Three Witnesses for Christ
1 Jn. 5:6 -10
One of the reason John wrote this Epistle is to refute the heresy that is rapidly spreading in that day.
It is called Cerinthian heresy. The heresy states that Jesus was just an ordinary man and at his baptism
the divine Christ came upon the human Jesus and empowered Him for service. At the crucifixion, the
divine Christ left the human Jesus and the ordinary man died on the cross in Calvary. This is a very
dangerous teaching. If Jesus is not God, then He cannot save us from our sins. The key word for our
study today is the word “witness” which is mentioned six times in five verses. It tells us the truth or
the testimony about the deity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He is the Son of God.
I. The witness of water, the blood (1 Jn. 5:6 a) and witness of the Spirit (1 Jn. 5:6b)
1. Water may refer to His baptism when God the Father announced his deity. (Mt.
2. It may refer to the water that flowed out of His side on the cross (Jn. 19:34).
3. In other places in the Bible, water refers to the Word of God which also testifies
to His being God.
4. I believe it is best to take “water” as the baptism of Christ. Only after He was
baptized by John the Baptist, He started His redemptive ministry.
5. He was the Messiah before he arrived at Jordan river that day. He was God
in human flesh when He was born in Bethlehem. Jesus was the Christ when He
died on the cross to take away the sins of the whole world.
1. The blood obviously refers to His death on the cross.
2. Christ’s redemptive work was completed by the shedding of His precious blood at
the cross of Calvary.
3. The emphasis on His blood indicates that Jesus was Messiah not only in His life,
but even in His death.
4. John puts emphasis of the value of blood for our Redemption. Christ came into
the world to save sinners. (1 Tim. 1:15). What can wash away our sins? Nothing
but the blood of Jesus. (Rev. 1:5).
C. The Witness of the Holy Spirit (1 Jn. 5:6 b)
1. The Holy Spirit is an additional witness to the Messiahship of Christ aside from
“water” and “blood.”
2. The Holy Spirit is actively involved in the early life of Jesus
a. The conception of Jesus. (Mt. 1:20)
b. The baptism of Jesus. (Mt 3:16)
c. The temptation of Jesus. (Lk 4:1)
d. The ministry of Jesus. (Lk 4:18)
3. He is the seal of truth upon the life and death of Christ.
4. The witness of the Holy Spirit is of prime importance. He is called the Spirit of
5. These three witnesses are united into one single truth about the greatest work
God has done for mankind, to save us sinners from the fires of hell.
Illustration 1: Blood
Blood used metaphorically to denote race (Acts 17:26), and as a symbol of slaughter (Isa. 34:3). To
“wash the feet in blood” means to gain a great victory (Ps. 58:10). Wine, from its red colour, is called
“the blood of the grape” (Gen. 49:11). Blood and water issued from our Saviour’s side when it was
pierced by the Roman soldier (John 19:34). This has led pathologists to the conclusion that the proper
cause of Christ’s death was rupture of the heart. (Ps. 69:20)
Illustration 2: Presbyterian and Baptist Modes
A Presbyterian and a Baptist minister were discussing baptism. After a beautiful dissertation on the
subject by the Baptist minister, the Presbyterian minister asked if the Baptist considered a person
baptized if he was immersed in water up to his chin. “No,” said the Baptist.
“Is he considered baptized if he is immersed up to his nose?” asked the Presbyterian.
Again, the Baptist’s answer was “No.”
“Well, if you immerse him up to his eyebrows do you consider him baptized?” queried the
“You don’t seem to understand,” said the Baptist. “He must be immersed completely in water—until
his head is covered.”
“That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you all along,” said the Presbyterian, “it’s only a little water on the
top of the head that counts.” —Speaker’s Sourcebook Encyclopedia of 15,000 Illustrations
II. The three that bear record in heaven (1 Jn. 5:7).
A. The Law required that two or three witness for a thing or an event to be established
or validated as true. (Deut. 17:6; 19:15).
B. There are three that bear record in this verse.
1. The Father – The Father is the originator and planner of creation. He sent the
2. The Word – The Word is none other than our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, the
Messiah, He is also called Jesus of Nazareth
3. The Holy Ghost – The Holy Spirit convicts the world of the Father’s plan.
C. John is telling here that if truth can be established from the mouth of two or three human witnesses, the truth from God is more reliable and truthful.
D. Man can always lie, but God cannot lie. The Bible says, “let God be true and every man
a liar (Rom. 3:4)
E. “and these three are one”. The testimonies of the Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit
all unite to prove the same truth, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Messiah, the
Saviour of the world.
F. The Trinity (1 Jn. 5:7), bears witness in heaven.
G. The Spirit, the water and the blood, (1 Jn. 1:8) bears witness on Earth and they all
agree and testify on the same thing, the deity of Christ and His work
Illustration 3: Witnesses to Jesus
There are many witnesses to Jesus.
1. John the Baptist (Jn. 1:7,8,15; 3:26,28; 5:33)
2. Jesus Himself (Jn. 3:11; 5:31; 8:13-14)
3. the Samaritan woman (Jn. 4:39)
4. God the Father (Jn. 5:32,34,37; 8:18; I Jn. 5:9)
5. Scripture (Jn. 5:39)
6. The crowd at Lazarus’ raising (cf. John 12:17)
7. The Spirit (cf. John 15:26-27; I John 5:10,11)
8. The disciples (cf. John 15:27; 19:35; I Jn. 1:2; 4:14)
9. The author himself (Jn. 21:24)
III. The Witness of God (1 Jn. 5:9)
A. The witness of God is true because all three members of the Godhead are true.
B. The Spirit of Truth (v. 6), God the Father is the God of Truth, (Ps. 31:5). Christ (the Son)
is the Truth (Jn. 14:6).
C. God has told the truth about His Son (Jn. 5:36, 37). These witnesses are greater than
the witness of men.
D. Men’s witness is often untrue or mistaken, yet we accept them easily.
E. How much more should we believe God’s Word!
IV. The Witness in the Believer (1 Jn 5:10)
A. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.
B. John writes about the internal subjective witness to the Son within the believer’s
heart (Rom. 8:15, 16, Gal. 4:6)
C. That internal witness is none other than the Holy Spirit who is both “in heaven” (as
the third person of the Trinity) and “in earth” in the believer’s heart.
D. The moment you are saved, the Holy Spirit will dwell in your life. He that believeth
on the Son of God hath the witness in himself.
E. It is the Holy Spirit who will guide us into all truth (Jn. 16:13). Because of Him I came
to believe that The Lord Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
F. A person who does not have the Holy Spirit is lost, and does not have the “witness”
G. Those who does not believe the “witness of the Holy Spirit” makes God a liar. A
horrible sin which is punishable by eternal damnation in Hell.
The witnesses for the deity and work of our Lord Jesus Christ is overwhelming. The witness
here on earth and in heaven are truth that cannot be denied or refuted. Will you accept
the truth that He is God and that He died for your sins? You should for your eternal destiny
rest upon it.