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October 17, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Jesus Christ himself is the one who came by water and by blood—not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. The Spirit bears witness to this, for the Spirit is the truth. The witness therefore is a triple one—the Spirit in our own hearts, the signs of the water of baptism and the blood of atonement—and they all say the same thing."—1 John 5:6–8 (PHILLIPS)
Many times, an expert witness can help make or break a court case. This is a person whose opinions are accepted by a judge due to their expertise. From forensic scientists to psychiatrists, these experts have been known to be the “checkmate” in many cases.
In todays’ passage, John cited three expert witnesses to corroborate the claim that “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son” (1 John 5:11 HCSB): water, blood, and the Spirit.
Water: This represents Jesus’ three-year public ministry—all the amazing works, miracles, healings, and teachings—that was kicked off by His water baptism (Matthew 3:13–17). This baptism at the hands of John took place to “fulfill all righteousness” (Matthew 3:15 NKJV).
In Matthew 3, Jesus affirms that it was God’s will that John baptize Him. These words were used by Jesus to identify Himself as the Suffering Servant (Isaiah 42) who the Lord has called “in righteousness” (Isaiah 42:6) to accomplish redemption in obedience to the will of God through His work and the suffering He’d endure. Through His water baptism, Jesus affirms His determination to fulfill all righteousness (do His assigned work).
Blood: Leviticus 17:11 (NIV) says, “It is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.” At the last supper, Jesus told His disciples, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:28 NIV). And then at the altar of the cross, Jesus shed His blood for us so that “in him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Ephesians 1:7 NIV).
The spilled blood of Jesus on the cross fulfilled the demands of the law, paid the full price for the sins of man, and bears witness to the truth of Christ.
The Spirit: The One that ties it all together, the CHECKMATE! Watch this: In Matthew 3:17 (NKJV), after “fulfilling all righteousness” through water baptism, the Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove and declared, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” Isaiah 42:1 (NIV, emphasis added) foretold of this testimony, saying, “Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him” . . . the same Spirit that Jesus promised “will guide you into all the truth” (John 16:13, NIV) after His blood was spilled and He went back to the Father.
This is the testimony of God about His Son. And here’s some amazing news: “The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony within him” (1 John 5:10). So, go be a witness with that testimony within you!
DIG: Why does John refer to these three witnesses?
DISCOVER: How are their testimonies valid and effective at affirming the claim that “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son”?
DO: Share your testimony with someone this week and use it to share the gospel and the testimony about Jesus that the Spirit has placed within you.
Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.