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The Spirit, The Water And The Blood

by David Johnson

IMG_0666(Transcribed from the Words of Life Radio Program)

It is great to be together again as we look into the Word of God and consider in the Word of God all of the principles, all of the precepts, all of the promises and all of the prophecies, the precious truths that God reveals to us and that we can share with others.

The lesson today is entitled, “The Spirit, the Water and the Blood.” The text is in the New Testament, the first epistle of John, 1 John chapter five verses six through 12. Listen to the Word of God.

This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify, the Spirit, the Water and the blood and the three are in agreement. We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater, because it is the testimony of God which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God ha this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony. God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son of God does not have life.   This is the Word of God.

One of the major, overall thrusts and themes of the first epistle of the apostle John is the imperative, most important truth of the correct, accurate understanding of who Jesus Christ is as the one and only unique, eternal Son of God, the Christ, the Lord. And Jesus Christ is the object of the faith of our Christian faith through which salvation is made manifest.  So this is John’s inspired testimony to this truth.

The key to our passage in 1 John chapter five verses six through 12 is the word testify or testimony, which in its noun and verb forms appears eight times in the New International Version in verses six through 12. In keeping with the Jewish biblical practice that every truth is to be confirmed or established by the testimony of two or three witnesses, as described and revealed in the Old Testament in Deuteronomy chapter 19 and verse 15 and, for example, in the New Testament in 2 Corinthians chapter 13 and verse one, the apostle John presents three solid, reliable confirmation of God the Father’s testimony of Jesus Christ as his Christ, as his unique, only begotten Son in whom salvation alone is found.   Then John goes on to reveal in our passage the purpose of that testimony and, lastly, the power of God’s testimony. This is vitally important, a vitally important passage of Scripture for us to understand and, therefore, as we understand it, to testify, to give our own testimonies to others.

There have been many nay sayers down through the centuries, generation after generation in the Church age regarding the accurate identity of Jesus of Nazareth in the first century AD. For example, most of the nation of Israel rejected Jesus as their Messiah. The Jews even refer to him, that is Jesus of Nazareth, as a lying deceiver, according to Matthew chapter 27 and verse 63. And many still do today.  And they also in the first century AD criticized Jesus of Nazareth as causing insurrection against Rome, according to Luke chapter 23 and verse five.  And even of being insane, even demon possessed, according to the gospel of John chapter 10 and verse 20.  So why would, why should anyone believe Jesus of Nazareth or his claims? Why today? Ultimately as Bible believing Christians we believe the apostle John’s inspired, inerrant testimony in this portion of Scripture and, in fact, all Scripture is God breathed, inspired of God. And it is from God, his testimony concerning his Son. And so we believe it by faith.

In 1 John chapter five and the first part of verse six it says, in part: This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ.  So the first two witnesses testifiers of Jesus’ true identity are water and blood as the apostle John wrote in this passage. How so here? Well, some interpret water and blood with Jesus’ death when, according to the gospel of John chapter 19 and verse 34 it says, in part: One of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water.  But this is a testimony regarding the actual, physical death of Jesus, not a testimony in this context regarding Jesus’ divinity, for example, as the Son of God. Therefore, the best testimony in context here, our interpretation regarding the water is a reference to Jesus’ baptism and the blood  as a reference to his crucifixion.  Those two notable events bracketed the Lord’s earthly, public ministry and, importantly, at both these two events, his baptism and his crucifixion, God the Father testified himself concerning his Son.


For example, at Jesus’ baptism verbally, orally, according to Matthew chapter three and verse 17 it says, in part: A voice from heaven said: This is my Son whom I love. Secondly, on the cross, at his crucifixion, as Jesus was dying as the Lamb of God, God the Father witnessed this time with power, with miraculous signs as Jesus’ perfect atoning sacrifice happened to which God poured out his wrath on his own Son, even with the miraculous events of supernatural darkness from about noon to about 3 PM according to Matthew chapter 27 and verse 45.  And with the curtain of the temple torn in two from the top to the bottom and the earth shook as rocks split, according to Matthew chapter 27 and verse 51. And, therefore, a supernatural earthquake to mark that terrible time and yet it was the redemptive climax for the sin of the world.

At the time that John wrote this epistle, there was a false teaching that claimed that Jesus was only the Christ, that is God’s anointed one, only between his baptism and his death, that is, that Jesus was merely only a human until he was baptized at which time the Christ then descended upon him, but then left him before his death. The pre Gnostic, or Gnostic so-called higher knowledge or superior knowledge that some claimed at this time. There have been many false, heretical, demonic, counterfeit testimonies regarding the eternal accurate identity of Jesus Christ. Well, why? Because Satan, the devil knows eternal life with God in heaven is found only in the pre existent, eternal Son of God as Savior and Lord even Jesus Christ.

In the latter part of 1 John chapter five and verse six is found the third testifier, the third witness of the accurate identity of Jesus of Nazareth from God. It is the Spirit, that is the Holy Spirit who testifies because the Spirit is the truth. So God the Father also testified of his Son Jesus Christ through the ministry of the Holy Spirit of God.  For example, the Spirit was involved in Jesus’ conception, in his humanity, in his incarnation in Matthew chapter one and verse 18.  And the Spirit of God was involved in his baptism according to Matthew chapter three and verse 16. And even with miraculous power according to Acts chapter 10 and verse 38 and throughout Jesus’ ministry.

In 1 John chapter five and verse seven it says, in part: There are three that testify: the Spirit, the Water and the blood. Convincingly demonstrating Jesus is the Christ, the unique, one and only, only begotten Son of God, the Lord. And so this truth is confirmed, established by two or three witnesses.

In verse nine it says, in part: The testimony of God which he has given about his Son. As Bible believers we have faith in the inspired, inerrant Scriptures. The testimony of God himself regarding his Son Jesus the Christ. So many today reject a pre existent, eternal godhood of the Son of God and, or, his incarnation. However, according to the Scriptures Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, co equal with God the Father, God the Holy Spirit in the godhead.

For example, today Jehovah’s Witnesses claim that the Son, Jesus, is inferior to God the Father, that the Son is only mighty God, but God the Father, Jehovah, is almighty God, superior to the Son. And, for example, Mormons claim that Jesus Christ became a god. He was not always God, but he became a god.  And Muslims today deny that God even had a Son. And materialists deny God. They reject all Spirit beings.  And many today consider the blood atonement on the cross for the sin of mankind as meaningless. But the Spirit, the water and the blood still cry out: Jesus is the Christ, the unique pre existent, eternal Son of God, the Savior, the only Savior and Lord.

In verse 10 it says, in part: Anyone who believes in the Son of God which makes us believers in his true identity through faith in Christ Jesus, who is our deliverer from our sin, because he is our Savior, the one and only Savior of the world.  In verse 10 it also says, in part: Anyone who does not believe God is that one who believes Jesus Christ is a deceiver rather than a deliverer, because God and Jesus Christ have the Spirit, the entire godhead all testify to all the claims as truthfully revealed in Scripture. God cannot lie.

So what is the purpose of this three fold, iron clad testimony from God concerning his Son even Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ?  Well, in 1 John chapter five and verse 11 it says: And this is the testimony. God has given us eternal life and this life is in his Son.  So the purpose is to point us to a perfect, unending glory and joy with our creator, to have eternal life with God. And this eternity with God is exclusively in God’s Son. There is no other. There is no other name under heaven by which men could be saved, only Jesus the Christ.

So what power brings eternal life with God?  1 John chapter five and verse 12. And it says: He who has the Son has life.  But, conversely, he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.  Therefore, what people do with God’s testimony regarding his Christ, the Son of God, Jesus Christ, determines how their eternal destinies, their destinations. And there are only two possibilities. We are either in Christ or against Christ. Jesus Christ himself said: You are either for me or against me. And our added testimonies, as testifiers can be important as the Holy Spirit convicts and convinces those in our circle of influence, as we testify to the accurate, true identity of Jesus Christ in his humanity and in his divinity fully man, fully God, the pre existent, the eternal Son of God as our personal Savior and Lord, which needs to be our testimony also.

Many years ago I read of a pastor who tells of a visit with a man in his home. And the pastor asked the man:  Who do you believe Jesus Christ was?  And he answered: Oh, he was a wonderful man, the greatest man who ever lived, the most loving and gracious man who ever walked upon this earth. And then this pastor answered him: Well, do you know that according to the Bible and the historic Christian faith Jesus Christ was and is the eternal creator of the universe, the omnipotent, omniscient, the almighty God? Instantly this man’s eyes were filled with tears, a man in his 60s who said: I have been in church all my life and I have never heard that before, but I have thought that is the way it ought to be. That is not only the way it ought to be, that is the way it is.  And our testimony needs to be clear, even to church going folk. Jesus Christ is not just a historical past person.

He is alive today. Jesus Christ is not just a wonderful, greatest man. Jesus Christ is deity, God in bodily form according to Colossians chapter two and verse nine.  Jesus Christ did not become a God. He is the pre existent, eternal, almighty God, part of the godhead that created the cosmos, co equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit.  Only Jesus Christ offers eternal life in heaven forever.  May this be our testimony.


David Johnson is minister of the Sellersburg Church of Christ, Sellersburg, IN.

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