“There are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three agree. If we receive human testimony, the testimony of God is greater; for this is the testimony of God that he has testified to his Son. Those who believe in the Son of God have the testimony in their hearts. Those who do not believe in God have made him a liar by not believing in the testimony that God has given concerning his Son.” (I John 5:7-10)
I had to wonder at and ponder this, that those who do not believe make God a liar. When I am looking and commenting on a text, I do not like to make assumptions or guess about a passage. I want to KNOW what the passage is saying and means, and so I look for outside study material and commentators. And my favorite is Albert Barnes.
He says of verse 10, “The idea is, that in various ways – at his baptism, at his death, by the influences of the Holy Spirit, by the miracles of Jesus, etc. – God had become a “witness” that the Lord Jesus was sent by him as a Saviour, and that to doubt or deny this partook of the same character as doubting or denying any other testimony; that is, it was practically charging him who bore the testimony with falsehood.” This helps my understanding, and I hope it helps yours. This also means, beloved reader, that the Holy Spirit also testifies to the identity of Jesus, and if one doubts then on is also calling the Spirit a “liar”.
“And this is the testimony: 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.” (Verse 11-12)
The testimony is fairly basic, according to our modern understanding; but quite revolutionary and illuminating to the Early Church and those who lived at the time of Jesus. Remember the verses, “and every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord”? Knowing Jesus as . . . . well, Jesus . . . it may be hard for us to imagine that this is testimony that may not be believed. But for many Jesus was simply Joseph and Mary’s oldest whose birth was strange. Keeping this in mind, the writer of I John’s statement . . .
. . . takes on a special blessing and benediction. The writer of I John desperately wants his/her readers to believe and have eternal life. It is not a much different desire than I have for you, beloved reader. May it be so! Selah!