 is that together these verses show that Jesus came to give us eternal life, therefore, “water” and “blood” must have something to do with this gracious gift.
  • With this knowledge, we affirm that “water” refers to the baptism of Jesus, while “blood” refers to His crucifixion. “Water” because at Jesus’ baptism, the Father affirmed the deity of His Son, and “blood” because Jesus’ death for our sins affirmed His humanity. We know this is true because the Holy Spirit, Whose job it is to point to Jesus (cf. John 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-15), testifies to these truths; He makes us understand them.
  • Verses 9-10 reveal that it is God Himself who declares Jesus is fully God and fully human in One Person, and places that same testimony inside of believers. Jesus basically says the same thing in Matthew 16:17. And John phrases this action by God in the present tense, meaning God continuously testifies and gives this testimony about Jesus. Those who deny Jesus is the God-man are calling God a liar.
  • Now arriving at verses 11-12, we see that believing the right thing about Jesus’ identity is necessary to receive eternal life. Moreover, we see that it is God Himself who gives that right saving faith. Thus, His eternal testimony concerning Jesus gives us certainty our faith in Jesus is eternally secure.

As promised, below is our final roadmap through 1 John covering the rest of January:

Date

Passage

January 13, 2022

5:13-15

January 20, 2022

5:16-17

January 27, 2022

5:18-21

At the end of our final entry on January 27, 2022, I will share the next book of our time together. And as always, I encourage you to read ahead to prepare for our time next week—1 John 5:13-15.

Grace and peace be to you.

Pastor Melvin