I. "AND WE HAVE SEEN AND DO TESTIFY."
A. Deut. 19:5
declares One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established.
B. John seems to feel that it is necessary to establish the truth concerning Jesus by declaring all who bore witness of Him.
There was a man sent from God, whose name [was] John.
The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all [men] through him might believe.
He was not that Light, but [was sent] to bear witness of that Light.
If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true. i.e.
"You will say that My witness is not true."
There is another that beareth witness of me; and I know that the witness which he witnesseth of me is true.
Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
But I have greater witness than [that] of John: for the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.
And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne witness of me.
It is also written in your law, that the testimony of two men is true.
I am one that bear witness of myself, and the Father that sent me beareth witness of me.
(For the life was manifested, and we have seen [it], and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
This is he that came by water and blood, [even] Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth.
II. WHAT IS THE WITNESS OF JOHN? "THAT GOD SENT HIS SON TO BE THE SAVIOR OF THE WORLD."
A. In verse 9 John tells us that God sent His Son into the world that we might live through Him.
B. In verse 10 he tells us that God sent His Son to be a propitiation for our sins.
C. In our text tonight John tells us that God sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.
1. John here is just declaring what Jesus had already declared in John 3:17
; "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."
III. HOW ARE WE THEN SAVED? VS. 15. "WHOSOEVER SHALL CONFESS THAT JESUS IS THE SON OF GOD."
But the righteousness which is of faith says this, "Say not in your heart, Who shall ascend into heaven to bring salvation down to us. Or who shall descend into the grave to bring the Messiah back from the grave." What does the scripture say? The Word is close to you, it is even in your mouth and in your heart. That word of faith that we preach. If you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart man believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
B. What is the result of this confession that Jesus is the Son of God?
1. God dwells in Him.
2. He dwells in God.
3. This is the kononia, the fellowship, the oneness that God created man for.
4. As we have asserted over and over, "The purpose of God creating man was that man might have a meaningful loving relationship with God." Fellowship.
a. We read that in the Garden of Eden, God came into the garden at the cool of the day to commune with Adam. But Adam and Eve were trying to hide themselves from the presence of God and God called, "Adam, where are you?"
b. Their sin caused them to try to hide from God. In essence their sin broke their relationship and fellowship with God.
c. This is always the fruit or consequence of sin, broken fellowship.
5. God desires to restore man back to fellowship. He has not given up on His divine purposes.
6. The consequences of sin was spiritual death.
a. It is in the realm of the Spirit where man meets God.
b. God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
c. His Spirit bears witness with our spirits that we are the sons of God.
d. Man whose spirit was dead could not have a relationship with God who is Spirit.
7. The consequences of sin was thus alienation from God.
a. Sinful man could not be one with a holy God.
b. It was necessary that something be done to put away the guilt of sin.
c. God sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins, or the covering.
8. As the consequence of sin, man was lost.
a. So God sent His Son to be the Savior of the world.
b. Jesus declared, "For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved."
9. Thus through our confession that Jesus is the Son of God, we who were once dead because of our trespasses and sins, have had a spiritual birth, i.e. our spirits are now alive. Our sins have been forgiven by our placing our faith and trust in Jesus Christ,and we who were once far from God have been made one with Him as He has brought us into fellowship with Himself.
IV. WHY DID GOD GO TO ALL THIS PAIN AND TROUBLE TO SAVE MAN FROM HIS DESERVED FATE, AND TO RESTORE HIM TO FELLOWSHIP WITH HIMSELF? "GOD IS LOVE."
A. Jesus said to Nicodemus, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
1. John here testifies, "And we have known and believe the love that God has for us."
a. The known is the Greek gnosko i.e. know by experience.
b. It is all theoretical until you have experienced it for yourself.
c. The Psalmist said, "Oh taste and see that the Lord is good."
2. I really do not know what brings more satisfaction and joy, to make something new, or to take something that has become wasted and worthless and make something worthwhile out of it.
a. There is really tremendous joy in seeing something restored to original beauty and glory.
b. God takes our lives destroyed by sin, and makes something beautiful out of them. "Something beautiful, something good,
All my confusion He understood, All I had to offer Him was brokenness and strife,
But He made something beautiful of my life."
B. "He that dwells in love dwells in God."
1. God is love, this is the second time that John makes this declaration in the space of a few verses.
2. Love is His very essence of His being.
a. If you dwell in love, you are dwelling in God.
b. He adds, "And God in Him."
C. This is a repetition of verses 7,8
Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
3. This love of course is the agape love.
D. On a scale of one to ten, where would you rate your love for God?
E. On a scale of one to ten, where would you rate your love for your family in Christ?