Intro. We have been talking about proving a case by the testimony of witnesses.
I. "IF YOU RECEIVE THE WITNESS OF MAN." THE MANY WITNESSES THAT JESUS IS THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF GOD.
A. John the Baptist. "Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sins of the world."
And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.
And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.
And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
Ye sent unto John, and he bare witness unto the truth.
B. His works bore witness. Nicodemus, "We know that you are a teacher come from God for no man can do the things that You do, except God be with him."
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.
C. The witness of John the beloved.
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
(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;)
D. The witness of Peter,
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.
E. The witness of the disciples.
And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,
Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.
II. "IF WE RECEIVE THE WITNESS OF MEN, THE WITNESS OF GOD IS GREATER."
A. At the baptism of Jesus the Father spoke from heaven saying, "This is My beloved Son in Whom I am well pleased."
1. Again at the transfiguration of Jesus as Peter was suggesting that they build three tabernacles, one for Moses, and one for Elijah and one for Jesus, a bright cloud overshadowed them and a voice out of the cloud said, "This is my beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased; hear ye Him."
B. The witness of the Holy Spirit.
But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
III. "HE THAT BELIEVETH ON THE SON HAS THE WITNESS IN HIMSELF."
A. Paul wrote to the Romans,
The Spirit Himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
B. To the Corinthians he wrote,
Even as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you:
IV. IF WE DO NOT BELIEVE THE WITNESS OF GOD, WE MAKE GOD A LIAR.
A. If I tell you of something that I saw or know to be, and you say, "I don't believe that." You in essence are accusing me of lying.
1. God has said that Jesus was His Son in Whom He was well pleased. If you do not believe that, you are saying that God is a liar.
2. Men today are trying to tell us that you can lie without commiting perjury, that is so much double talk.
3. So to say that you belive in God, but you do not believe in Jesus, is likewise double talk.
God [is] not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do [it]? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
John the Baptist said of Jesus,
He must increase, but I [must] decrease.
He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
Jesus said to the Jews,
And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Paul said concerning the Jews who did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah,
For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar;
1. My math teacher told me that one plus one equals two. If I say "I don't believe that" in essence I am saying that the teacher is lying. Does that make the teacher a liar? Does that mean that one plus one does not equal two? No, it means that I am a fool. The fact remains whether I believe it or not. Facts are facts, and my believing or not believing does not alter facts.
2. Your saying that you do not belive that Jesus is the Son of God is saying that God is a liar, but again it does not change the facts. Your believing or not believing does not alter the fact that Jesus is the only begotten Son of God.
B. God desires to establish the truth in our hearts.
Wherein God, willing more abundantly to shew unto the heirs of promise the immutability of his counsel, confirmed [it] by an oath:
That by two immutable things, in which [it was] impossible for God to lie, we might have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:
V. "THIS IT THE RECORD THAT GOD GAVE OF HIS SON." WHAT IS THE RECORD? ALL OF THIS TALK ABOUT WITNESSES, TO WHAT ARE THEY WITNESSING?
A. "That God has given to us eternal life."
1. To the children of Israel God said,
See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil;
In that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commandments and his statutes and his judgments, that thou mayest live and multiply: and the LORD thy God shall bless thee in the land whither thou goest to possess it.
But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;
I denounce unto you this day, that ye shall surely perish, [and that] ye shall not prolong [your] days upon the land, whither thou passest over Jordan to go to possess it.
2. God seems always to set before man the choice of life and death.
a. Adam and Eve had the choice in the garden.
b. The tree of life, or the tree of death.
c. How is it that man so often chooses death?
And unto this people thou shalt say, Thus saith the LORD; Behold, I set before you the way of life, and the way of death.
Say unto them, [As] I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
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.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.
And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any [man] pluck them out of my hand.
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;
B. "This life is in His Son."
1. "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
2. He that has the Son has life, He that has not the Son has not life.
a. It is just that pure and simple.
b. It is just that cut and dried.
3. This was the testimony of John the Baptist concerning Jesus.
He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
a. We see that his witness is very similar to the witness that John gives in our text.
He that hath the Son hath life; [and] he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
4. The Word of God is very direct. You are in or out.
a. You are either saved or lost.
b. Your sins are forgiven or retained.
c. You will spend eternity in heaven or hell.
d. You either believe or you don't believe.
e. Jesus said, "If you are not for Me, you are against Me."