This Is The One

Title: This Is The One

Bible Book: 1 John 5 : 6-13

Author: Johnny L. Sanders

Subject: Christ, The Real



I tried to visit my parents once a week when they were experiencing serious health problems. When I could schedule it I would stop by a health club in Greenville, MS for a brief workout and a brief visit with friends there. On one of those stops when I walked into the health club I saw several friends and knew intuitively that this was no ordinary workout. If fact, no one was working out. They were standing around a man I knew to be a professor at a nearby university. As a matter of fact, Jim had the professor backed up against a wall and he was letting him have it with both barrels. I was intrigued, but since it didn’t concern me I could just walk on by them and go to the dressing room. Just then, Jim looked over, and seeing me, he said, “Here is a preacher, let’s ask him!”

Every preacher lives to hear those words! When the occasion arises, there is already more heat than light being thrown on the subject. The attitude is already combative, not conciliatory. They are not looking for answers, just determined to win the argument. My friend Jim was angry, the professor, who had expressed views that supported Communism over Capitalism, was amused, in fact he was baiting the group, convinced that he had the answer for anything they might say.

It was during the Iran hostage crisis and the professor had made the statement that you could not blame the Muslims for what they were doing. During the debate someone had obviously mentioned Christ and the prof had made the statement that you couldn’t blame the Muslims for not believing in Jesus Christ since no First Century historian ever mentioned his name, there is no way anyone could really know if He ever lived. Jim demanded that he ask me and he, with the same arrogant, defiant attitude that upset the men who were standing there, demanded of me, “Can you name any First Century historian who mentioned Christ?”

There were several things I might have said, including pointing out the fact that the Muslims do not doubt that Jesus had lived on earth. I might have pointed out the fact that one Jewish historian, Josepus, and two Roman historians, Tacitus and Suetonius did mention Christ. But I didn’t do that either. For some reason I decided on a different approach. I simply said, “Yes.”

“Name them!”

“Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.”

“Those are not historians! They are Gospel writers. Can you name a historian?”

“Name Him.”

“Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.”

We went through about three cycles of this before he decided to lecture me on the difference between a Gospel writer and a historian. I told him I understood what he was saying but there was no way I was going to concede the fact that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John set down an historical account of the life of Christ. For example, Luke’s credentials has an historian have been irrefutably established by modern scholars. I assured the professor that I understood what he was saying but I was not about to make that concession. I am convinced that, though the Gospels were not written specifically to give a history of an era, an area, or a movement, that which is recorded there is reliable - no, it is more than that. By the time a textbook on history, science, or social studies has been published it is already getting out of date and needs to be revised. The Gospels have never need a to be edited, updated, or revised .

John was the last Gospel writer and he wrote: “Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name” (John 20:30-31). The evidence should prove to you that Jesus lived, but only the Holy Spirit can convince you that He is the Son of God and that He died on the Cross for your sins and arose the third day to give you eternal life. In out text today, the Holy Spirit, who inspired the writing of every word of Scripture, will illuminate your heart so that you will believe that Jesus is exactly Who the Bibles says He is.


This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

A. He Came By Water and Blood, 5:6.

This is an interesting way of certifying that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One. There have been two basic interpretations of this. First, there are those who think this refers to the fact that when the Roman soldier plunged the sword into Jesus’ side while He was on the cross, both blood and water flowed from the wound. To some this seems like the logical meaning.

Others believe that water refers to the inauguration of Jesus’ ministry at the time of His baptism, and the blood refers to the cross. I believe the context supports the latter interpretation. Both the baptism of Jesus and the crucifixion of Jesus stress that Jesus came in the flesh. John has already written, “By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God; and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God; and this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming, and now it is already in the world” (1 John 4:2-3).

This refutes the claim that Jesus merely seemed to be human, or that the divine Christ left Jesus before His crucifixion, at which time he became human again (spirit could not die, they claimed, so he had to become human again). Both His baptism and His crucifixion declare Jesus to be the Christ, the Savior. At His baptism, the Son was baptized, the Spirit descended, and the Father declared Him to be His Son. Heretics claimed that the Spirit of Christ descended on Jesus at His baptism but departed before His death on the cross. His humanity was such that he might not have been divine at all, and his divinity was such that He might not have been human at all. Nothing like this can be said of any other.

B. The Spirit Bears Witness To Christ, 5:7.

The Spirit descended and rested upon Jesus at His baptism. Jesus taught His disciples that He would send His Spirit: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you” (John 14:26). Jesus added, “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you” John 16:13-14).

Right before His Ascension Jesus promised, “but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth” (Acts 1;8). The ministry of the Holy Spirit is not focused on the Third Person of the Trinity. He seeks to focus our attention on the Son, or if you prefer, on the Father through the Son. When we pray, we pray to the Father, through (or in the name of) the Son, in the power of the Spirit.

Beware of any doctrine that focuses primarily on the Holy Spirit. Some believers are preoccupied with “getting the Holy Ghost.” Others seek to be “slain in the Spirit.” Many do not understand the difference between being indwelt by the Holy Spirit, which is once for all time at the point of salvation, and the filling with the Spirit which is progressive and continual. At the time of you salvation God placed the Holy Spirit in your heart to convict, convince, teach, guide, and empower you for worship, service, and outreach to others. We must humbly yield to the Holy Spirit daily in order for Him to fill our lives with His life. Only then are we equipped and empowered to live the spirit-filled life.

Here in our passage we are told that the Spirit bears witness to the Jesus. He certifies that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah. This is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. We may read the in the Bible that Jesus is the Christ, or the Savior, but we will never embrace the significance of that statement until the Holy Spirit reveals it to us. When Peter made has great confession of faith, Jesus said, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 16:17). We come to know Jesus as the Savior through divine revelation, not human perception or intuition. But how does that revelation work? That is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit inspired the writing of every word of Scripture, He has miraculously preserved it, and today He illuminates our hearts and minds so that we will understand it.

C. There Are Three That Bear Witness to Christ, 5:8.

John says, “For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.” First, there is the Spirit. He was sent to glorify the Son. It was also John who recorded the words of Jesus on the subject:

“And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin, and righteousness, and judgment; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you no longer behold Me; and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. I have many more things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. He shall glorify Me; for He shall take of Mine, and shall disclose it to you” (John 16:8-14).

The second witness to Christ is water, or the baptism of Jesus, as we have seen. The baptism served as the inauguration to His public ministry. There were many people there who witnessed the baptism of Jesus. The story was often repeated throughout the land.

The third witness to Christ was the blood. That is, as we have seen, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the cross. “What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood.” When I was a young man I met an elderly pastor who had moved to a well known church in a small city. In his first three or four sermons he mentioned the fact that Jesus shed His blood for our sins. After one sermon the organist came directly to him and demanded that he stop preaching on the blood. In her opinion, the subject was too gory for a dignified congregation. He asked a deacon what he should do and the deacon said, “She is my sister-in-law, and I can tell you right now, there is nothing you can do about
her. She has too much power in this church. The only thing you can do is to take the people who agree with you and pull out and start another church.” That is exactly what they did, and the new church became greater than the first and had a reputation for many years as an evangelical church.

I heard a man say that a choir from his area went on a tour of churches on the west coast. Before they left, one church contacted them and asked for a list of songs they would sing in their church. The man who called told them that they did not want anything about the blood or anything else that might offend their people. Offended by the blood? I would have canceled the tour! The blood is a witness to Christ, and John does not hesitate to mention it.


“If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for the witness of God is this, that He has borne witness concerning His Son. The one who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; the one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son. And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has the life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.”

A. The Witness of God Is Superior to the Witness of Man, 5:9.

1. Man’s witness is expected but it is imperfect.

John writes, “If we receive the witness of men” - and we have. This is a conditional statement, assumed to be true. John is writing this epistle to believers, people who have received the witness of other people, and in turn they have witnessed to others. Jesus commanded His disciples to go throughout the world making disciples. We know that as the Great Commission. In His final address before His Ascension, Jesus announced that once the Holy Spirit came upon them, they would carry out His commission and become His witnesses throughout the world (Acts. 1:8).

Now let us be very serious about this - The Holy Spirit has come, and we are His witnesses. There are many witnesses in the world. Testimony is given all the time. I have often listened to my brother talk about taking depositions in preparation for a trial. Even before the trial, the committed attorney, and there some, wants to be sure of the testimony. I was one of a number of people who went to a hearing with a very special lady who has been a care giver for many people for many for some fifty years. When we arrived the attorney was late, delayed by construction work on the highway. When he arrived he asked for time to meet with witnesses. Little did I realize I was going to be one of the two witnesses he would call.

I was sworn in and asked a few questions about the situation. I answered to the best of my ability, desiring to make one point that would correct a blatant lie someone had told on the witness stand earlier, but I was not given that opportunity. During the cross examination the attorney for the state fire marshal’s office asked me if I recalled the name of a social service worker who had visited the home while I was there. I told him I did not remember her name, and when he just stood there, I added, “Of course, I forgot my wife’s name one time.” He asked, “Did you see an emblem on her car door.” I said, “No - I just saw a dent in a fender.”

Here were two human witnesses, one who was very passionate, but told two lies while he was on the witness stand - he was a false witness. Then there was my testimony - as honest and forthright as I could make it, but not as complete or as thorough as I would have desired. Neither testimony was perfect.

2. God’s witness is essential and perfect.

People who have been born again and received eternal life should be witnesses for Him, and all are to some extent. Some are very poor witnesses, others very effective. However, it is the witness of God that enables a lost person to come to the point that he sees himself as a condemned sinner whose only hope for salvation is God’s only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. Look at this verse again: “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for the witness of God is this, that He has borne witness concerning His Son.”

B. The One Who Believes in the Son of God Has the Witness in Himself, 5:10.

Every single person who has received the Son of God has done so because of the witness of God the Father. No one is saved apart from God’s self-revelation. That is what Jesus meant when he told Peter that flesh and blood had not revealed the truth to him, “but My Father who is in heaven.” If the Holy Spirit is in you, you have the witness of the Father in you at all times. It was his witness that brought you to salvation and it is His presence that sustains you in a relationship with Him. Furthermore, it is His witness within your heart that affirms your relationship with Him.

As I have already said, this is very serious. He adds, “The one who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness that God has borne concerning His Son.” No one who rejects God’s witness will be saved. Instead, he will spend eternity in hell, the place prepared for the devil and his demons, as well as all those who are deceived by him.

We live in an age of moral relativism and religious diversity. The world view of the Modernist was evolutionary humanism, often it was atheistic. The Post-modernist would reject the idea that there is no god, but enthusiastically embrace the idea of evolution and moral relativism, and above all, diversity. I have not seen the television program, Seventh Heaven many times, but when I have seen it I have witnessed how liberalism and New Age world views have impacted the church.

Last night I turned on the program because I was tired of listening to the same stories over an over on the Fox New Network. The program was in progress, and it was obvious that a wedding ceremony was being planned. A grandfather, played by Peter Graves, arrived and immediately challenged his pastor son who objected to his own son’s decision to marry a Jewish girl. Apparently both fathers objected to their children marrying out of their faith. The Peter Graves character demanded, “Who cares? I was disappointed when you did not pursue a life in the military. It is the same thing. You feel rejected.” He went on to explain that by converting to Judaism the pastor’s son was just finding another way to serve the Lord.

Post-modernists today parrot that all over the country through the news media, education, and the entertainment media. The only “religion” they have a problem with is Christianity, as David Limbaugh proves in his new book, PERSECUTION: LIBERALS WAGE WAR AGAINST CHRISTIANITY. Now, let me stress this as strongly as I possible can: there is but one way to know God, one way to find salvation in God, and one way to glorify or serve Him. That one way is through Jesus Christ, His Son. Please do not miss this point: All others are going to spend their eternity in hell. That is a real, fire and brimstone pit that burns with a fire no one can ever extinguish, where the individual will experience torment forever.

I cannot make it any plainer. Lost people are going to hell, whether they are religious or not, and that applies to lost church members. But the point I want to stress is that God is giving His witness to only One, and that One is His Son. If you reject that testimony there is no hope for you. If, however, you have received Jesus as Savior, he lives in you heart now and forever.

C. His Witness Is Specific, 5:11.

“And the witness is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” God loves us and gives us eternal life. That life comes through His Son, Jesus Christ. It does not come through Islam, Buddha, or any other false god. True believers understand this because of the witness of the Father through His Word and through His witness within the individual.

D. He Who Has the Son Has the Life, 5:12.

It is that simple - if you have Jesus you have eternal life. But, “he who does not have the Son of God does not have the life.” No modern theologian can change that. No modern philosopher can change that, and no amount of movies and television programs can override it. Any person who does not have the Son is dead. If he dies without the Son he will spend his eternity in hell. That applies to your friends and family members. God is bearing a witness to them, and he expects you to be witnessing to them.


John is very clear: “These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life.”

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