1 John 5:6-12 | Abide in Me - Abide in Witnesses
Topic: New Testament Passage: 1 John 6:6–5:12
Christopher Rich – Aug 27, 2017
1 John | ABIDE in ME
Wk 11: Abide in Witnesses | 1 John 5:6-12
Introduction | ABIDE in ME
Good Morning! Welcome to Damascus Road Church where we are Saved by Jesus Work. Changed by Jesus Grace. Living on Jesus Mission. Today we continue our series in 1 John, ABIDE in ME. Are you a Christian? Am I a Christian? How do you know? As Christians, we are to be rooted and grounded in the person and work of Jesus in our place. This is the Gospel Truth of Jesus God/man entering human history for the purpose of restoring relationship between the God the Father, Creator of the Universe and His fallen creation, living the perfect sinless life no one has lived because of sin, dying the death all who have sin deserve and rising again so His people can live new life now and forever. The purpose of this mission is complete joy and satisfaction for the people who place their faith and trust in Jesus alone. We now live a new life as disciples of (followers of) Jesus. Our life is described by Jesus as Abiding in Him. ABIDE means: To not depart, to be held and kept continually, to endure, to not perish, to remain as one, to survive, to live.
We all are searching for something to “ABIDE” in. We want to be secure. We want to endure. We want to be connected and held together. We want to survive and mostly we want life. We want to live. Yet we know there is sin and brokenness in the world. There are events that rock us in our sense of security. We find ourselves weak and unable on our own strength to overcome adversity. We see others die and we know we will as well. We know we are not “remaining as one” as we sin against others and others sin against us. We wonder if our marriages, or families, our communities, even our own lives will be able to survive. So we search and search hoping to grasp for something that will provide us true “abiding” and all we find comes up a bit empty. Our pursuit of security, peace, and life will end when we met the God who has been pursuing us to bring peace, security and life now and forever. We want what can only come from God and God knows this so God comes to us. He comes to us in Jesus, the Son of God who comes with a purpose. Today we’re going to look at three aspects/events/wetness that show us the nature and character of the God who pursues us in Jesus and what He seeks to change, create and provide in us.
PART I | Three witnesses | v6-8
1 John 5:6-8 | 6 This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree.
Our God is a God who arrives. He who came. These a verses are written to people who find themselves father away, more disconnected, and in tension with the world around them that seems to have no regard for God. They wonder if God is distant or even real. They have doubt and discouragement, and the answer for both is reassurance that God is active and alive. Jesus is the Son of God yes! But we are not only interested in His identity (Though it matters) but also in His purpose. Here we are concerned with not only that He is the Son of God that entered into History but the reason that He entered. That He came as God’s “Christ” Savior-King of God’s people. This implies that God’s people needed a savior and a King. There was an anticipation and desire for things to be different better than what was and is. Is this not where we are now? Are we not a people who have anticipating and longing for leadership, healing, wholeness, restoration from all that is broken and evil? Do we not want a champion who will overcome all that is seeks to instill fear and divide and devour life, hope, and joy? Jesus is that champion and deliverer.
These verses can be confusing as to what they mean so I’ll attempt to break it down a I understand them. We are given three rails to hold onto about the person and work of Jesus for us to be reminded why he came and what He accomplished and is in accomplishing in and through all who call on His name. These three witnesses that testify, are three events that are all in harmony in proclaiming the good news of Jesus.
#1 Water- Jesus’ Baptism. Jesus lived simply as a son a of a humble hard-working family. For 30 years His life on earth was pretty obscure. He worked, worshipped, and loved His family. But His public ministry and mission had clear initiation and commencement point. It was in His baptism. It was the event that each of the Gospel writers point to as the launching point of Jesus ministry. So what was this? There are all these people who had been part of a system that had forms of Godliness but had denied it the power of God to save cleanse, change, etc. Additionally, they all have lived lives that had been infected and impacted by sin. Some their own and some sin that had been committed against them. There was a real sense that sin had made them unclean before a Holy, clean, pure God. They are, were coming to a man named John who was preaching the wilderness (away from the cities) repentance from sin (actually turn and follow what is good and right) and to know the Kingdom of God/Heaven is at hand. Get ready a king is coming!
Mark 1:4-8 | 4 John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6 Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
They gathered in the wilderness. We’re in the NW where “the mountains are calling” and “not all who wander are lost.” Yet what we see is not a call to go in solitude to commune with nature. But we see people a gathering in the wilderness to hear words from the Creator of Nature. Preparation to meet a King is necessary. People were enthralled by this because it met the real longing to be made new to be made clean. Then Jesus actually shows up to one of John’s revival services. As John is baptizing others, Jesus get into the water. John is ready to have Jesus baptism him because he knows who Jesus is. But instead Jesus tells John “I need to be baptized for the purpose of bringing righteousness to the people.” Jesus is baptized and it says the heavens opened up and God spoke and said “this is my Son with whom I am well pleased!” And the Holy Spirit descended on Him like a Dove. Don’t forget the event because it shows Jesus identity but it also shows His purpose. Jesus’ ceremony of baptism wasn’t necessary for Him. He was/is sinless, perfect, and clean. He didn’t have sin that needed to be repented of or to be cleaned from. It was necessary for us. For him to identify with His people there need to be made clean. In His baptism, Jesus is saying “I’m with you” and thus God, while we are in our filth and dirt of sin is saying “I am here with you. Not to comfort you and confirm you in your sin but to cleanse you from it!” In His baptism, Jesus is saying “I know you need to be clean.” I am going to identify with your need to be clean so you can identify with, actually ABIDE in ME, and be made clean as I am clean. Sin makes us dirty. Sin stains, sin defiles. This is true of our sin, but it is also true of sin committed against us. Where do you need to be made clean? What has been done to you that you need cleaned off? That you want gone? This is what Jesus offers in the good news of the Gospel. To make us clean from all sin that defiles us. Ours and what has been done to us.
#2 Blood – Jesus’ Cross. Water isn’t enough to be made clean from that which stains our souls. Jesus earthly ministry publialc began in His baptisms but culmination of His mission as the “Christ” was at the cross. It is there that Jesus was tried and found guilty of claiming to be the God and King that he truly is. Rather than worship and follow Him and receive Him as Savior-King, people chose to reject, revile and kill Him as a rebel criminal in treason from their earthly kingdoms. This was all underserved and unnecessary for Jesus to endure. Jesus is God the Creator who spoke the world into existence, he could have at any moment with a word, even a thought, put an end to the assaults to His body could have commanded the nails to turn to mush before being nailed into His hands and feet could have come off the cross and end all of Humanities rebellion. Jesus lives the perfect life none of us have lived, but he died the death all of us deserve. Sin done to us defiles us, sin we’ve done damns us. Sin separates us from God the source of life, so it will always lead to death. When we sin against an eternal God the consequences are also eternal. God knows this. He is just, but he also knows we need mercy. Mercy is not getting to consequences we deserve. For God to be merciful AND just the consequences of our sin must be paid for. Enter Jesus on the Cross in our place. Jesus death on the cross wasn’t necessary for him. Our death is necessary because of our sin. It offends God and it separates us from God because God is good, Holy and perfect and we are not. On the cross we see that God takes our sin seriously. So seriously Jesus had to die for it. So before we bemoan sin leading to condemnation and death and God being a cosmic kill joy or megalomaniac we have to see that the God of justice is also the God of mercy and He displays it in Jesus on the Cross. Where the debt of sin is paid and the righteous wrath of sin is poured out on Jesus so it doesn’t have to be poured out on us. This is God in Jesus being our advocate and substitute. In Baptism we see Jesus saying, “I’m with you.” On the cross Jesus is saying “I am for you.” Jesus is saying “I know you need to be saved from wrath” “I know you cannot bear the consequences for your sin, so I will take it on so you do not have to.” Where have you sinned, what have you done that is an offense to God? Where have you claimed allegiance to yourself or something/someone less than the God who created you for His glory and your joy? What have you done to others and/or to God? What do you need to be saved from? Jesus says, I’ll take that for you! The death of Jesus in your place is the death of your sin condemning you. That is good news! But there is more….
Spirit – In you if you believe in Jesus as your savior it bonds you into a new family, kingdom, and community. After Jesus death, He resurrects. Jesus is alive! Jesus dies in our place so we can arise with Him. This shows He’s God and that death has been defeated from having the final say on our sin. Sin is cleaned, sin is paid for, but the Gospel also restores and rebuilds relationships that were formerly separated. Jesus’ work forms a community and puts them on a new mission. He commissions His disciples to go baptize new believers and grow/make disciples teaching them to obey His commands to love God and love people. He ascends into Heaven, promises His return but says that He is always with them/us to the end of the age. This mission will fail and this community will fracture if it’s based on the power of the disciples alone. They/we are weak, fearful, inconsistent, and imperfect. More than just clean, and saved, people are needed to fulfill God’s purposes and mission. Empowered people are needed. God knows we need power and we need to be made whole as individuals and as a community. So this moment happens after the death and resurrection of Jesus at Pentecost. Where people from every known nation are in Jerusalem to celebrate God giving them His Law and the Holy Spirit comes down and equips and empowers Jesus disciples to preach to large group of diverse people who will go and scatter and plant more churches. People who had been separated by race, class, culture, and language are now untied into a new community defined by their unity in the Holy Spirit speaking the truth of Jesus. God knows we are tempted to believe lies about Him and us, He knows we are quick to feel like God is distant, disengaged, or powerless. In the Holy Spirit Jesus is saying “I am in you and among you” Jesus is saying “I know you need to be made whole and formed in a community.” I know you need to be empowered to walk in the new life with me where you’ve been saved, cleaned, but still need to be made family.” How do you need to be made whole?
PART II| Lives Changed | v9-10
1 John 5:9-10 | 9 If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. 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.
Why should we believe this? Does Jesus work save us? Does Jesus Grace change us? YES! We have another witness. We have the transformed lives of Jesus’ people. People have been saved and made clean, and brought into community. God’s work is for you individually and specifically. If you believe in trust in follow Jesus as your savior King rightly knowing Him as the Son of God that is a gift of God. You have the witness of the Holy Spirit in you. You have a responsibility to gather with others to share the Gospel with others. If this is not you, yet, absolutely talk with someone who knows and trusts Jesus. Ask them how Jesus has made them clean, ask them what they have been saved from, ask them how they have been empowered to live new lives for God and with His people. If you hear and see the stories of transformed lives it can and should have an impact on you. This is the testimony of men. It’s good, but you can be excited for what God is doing in the lives of others and not be changed yourself. You can say, I am so happy for you, or that works for you, but it’s not for me. Only the testimony from God can transform. If you’re sharing the Gospel and people are not responding do not be surprised! The testimony of God is necessary to bring the life change. God has acted, is acting, and will continue to act to transform lives though people turning from sin and trusting Jesus alone. He has done it countless times in our church and churches. What’s your story? Some have very sensational stories of God overcoming spectacular sin and shame. Others have simple stories of being born a home to two people who love Jesus and tell them about Jesus and they grow to know and grow with God in Christ. BOTH are equally miraculous!! Both should be celebrated. Both are used to spread the gospel to others. If you’re with us this morning don’t just ask others about their story but pray to God to reveal His story of saving His people in/through Jesus to you. Do not reject God’s testimony! God has shown the truth of our condition of sin and the truth of His character of justice, mercy, and grace in Jesus. Do not behold Jesus on the cross in your place as you substitute and continue to believe the lie that God is against you. God is for you in Jesus. Receive the truth, repent of sin and turn to Jesus.
PART III | Eternity Begins Today | v11-12
11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
The message matters. The truth matters, because eternity matters. God is real. Sin is real. Wrath is real. There are real consequences, real outcomes, and real destinations. Eternal wrath for those who reject Jesus, God’s Son and eternal life for those who ABIDE in Jesus. God through Jesus gives eternal life. It all starts and continues with where you are with Jesus. No Jesus… no life. Life with Jesus is real. Life made clean, life saved from wrath, life made whole, life formed in a community, life empowered to fight sin, and live on Jesus’ Mission are all here. Life without Jesus is no life at all. ABIDE in Jesus today and have Life with Jesus for eternity. Eternal life is not future life. It includes life in the future but it is life today. Eternal life with God and His people is TODAY! Abiding in, trusting in, believing in Jesus is where this life is found. If you “have the Son.” let’s remember what Jesus has done to make us clean and save us by taking communion. Let’s sing and celebrate the new life we have with Jesus and His people. If you don’t “have the Son” repent from sin, respond to the truth, be baptized signifying your life on your own, your sin being buried with Jesus and your new eternal life risen for him. Join all of us empowered by the Spirit to Trust Jesus!