dailybiblereader2012

Putting God's Word into Practice…

Revelation 1:9-20 ~ In All His Glory!

Verses 9-11.  Because of being “in Jesus,” John faced tribulation, learned patient endurance, and was part of His kingdom.  Sometimes it’s easy for us to focus on the tribulation and not on the blessings of being “in Jesus.”  John was persecuted because He spoke the truth about Christ and clung to the truths of God’s Word, BUT HE NEVER GAVE UP ON CHRIST! He was faithful even in exile.  God rewarded his faithfulness with a revelation of the ruling and reigning, Jesus Christ–John’s dear friend and mentor who became His Savior.

Verses 12-16.  What John saw; he could hardly put it into words.  He did the best describing the glorified Christ as his vocabulary and earthly words would allow.

  • Like the son of man… He looked a lot like the Jesus he walked with over 60 years prior, but different somehow.
  • In the midst of the lampstands…Jesus is walking among His church.  His presence is with His people.  And we are to be His lights in this world.
  • Long robe with golden sash…the clothing of a high priest.  Jesus is our High Priest–our Mediator.
  • White hair…Jesus is infinitely wise!
  • Eyes like fire…eyes that see everything.
  • Bronze feet…a foundation of holiness and strength.
  • Voice like the roar of many waters…that drowns out all other voices (think Niagara Falls!) Read Psalm 29 to learn more about the mighty voice of the Lord!
  • Holds 7 stars in right hand…huge and strong and capable hands
  • Double-edged sword in mouth…defender of truth
  • Face like the sun in full strength…inescapable, powerful, gives light and life and direction.

Verse 17-20.  When I saw Him, I fell at his feet as though dead. BUT HE LAID HIS RIGHT HAND ON ME, saying, “FEAR NOT, I am the first and the last, and the living one. I died, and behold I am alive forevermore, and I have the keys of Death and Hades.”

Jesus Christ is ruling and reigning RIGHT NOW!  He has authority over death and hell and our lives–forever.  Seeing this, John fell at Jesus’ feet as though dead.  Awe and reverence ought to be the normal response to the holiness and glory of Jesus.  When is the last time we were overwhelmed by the glory of God?  The last time we realized who we were blaspheming when we used the name of Jesus flippantly?  The last time we realized to whom we are praying and singing?

BUT JESUS–gracious, merciful and loving–laid His RIGHT HAND on John.  The same hand that is big enough to hold seven stars is small enough to reach down and touch us!!  With a touch from Him, all fear is cast out!  If we know Jesus; we are to fear (respect) Him, but we don’t have to be afraid of Him.

Lord, I want a vision of our glory that stops me in my tracks and leads me to worship, but also a merciful touch that reminds me of your love for me personally and the wonderful closeness we share.

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Revelation 1:1-8 ~ It’s All About Jesus!

Revelation was written by the Apostle John while he was in exile on the island of Patmos near the end of the first century.  It is filled with wonder, warnings, wrath and winning victory!  This book used to scare me because of all the speculation about the unknown in it.  However my pastor has been going through it and has taught me that Revelation is not about speculation, but about adoration and anticipation.  It is a picture of my ruling and reigning Savior, Jesus Christ.  Revelation unveils His glory!

We would do well to remember these three things as we study the book of Revelation:

  1. Revelation is all about Jesus. (vs. 1)
  2. Revelation is a gift from God to His people. (vs. 1)
  3. Revelation is the only book that carries a blessing to anyone who reads it aloud, hears it and keeps it. (vs. 3)

Jesus is described as:

  • The faithful witness.  He testifies to the truth always and forever.  His story never changes or varies. (vs. 5)
  • The firstborn of the dead.  He receives the highest honor and blessing.  He goes before us and makes the way. (vs. 5)
  • Ruler of kings on earth.  All authority and power is His.  Nothings happens in the whole world apart from His plans.  Kings and kingdoms rise and fall at His command! (vs. 5)

This great and mighty ruler LOVES (present tense) us and set us free from sin by shedding His own blood. (vs. 5) We have been absolved and our King paid the penalty on our behalf.  If I were on trial and the judge took the lethal injection on my behalf so I could walk free, I would be overflowing with gratitude and overwhelmed by grace and mercy.  So it is for Jesus–He alone deserves glory and power forever and ever!!! (vs. 6)

Jesus is coming again, and we will worship Him.  Will He receive willing worship or wailing worship?  Those who have been set free by Him will worship Him willingly.  “You are my God, my King, my Savior!  Everything I believed about You is true!”  Those who don’t believe will worship Him with wailing.  “Everything I heard about You is true.  I’m so sorry I didn’t believe.” (vs. 7)

Jesus is the Alpha and Omega…the beginning and the end…the first and the last…from A-Z He is totally complete, missing nothing.  Every word is formed in Him; He is the Creator of all things!  He always has been; He always will be!  He is Almighty! (vs. 8)

Spend some time worshiping Him today!

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Jude ~ Recognizing Deceivers in the Church

Jude’s main theme in this letter is to warn Christians of people who sneak into the church in order to deceive people to follow their own desires rather than the Lord’s.

Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.  For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people. who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ…These people scoff at things they do not understand. Like unthinking animals, they do whatever their instincts tell them, and so they bring about their own destruction.  What sorrow awaits them!  (vs. 3-4, 10-11a)

The passage goes on to give several ways they attempt to deceive and how dangerous their deception is.

When these people eat with you in your fellowship meals commemorating the Lord’s love, they are like dangerous reefs that can shipwreck you.  They are like:

  • shepherds who only care for themselves.  (They promise to give, but only take.)
  • waterless clouds.  (They promise refreshment but deliver emptiness.)
  • fruitless trees. (They promise satisfaction but deliver disappointment and death.)
  • wild waves. (They promise excitement but churn up shame.)
  • wandering stars. (They give direction, but it is misguided.)

Be aware of people like this!

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Hey Jude! Them ~ You ~ Him!

Jude, a servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, to those who are CALLED, BELOVED in God the Father and KEPT by Jesus Christ:  May mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you. (vs. 1-2)

  • Jude was a 1/2 brother of Jesus, yet refers to himself as His servant.  Jesus was more than a brother to Jude; He was His Savior and Lord.
  • This salutation goes on to say that those who have been called by God are loved by Him and kept safe by Jesus.  It is only the power of God that calls us and keeps us until we see Him face-to-face.
  • Jude speaks a blessing of mercy, peace and love to be multiplied in the lives of his readers.  What a wonderful blessing!  Is there anything better that we should want for each other?

THEM

Jude goes on to warn of ungodly people who slip quietly into churches and start perverting God’s grace by promoting selfish living.  God’s wrath and judgment result in punishment for ungodly people.  Jude reminds his readers of these examples of the sins of ungodly people:

  • UNBELIEF:  The Israelites who were delivered out of slavery in Egypt but then didn’t believe that God was going to see them through to the Promised Land ended up wandering in the desert until their whole generation passed away. (vs. 5)
  • PRIDE and BOASTING: The angels that wanted to usurp God’s authority were cast down from Heaven and are held in eternal chains. (vs. 6, 16)
  • SELF-INDULGENCE:  Sodom and Gomorrah were completely wiped out with fire from Heaven for their sexual immorality. (vs. 7)
  • SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS, JEALOUSY and HATE:  Cain gave a different offering than what the Lord required and became jealous when God accepted his brother’s offering but not his.  He ended up killing His brother over it. (vs. 11)
  • GREED and FAVORITISM:  Balaam loved getting paid for wrongdoing. (vs. 11, 16 and 2 Peter 2:15)
  • REBELLION:  Korah’s family wanted to take over the authority of the Israelite people from Moses–thinking their plans were better than God’s plans. (vs. 11 and Numbers 16)
  • GRUMBLING AND COMPLAINING: Speaks poorly of God’s provision and plans. (vs. 16)

YOU

Verse 19 ends by saying, “It is these (ungodly people) who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.”  The next verse starts, “BUT YOU, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.”

Those who have been called by God are set apart as different–different passions, desires and motives.  We are the godly ones; not because of anything we have done, but because of God’s call and keeping, because of the God-given gift of faith, and because of the indwelling Spirit of God.  There is no room for unbelief, pride, self-righteousness, jealousy, hate, grumbling, complaining, boasting or showing favoritism if we are focused on these three things:  building our faith, praying, and showing mercy.

HIM

Now to HIM who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy. (vs. 24)

Jesus keeps me from stumbling.  He presents me blameless before His Father’s throne.  He takes joy in taking away my sins, so He can show me off to His Father.  Not just me, but every person who believes that His death on the cross atones for their sins and that His resurrection gives them power over sin and death!

To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, power, and authority, before all time AND now AND forever. Amen. (vs. 25)

Everything we are prone to want for ourselves–glory, power, authority, etc…–all belongs to Him!  It has ALWAYS belonged to Him!  When people steal it for themselves, He will punish them for it.  And He has every right to.  If I stole something that belonged to someone else, my conviction and punishment would be expected.  How much more so for those who steal glory and power from a Holy God!

Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on ALL and to convict ALL the ungodly of ALL their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of ALL the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (vs. 14b-15)

If you hear His voice calling you today, it is not too late to have your sins like pride, selfishness, greed, grumbling, rebelliousness, jealousy, hate, and self-indulgence forgiven by the power of Jesus’ death and resurrection.  Ask His forgiveness and receive new life–Jesus takes great joy in making you blameless!

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3 John ~ Tale of Two People

This letter is from John, the elder. I am writing to Gaius, my dear friend, whom I love in the truth.  Dear friend, I hope all is well with you and that you are as healthy in body as you are strong in spirit.  Some of the traveling teachers recently returned and made me very happy by telling me about your FAITHFULNESS and that you are living according to the TRUTH. I could have no greater joy than to hear that my children are following the truth.  Dear friend, you are being FAITHFUL TO GOD when you care for the traveling teachers who pass through, even though they are strangers to you. They have told the church here of your LOVING FRIENDSHIP.  Please continue PROVIDING for such teachers in a manner that pleases God.  For they are traveling for the Lord, and they accept nothing from people who are not believers. So we ourselves should support them so that we can be their partners as they teach the truth. (v. 1-8)

Gaius is noted as being faithful, generous, loving and hospitable.  He works diligently to support the people who are teaching truth about Jesus.  Those who teach the truth selflessly and humbly for the sake of Christ alone are to be provided for financially and materially by those who benefit from their ministry in a way that pleases God–in a manner that is worthy of God.  That is one way God has designed for each believer to partner in the advancement of the Good News!

I have written something to the church, but Diotrephes, who likes to put himself first, does not acknowledge our authority. So if I come, I will bring up what he is doing, talking wicked nonsense against us. And not content with that, he refuses to welcome the traveling teachers, and also stops those who want to and puts them out of the church. (vs. 9-10)

Diotrephes is a selfish, prideful, inhospitable, slandering, controlling leader in the church.  He badmouths other Christian leaders.  He prohibits people from fulfilling their God-given responsibility to care for the teachers–maybe he thinks they don’t deserve to be compensated or provided for.  His behavior is exactly opposite of Gaius’; which means he is not walking in truth.

Beloved, do not imitate evil but imitate good.  Whoever does good is from God; whoever does evil has not seen God. (v. 11)

One of the men above is worthy of imitating, the other is not.  People who do good prove that they know and belong to God.  There is no room for greedy, selfish, prideful personalities among God’s children–we must be marked by faithfulness, love, and generosity.

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2 John ~ Truth and Love (Part 2)

How happy I was to meet some of your children and find them living according to the TRUTH, just as the Father commanded.  I am writing to remind you, dear friends, that we should LOVE one another.  This is not a new commandment, but one we have had from the beginning.  LOVE means doing what God has commanded us, and he has commanded us to LOVE one another, just as you heard from the beginning.  (vs. 4-6)

My husband was a youth pastor for several years.  Most of the students he pastored are in their 20s now.  It is so refreshing to hear of those who are growing in and serving the Lord.  That must have been how John felt when he ran into people from churches who were faithful to the truth and walking in love.

The truth is, God’s commandments never change!  Just as His love never changes and never fails, He wants our love to be the same.  Love shows that we are growing in His truths and in obedience.  However, it is easy to be deceived and tread away from truth, and it is easy to start loving ourselves more than the Lord and others.  Especially when we open the door to listen to lies…

I say this because many deceivers have gone out into the world. They deny that Jesus Christ came in a real body. Such a person is a deceiver and an antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what we have worked so hard to achieve. Be diligent so that you receive your full reward. Anyone who wanders away from this teaching has no relationship with God. But anyone who remains in the teaching of Christ has a relationship with both the Father and the Son. (vs. 7-9)

Deceivers distort:

  • our view of Jesus.  They cast doubts on His Godhood and His existence.
  • the meaning of love.  They make love about “me” and my happiness and a sentimental emotion with no biblical foundation of truth.
  • the truth.  They say, “Whatever you believe to be truth is your truth.”  If it fits with “your” life, then it must be true.  They teach a separate “truth” than what is found in God’s Word concerning Jesus and salvation and lifestyle.

Christ is the TRUTH, and any teaching in opposition to Christ is false!  John tells the church to, “Watch out!”  We need to be on guard against anything that doesn’t promote truth and love.  We need to uphold truth and love.  When we are diligent about these things, God himself rewards us!  According to verse 9, our reward is fellowship with Him!

If anyone comes to your meeting and does not teach the TRUTH about Christ, don’t invite that person into your home or give any kind of encouragement. Anyone who encourages such people becomes a partner in their evil work. (vs. 10-11)

Churches met in houses when this letter was written, and John discouraged any association with people who were not speaking the truth.  They were not to offer hospitality to those who deceive in any way.  For us, we should not let anyone teach in our churches who speak a different message that what the Bible teaches.

What stands out to me the most is the opposite of verses 10-11.  Any teacher who teaches the truth about Jesus should be invited to teach and be encouraged.  Anyone who encourages a “truth teacher” becomes a partner in their good work!

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2 John 1:1-3 ~ Truth and Love (Part 1)

This letter is from John, the elder.  I am writing to the chosen lady and to her children (a particular church), whom I love in the TRUTH–as does everyone else who know the TRUTH–because the TRUTH lives in us and will be with us forever. (v. 1-2)

There are four interrelated things identified as truth in the Bible that can be “in us and will be with us forever.”

  1. Jesus Christ-“I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)
  2. God’s Word-“Sanctify them by your TRUTH; Your Word is TRUTH.”(John 17:17) and “The grass withers, and the flower fades, but the Word of God will stand forever.” (Isaiah 40:8)
  3. The gospel (Good news about Jesus’ death and resurrection to atone for our sin and give us power over Satan, sin, and death!)-“And now you Gentiles have also heard the TRUTH, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.” (Ephesians 1:13)
  4. The Holy Spirit-“When the Spirit of TRUTH comes, He will guide you into all TRUTH.” (John 16:13) “How much more will the blood of Christ, who through the Eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14)

These things are the foundation of the life of a follower of Jesus Christ.  They are truths that unite us with each other, and can never be compromised.

Grace, mercy and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ–the Son of the Father–will continue to be with us who live in TRUTH AND LOVE. (v. 3)

When we allow for God’s truth to dictate how we live, and we walk in His command to love Him and others; we receive the rewarding gifts of grace, mercy and peace from God.  Do we need anything more than that from Him???  His grace is defined as abounding and wonderful!  His mercy is new every morning; it is very great and abundant! The peace from God is powerful and surpasses all our understanding–we can’t fathom it!  Clinging to truth and love–even when it is hard–is worth it!  The reward is too great to pass up!

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1 John 5:16-21 ~ We Know!

The verses I studied for the last blog were about the confidence we have that God hears and answers the Believer’s prayers when the prayers are asked in accordance with His will.  John goes on to tell us that we should also pray on behalf of other believers who are struggling.  These two verses are a little tricky, so I researched several commentaries I trust and prayed for God to show me what they mean.  In light of uncertainty, I’m thankful that these two verses are surrounded by eight “we know” statements that remind me there are many certainties for those who belong to God!  1 John 5:15 says, WE KNOW God hears our requests and WE KNOW God gives us a response…the rest come in verses 18-20.

If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, HE SHALL ASK AND GOD WILL GIVE HIM LIFE–to those who commit sins that do not lead to death. There is sin that leads to death; I do not say that one should pray for that.  All wrongdoing is sin, but there is sin that does not lead to death. (v. 16-17)

This is a call to pray on behalf of other believers struggling with sin.  They are already saved and have eternal life.  These believers should not want to continue sinning.  God has given us the privilege of coming alongside of them (or them alongside of us), and helping them by way of prayer.  Two things stand out to me in these verses: 1) We should want free and abundant life for each other. 2) We are called to PRAY when we see a believer sinning, not judge, condemn, gossip–but PRAY to God!

There is a sin that leads to death, and it is unbelief.  When someone completely disregards God’s plan for salvation, they are headed for eternal separation from God.  It is impossible to ask God to restore someone who has never believed on Jesus for salvation, repented and received eternal life. (John 3:14-18)

WE KNOW that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but He who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.  WE KNOW that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one. (v. 18-19)

Christians should have a distaste for sin–we should want it put to death in our lives.  Satan is constantly tempting our sinful nature, but because of Jesus’ protection–he can’t touch us!  It reminds me of going to haunted houses when I was younger.  There were two things that made me feel safe enough to go inside: 1) My dad or my husband standing by my side. 2) The realization that the monsters can scream, reach, moan, and so on, but were not allowed to touch me.  It is the same for believers in this world–we have the protection of Jesus Christ and the promise that Satan has limitations when it comes to God’s people.  We can have victory over sin in this world!  Satan doesn’t have any power over us!

If someone claims to be a Christian and continues willfully to practice sin, they may not be God’s child at all.  We cannot love and follow the world’s system and be in fellowship with God because the WHOLE world is under the control of the evil one.  Loving the world, makes us partners with God’s enemy.

And WE KNOW that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that WE MAY KNOW him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ.  He is the true God and eternal life. (vs. 20)

Jesus came!  Knowing God is impossible apart from Jesus revealing Him to us.  Jesus is the visible image of the invisible God! (Colossians 1:15)  Jesus is the only Mediator between man and God! (1 Timothy 2:5) Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life–the only way to the Father! (John 14:6)

Little children, keep yourselves from idols. (vs. 21)

I like the way the New Living Translation puts it: “Keep yourselves from anything that MIGHT take God’s place in your heart.”  Since we have so much confidence in our salvation and our God, we must keep Him first in our hearts.  Because we live in a world controlled by Satan and his chief objective is to dethrone God, we need to be on guard!  Anything that MIGHT threaten God’s first-place position, must be guarded against.  One of  my favorite quotes is, “Don’t even taste what you don’t want to be hungry for!”  It is better to starve sin because small bites lead to feasts!

Loving God first, loving others well, and not loving the world are the themes of this letter.  Living by loving achieves the four-fold goals John put forth in this writing:

  1. To teach what maintains fellowship with God.
  2. To lead us on the path to unity with all believers.
  3. To help us avoid sin in our lives.
  4. To make our joy complete.

LOVE! LOVE! LOVE!

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1 John 5:13-15 ~ A Prayer Away

I write these things to you WHO BELIEVE in the name of the Son of God that you may KNOW that you have eternal life.  And this is the CONFIDENCE that we have toward him, that if we ask ANYTHING according to his will he hears us. And if WE KNOW that he hears us in WHATEVER we ask, WE KNOW that we have the requests that we have asked of him. (13-15)

I carry a note in my purse from an older gentleman who wrote to us to encourage us in the church planting process regarding the unending faithfulness of God.  That note gives me confidence in times of weakness.  According to John, he was writing the believers to give them confidence in God–confidence in their salvation that leads to eternal life and in God’s ability to hear and answer prayers!

Some scholars think that John wrote these three letters after he had the experience that led to the writing of the book of Revelation.  If that is the case, then John saw the throne room of God.  He saw the “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints,” whose smoke fills the presence of God.  (Revelation 5:8) Our prayers are a fragrant offering continually burning before the Lord. We can have confidence that our prayers will be answered according to His will IF:

  • We are believers.
  • We pray according to God’s will.
  • We believe He hears us.

How awesome is it that we have a Living, all-powerful God who not only deserves praise and thanks in prayer but also wants to hear our requests!  We have the privilege of asking Him to take action on our behalf and on behalf of others.  He hears our prayers in real time–no matter what time.  And since His answers are always in accordance with His will, we can trust that whatever response we receive from Him is good and right.

Our Father, who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name.  Thy kingdom come, THY WILL BE DONE on earth as it is in heaven…

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1 John 5:5-12 ~ Son of God

Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 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. For there are three that testify: the SPIRIT and the WATER and the BLOOD; and these three agree.  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. 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. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life!

Son of God is a pretty popular title for Jesus right now with the recent release of the movie by that name last month.  I did not see the movie, but after talking to several people who did, the most common critique is that it didn’t present Jesus as the only One who could save us from our sins, and how desperately we needed the Son of God to come and sacrifice His life on our behalf so that we could be reconciled to the Father and receive eternal life. Without this truth at the forefront, the movie could leave holes in His purpose to those viewing the movie who don’t really know Him.  Jesus was more than a political figure, a religious revolutionary, and a supernatural doctor…He was God’s Son in the flesh walking among “earthen vessels” He created in order to sympathize with us and save us from our sins.  Believing He was a good man or a martyr is not enough, we must believe that He is God’s Son and that true, eternal life is only found in Him.

How can we know that Jesus is truly the Son of God?

  • Testimony by water…at Jesus’ baptism the Holy Spirit descended on Him, and the Father called out from heaven, “This is my beloved Son with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:15-17)
  • Testimony by blood…at Jesus’ crucifixion the Centurion realized, “Truly this was the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:54)
  • Testimony by the Father…not only at Jesus’ baptism, but also when He was transfigured on the mountain prior to His death.  The Father spoke from Heaven saying, “This is my beloved Son; listen to Him.” (Mark 9:7)
  • Testimony by the Spirit…”This is the Good News about Jesus who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Romans 1:4)
  • Testimony by my heart…I know that Jesus is the Son of God because He is the only One powerful enough to transform my heart’s desires, my character and my lifestyle. “For God, who said, ‘Let there be light in darkness,’ has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6)

There are several different views of what “by water and blood mean.”  One view is that it entails the total work of Jesus from beginning of ministry (baptism) to end (crucifixion).  Another view is that it correlates to His ministry of salvation by blood (Matthew 26:27-28) and sanctification through the washing of the water of the Word (Ephesians 5:25-27).  A different view is that since John wrote this letter, and he is the one who saw the Lord’s side pierced and watched the water and the blood flow out (John 19:34), that “by water and blood” is a personal testimony from an eyewitness at the crucifixion.  How we interpret “by water and blood” doesn’t really matter, whether or not we believe the testimonies about Him does.  In The Bible and Knowledge Commentary: New Testament: 1 John, Zane Hodges wrote, “The Bible does not complicate faith…once we have understood the message, the issue is: Is it true or false? Do we believe it or do we not?”

Eternal life is only found in Jesus–the Son of God (John 3:16).  Abundant life is only found in Jesus–the Son of God (John 10:10)!  Jesus is life–Jesus is THE life! (1 John 5:12, John 14:6)  Either we believe that or we make God a liar and nothing can be trusted!  What you believe about the Son of God is the most important decision of your life!

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