First John 5:6-12
The Testimony Of God For His Son

Authored By Rev. Shigeru Matsubara, Assistant Pastor, Osaka Nozomi Church, Osaka, Japan

1. The text in verse six says, "He, even Jesus Christ, came by means of water and blood.  Not only by water, but he came by water and blood.  And the Spirit is the one who testifies to this; for, the Spirit is truth."  In regard to the antichrist who states "Jesus was just a man and not the Christ, " in contrast against this, he states, "The Spirit which is the truth testifies that it is historical fact that Jesus had come as the Christ."

2.  John said that the Spirit of truth testifies to the historical facts regarding Jesus, that he is the Christ who had come in the two events of water and blood.

3.  Regarding "the one who came through the water."  When Jesus came to John the Baptist and was looking for baptism, (Matthew 3:14, 15), John said, "I myself ought to receive baptism from you," as he tried to dissuade Jesus from it.  Jesus said, "I don't want you to stop now.  It is appropriate for us to carry out all righteousness," and John did as Jesus so said.  In this manner, he took his first steps toward the way to the cross as the lamb of God who "bears on himself the sin of the world."


"When Jesus received baptism, he immediately went up from the midst of the water.  Then, heaven opened to Jesus.  Jesus saw the Spirit of God descend on himself like a dove.  Then a voice was heard out of heaven, saying, 'This is my beloved son, who suits my will.'"

5.  Well, when it says "the one who came through the water" it clearly stands for when the Lord Jesus was crucified, shed his blood, and died.  By the Lord Jesus getting nailed to the cross and dying, he fulfilled the work of redemption for sinners which was promised in the Bible. This expresses that Jesus is truly the Christ, the lamb of God who had come taking [upon himself] flesh as historical fact.

6.  Jesus "hung on the cross and bore our sins in his own body.  [He did it] so that we would die to sin and live by righteousness.  By the wounds he had taken you were healed," so it says [in] (First Peter 2:24).  "God turned him into sin, who had nothing at all to do with sin, for our sakes.  We are able to obtain the righteousness of God by him," it says [in] (Second Corinthians 5:21).


"The Bible clearly teaches that for us to be justified and be given life, our sins were imputed onto Christ and that Christ was made sin in our place.  This is God's will, that God sent Christ into the world as savior.  There is meaning that the sinless Jesus Christ, whom we ought to confess here, has received baptism where one confesses sin.  It was for Jesus, who had been sent by God the Father as savior, a "righteousness" which he had to accomplish," (Gohji Tanaka).

8.  As I first said, in John's time period heresies that made Jesus out to not be the Christ, the son of God, had slipped into the church.  Those who proclaimed heretical teachings stated ideas that separated Christ the son of God from Jesus born of Mary.  So, they say that when Jesus received baptism from John the Baptist, the "son of God, the spirit of Christ" from heaven came down upon the human Jesus, and they flat out deny that Jesus the son of God was incarnated (John 1:14).

9.  "He, even Jesus Christ, came by means of water and blood.  Not only by water, but he came by water and blood."  The reason he emphasizes that he came not only by water but by water and blood is the heretical teachers, they said, "just before Jesus was crucified, 'the son of God, the spirit of Christ' departed from Jesus and returned to heaven.  Therefore, the one who died upon suffering on the cross was no more than a mere human Jesus."  This teaching is an all-out denial of the gospel in which Jesus accomplished redemption for sinners.  The Jesus conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of his mother Mary, the Jesus who came right into history, he who received baptism from John the Baptist and died after being crucified, that is, even this Jesus who "came by water and blood," John testifies that he is the son of God, Jesus the Christ, who was sent from God the Father and fulfilled his work as savior.

10.  The heretical teaching was not just in John's time.  There has been a similarly mistaken teaching in the church for generations.  It is the teaching that detaches Christ from Jesus.  It denies the deity of our Lord Jesus.  Also, it denies the work of the Lord Jesus for the redemption of sin.  They praise the good works of Jesus, but never confess that he is the son of God, the Christ.  He is to them just some human Jesus.  This teaching is still in the church today.

11.  In the first half of verse six, John testifies in "the one who came through water and blood" to the historical fact that Jesus is the son of God, the Christ, but as a second foundation, in the latter half of verse six he gives the testimony of the Holy Spirit.  It says, "And the Spirit bears witness to this; for, the Spirit is truth."

12.  Let's listen to the words of John the Baptist.  Please look at John 1:32-34.  There we find recorded the witness which John the Baptist gave.  "I saw the Spirit descend from heaven as a dove and rest upon Jesus.  I did not know him.  But, the one who sent me to baptize with water told me 'when you see the Spirit descend and rest on a certain person, he is the one that baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'  I saw that.  So, he testified that he (Jesus) himself is the very son of God."

13.  John the Baptist clearly gave evidence here that he saw the attested to son of God.  At the time when Jesus received baptism and went up from out of the water, the heavens were opened to Jesus.  Jesus saw that the Spirit of God like a dove descend upon himself.  Then a voice was heard from heaven like this, "this is my beloved son, he suits my heart," (Matthew 3:16-17).

14.  The Spirit of God gave witness through the event of Jesus' baptism that Jesus was the son of God.  John the Baptist testified that he observed this whole scene.  "For, the witness which God gave regarding his son, this is the witness of God," (9).  "And the Spirit is the one who testifies to this; for the Spirit is truth," (6b).  In this manner the Spirit gave the eternal truth.  For generations he testified to the children born of God that the son of God Jesus is the Christ, and he is the one who does the work to let them know and make them believe.

15.  [We have] John, but it is the Spirit who testifies to our spirits of the one who "came by water and blood" as the son of God Christ who fulfilled the redemption of the sins of we sinners.  Not a one of us could believe Jesus as son of God and Christ unless there had been the witness of the Spirit to our spirits.  "No one can say 'Jesus is Lord" except by the Holy Spirit," (First Corinthians 12:3).

16.  "The ones who testify are three, spirit, water, and blood," (7, 8).  In history God gave witness regarding the son in water and blood and even today he gives witness by the Spirit to our spirits.  Now and always, the events in the life of Jesus, which have passed through water and blood and the Holy Spirit who continues to witness in the church, go together perfectly and continue to witness God's son Jesus as the Christ.

17.  "This witness means that God has given us eternal life and this life is in his son.  This life is in those who are joined with the son and this life is not in those who are not joined to the son of God," (11, 12).  To believe Jesus as the son of God, the Christ, by the witness of God which is based on historical fact and on the Holy Spirit is to completely entrust our entire lifestyles and complete beings over to Jesus Christ and to depend upon him.  It means in all of our life and death, whether during our time in this world or our situation that will span eternity we will entrust our entire bodies over to the hands of Christ.  The witness God gave makes us conscious that outside of Jesus Christ there is no salvation of any kind.

18.  The witness of God (6-12), which "[the Spirit]" initiates, is defined as Jesus Christ born physically in life on this earth through water (the purpose for which he was sent), through his blood (his death on the cross) he completely redeemed humanity's sins which had been promised by the scriptures, and he is the risen Lord Jesus Christ who accomplished the work of salvation.  And John says more.  "The reason I write these things to you who believe on the name of the son of God is I want to make you see you are obtaining eternal life," (13).  John [says], "This witness means that God has given us eternal life and this life is in his son," (11).

19.  We praise the name of the Lord who has given within us eternal life.  Hallelujah!

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