First John: 1 John 5:10-The One Who Believes in God’s Son Possesses the Testimony Within Himself Lesson # 195
1 John 5:10 Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. (ESV)
1 John 5:10 The one who at any time does believe in God’s Son does possess this testimony within himself. The who at any time does not believe God is making Him out to be a liar because he has never believed in this testimony which God (the Father) is testifying concerning His Son. (My translation)
1 John 5:10 contains three assertions or declarations.
The first states that the person who at any time does believe in God’s Son does possess this testimony within himself.
The second states that the person who at any time does not believe God is making Him out to be a liar.
The third presents the reason for the second and states that this person who makes God out to be a liar has never believed in this testimony which God is testifying about His Son.
The first presents the result or the consequence of accepting by faith God’s testimony concerning His Son while on the other hand, the second presents the result or consequence of not accepting by faith this testimony.
The third presents the reason for the result of rejecting this testimony.
Now, believing appears once in each of these assertions or declarations.
In each instance, the word means to “totally and completely trust, to exercise faith, to believe” in the Son of God.
Therefore, it speaks of justifying faith.
In other words, it speaks of a sinner totally and completely trusting in Jesus of Nazareth is the Son of God.
This results in the Father declaring them justified so as to receive the gift of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins.
Consequently, they are now children of God.
This interpretation is indicated by the fact that the Scriptures teach that eternal life is received through faith in Jesus Christ who is the subject of God’s testimony (cf. John 3:15-16, 36; 5:24).
In fact, John teaches this in 1 John 5:9-12.
Now, 1 John 5:10 is the fourth time in First John that the apostle John has speaks of justifying faith.
The first three instances are 1 John 3:23, 5:1 and 5:5.
1 John 5:10 also contains the second reference in First John to making God out to be a liar.
The first appears in 1 John 1:10.
1 John 1:10 If any of us enters into making the claim that we have never sinned, then, we are making Him out to be a liar. Consequently, His Word is unequivocally not existing in us. (My translation)
Now, the reference to making God out to be a liar here in 1 John 5:10 is related to the unregenerate sinner who rejects Jesus Christ as Savior and as God’s one and only Son.
Specifically, it is referring to the proto-Gnostic teachers who were propagating their false doctrine about the person of Jesus Christ in the Roman province of Asia where the recipients of First John were residing.
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. (My translation)
Now, these three assertions or declarations in 1 John 5:10 are intimately connected to the assertions in 1 John 5:9 and 11.
Therefore, 1 John 5:9-11 teaches that 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.
Thus, at the moment of justification, the child of God entered into being a witness and they continue to be a witness after justification that the Father’s testimony concerning His Son is that the Father has given them eternal life and this life is resident in His Son.
In other words, the child of God can testify that this is in fact the Father’s testimony concerning His Son since they received eternal life from the Father through faith in His Son Jesus Christ who is eternal life incarnate.
Therefore, the child of God can always testify that Jesus Christ is eternal life incarnate.
In fact, the Spirit, who permanently indwells the child of God (cf. 1 John 2:20 and 27) testifies to the child of God that Jesus of Nazareth is eternal life incarnate and thus the Son of God and Savior of the world.
Thus, every child of God has the Father’s testimony within them.
Consequently, John as well as the recipients of First John could testify that the unregenerate “antichrists” or “false prophets” who John condemns in this epistle were telling lies about Jesus Christ and were thus being used by the devil and his fallen angels.
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.
A comparison of 1 John 2:20, 27, 4:1-6, 1 John 5:6-11 indicate that the Father employs the Holy Spirit as His instrument to testify to members of sinful human race that Jesus of Nazareth is God’s one and only Son.
Therefore, a comparison of 1 John 2:20, 27, 1 John 4:1-6 with 1 John 5:6-11 indicates that the sinner who exercises faith in the Father’s testimony concerning His Son that He has given His children eternal life and this life is resident in the character and nature of His Son is equivalent to accepting the Spirit’s testimony.
In other words, the sinner who accepts by faith the Father’s testimony concerning His Son is accepting the Spirit’s testimony.
The Father employs the Spirit as His instrument to present this testimony concerning His Son to sinners in order that they can make a decision to accept by faith this testimony or to reject it.