“…the three are in agreement.” 1 John 5:8b (NIV)
The three in agreement here are: the water, the blood, and The Spirit. John provided these ‘witnesses’ to substantiate that Christ is God. The Law of Moses required two or three witnesses for a matter to be settled before a judge. John’s three witnesses are infallible proof of Jesus being the Son of God, the promised Savior, The King of Heaven, and The One Who will return again to earth as her victorious King. We receive the testimony of men and women in our courts of law, so wouldn’t it be imprudent to reject the testimony of God? Let us examine the witnesses more closely.
In the testimony of the water, John is probably reflecting on Jesus’ own teaching about being born again: “…no one can enter the Kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” (John 3:5-6) Jesus Himself had a physical birth, though the conception was immaculate. The testimony of the water may also refer to Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River when God’s voice spike saying, “This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.” The Spirit of God descended upon Him in the form of a dove, recognizing the Prince of Peace. (Read Mt. 3:13-17)
The second ‘witness’ is seen in the blood of Jesus’ sacrificial death and the supernatural miracles associated with his suffering: the earthquake and the temple’s veil being torn from top to bottom. (Read Mt. 27:45, 50-53) Matthew records the centurion (a seasoned veteran soldier in command of one hundred or more soldiers), who was stationed at the cross, exclaiming after the earthquake, “Truly this was the Son of God!” (Mt. 27:54) It is only through the blood spilt upon that cross whereby sinners are restored into a relationship with God.
The third ‘witness’ is the Spirit of God. The Spirit was sent to bear witness of Christ’s authenticity. (Jn. 15:26; 16:14) Warren Wiersbe makes this astute observation: “The Holy Spirit is the only Person active on earth today Who was present when Christ was ministering here. The witness of the Father is past history, but the witness of the Spirit is present experience. The first is external, the second is internal – and both agree.” Indeed, in writing to the church at Rome, Paul described the dynamic this way: “…you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba! Father!’ The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God.” (Ro.8:15-16) The Spirit validates the reality of Christ, showing us nothing else makes sense. Life itself would not make sense without the hope of heaven, and it was Christ’s redeeming work that made us eligible to enter as sons and daughters.
In providing these three ‘proofs’ of the authenticity and Lordship of Christ, John centers the first century church to truth, even remarking that the Spirit is the truth. (v.6) It is the Spirit Who guides us in all truth (Jn. 16:13), and even provides the inspired Word when we are persecuted before the world. (Lk.12:12)
Now, let your own testimony be heard as well. Tell the world how Jesus saved you… how he delivered you from darkness to light… how you were once blind but now you see… how the insanity of this world tormented you, but now you have the peace that passes understanding. (Pp.4:7)
Let your agreement with these three witnesses echo to this generation.