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First John: 1 John 5:9-God’s Testimony is Superior to the Testimony of Human Beings Lesson # 194

First John   •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:03:00
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First John: 1 John 5:9-God’s Testimony is Superior to the Testimony of Human Beings

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1 John 5:9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. (ESV)
1 John 5:9 If and let us assume that it is true for the sake of argument that we accept the content of the testimony provided by human beings and we do, then we can infer that the content of God’s (the Father) testimony is superior because this is God’s testimony, specifically that which He is testifying concerning His Son. (My translation)
In this verse, John is seeking to persuade the recipients of First John to continue to accept the testimony of God concerning His Son Jesus Christ.
As we will note, the content of this testimony appears in 1 John 5:11, which asserts that the Father’s testimony concerning His Son is that He, the Father gave His children eternal life and this life is resident in the character and nature of His Son.
Thus, 1 John 5:9 is solemnly seeking to persuade the recipients of First John that they must continue to accept the testimony of God concerning His Son that He, the Father gave His children eternal life and this life is resident in the character and nature of His Son.
This testimony is communicated by John here in First John.
For this is the testimony of God” is presenting the reason for the previous assertion that the Father’s testimony concerning His Son Jesus Christ is superior to the content of the testimony provided by human beings.
Therefore, together they assert that God’s testimony concerning His Son is that He has given His children eternal life and this life is resident in the character and nature of His Son.
Consequently, John is teaching here in 1 John 5:9 and 11 that the Father’s testimony concerning His Son is superior to the testimony of human beings because God’s testimony is that He has given His children eternal life and this life is resident in the character and nature of His Son.
The implication of this assertion is that John and the recipients of First John must continue to accept God’s testimony concerning His Son because He has given them eternal life and this life is resident in the character and nature of His Son.
In other words, because the recipients of First John and all of God’s children for that matter have received eternal life as a gift at the moment of their justification through faith alone in Jesus Christ alone who is eternal life incarnate, they can testify that this is God’s testimony concerning His Son.
In fact, John asserts this in 1 John 5:10 by stating that whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony in himself and the one who does not believe does not have this testimony in himself.
Therefore, the child of God can testify that Jesus is the Father’s one and only Son and is eternal life incarnate because they received the gift of eternal life from the Father by the Spirit through faith in His Son Jesus Christ.
Now, it is essential for the recipients of First John and all God’s children for that matter that they continue to accept this testimony of God because if they continue to do so, they would continue to maintain their fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
If they don’t continue to accept this testimony after their justification, then they will not experience fellowship with God since fellowship with God is based upon experiencing eternal life and fellowship with God is based upon accepting this testimony.
The child of God’s eternal relationship and fellowship with God is based upon the fact that Jesus Christ is eternal life incarnate and thus the incarnate Son of God.
1 John 5:9 and 11 make clear that this is the Father’s testimony concerning His Son.
Therefore, if an unregenerate sinner rejects this testimony, then they can never be declared justified by the Father and are under His wrath.
If a child of God rejects this testimony after justification, then they can never experience fellowship with God.
To solve this problem, they must confess this sin of rejecting this testimony in order to be restored to fellowship (cf. 1 John 1:9).
However, this fellowship is maintained by accepting God’s testimony that Jesus Christ is His Son and eternal life incarnate and thus the incarnate Son of God.
These assertions in 1 John 5:9 and 11 are significant in light of the proto-Gnostic teachers which were propagating their false doctrine about the person Jesus Christ in the Roman province of Asia where the recipients of First John and John himself were geographically located.
John describes these individuals as “antichrists” (1 John 2:18), and non-believers (1 John 2:19) and “false prophets” (1 John 4:2).
They taught “docetic” Gnosticism which rejected the human nature of Jesus of Nazareth.
1 John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour. To be specific, as each of you heard that Antichrist is certain to come, in fact, now, many antichrists are in existence. Each of us can confirm from this that it is the last hour. 19 They departed from us but in fact they were never a part of our fellowship because if and let us assume that it is true for the sake of argument they had been a part of our fellowship, they would have in fact remained with us. On the contrary, this departure took place in order that they would demonstrate that each one of them are by no means a part of our fellowship. 20 However, each one of you possess an anointing from the Holy One. Consequently, each one of you possess knowledge (of the truth). 21 I am by no means writing to each of you at the present time that each of you are ignorant of the truth but in fact that each of you are possessing knowledge of it and in addition that never does any lie originate from the truth. 22 Who is the worst type of liar? It is none other than the person who at any time does say, “Jesus is unequivocally not the Christ.” This person is the antichrist: the person who unequivocally rejects the Father as well as His Son. 23 Anyone who does at any time reject the Son, unequivocally does not possess a relationship with the Father. The person who does at any time acknowledge the Son, does possess a relationship with the Father also. (Author’s translation)
In 1 John 4:1-6, the apostle John addresses the danger of accepting the false doctrine of these proto-Gnostic teachers.
1 John 4:1 Beloved, each and every one of you must continue making it your habit of not trusting in every spirit. But rather, if and let us assume that it is true for the sake of argument that any of you are to confirm they possess the characteristic originating from the one and only God (the Father) and each one of you know that you must, then each one of you must continue to make it your habit of thoroughly and critically examining these spirits because many false prophets are traveling about in the world. 2 By means of this, any one of you can at any time confirm the Spirit’s teaching who is the one and only God: Any spirit which does acknowledge Jesus as the Christ appearing in a human body does possess the characteristic which originates from this the one and only God who is the Spirit. 3 On the other hand, any spirit, which does not acknowledge this same Jesus (as the Christ appearing in human flesh) by no means possesses the characteristic which originates from this the one and only God (who is the Spirit). Specifically, this (type of spirit) does possess the characteristic which can be described as antichrist, which each and every one of you have heard about through instruction is certain to come. In fact, it now presently exists in the state of already being in the world. 4 Each and every one of you, dear children, does possess the characteristic originating from this, the one and only God (who is the Spirit). Consequently, each of you are victorious over them because the one in each of you is greater than the one in the world. 5 Each one of them does possess the characteristic originating from the world. Because of this each of them does speak from the world’s viewpoint. Consequently, the world does obey them. 6 Each one of us does possess the characteristic originating from the one and only God (who is the Spirit). The one who at any time does know God (the Holy Spirit) experientially does obey any one of us. Whoever at any time absolutely does not possess the characteristic originating from this the one and only God (who is the Spirit) by no means obeys any one of us. By means of this, any one of us can at any time confirm the Spirit’s teaching which is truth as well as the spirit which is deceit. (Author’s translation)
John refutes the teaching of the proto-Gnostic teachers in 1 John 5:7-8.
1 John 5:7 Therefore, three are testifying: 8 the Spirit, the water as well as the blood. Indeed, these three are in agreement. (Author’s translation)
The reference to the water is speaking of Jesus’ baptism and the blood speaks of His death on the cross.
John mentions Jesus’ death and baptism because of these proto-Gnostic who taught that the divine Christ descended on the human Jesus at His baptism but left him before His crucifixion.
Consequently, they denied that one Person, Jesus Christ appeared publicly by water and blood.
Cerinthus was well-known in the late first century A.D. as propagating this false doctrine about Jesus Christ.
In 1 John 5:6-8, the apostle John makes crystal clear that this doctrine does not originate from the Holy Spirit.
1 John 5:6 This person is the one who appeared publicly by means of water as well as blood-Jesus Christ. Absolutely not by means of this water only but rather by means of this water as well as by means of this blood. Correspondingly, the Spirit is the one who testifies (about Jesus Christ) because the Spirit possesses eternally and inherently the characteristic, which is unique to Himself as deity, which is truth. 7 Therefore, three are testifying: 8 the Spirit, the water as well as the blood. Indeed, these three are in agreement. (My translation)
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