The Triple Testimony

Bible Book: 1 John  5 : 6-13
Subject: Assurance of Salvation; Eternal Security
Series: God's Dear Children

The Triple Testimony

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor,

1 John 5:6-13

Michael Faraday was a brilliant scientific genius of his day. As he was nearing the end of his life, a friend stood by him and inquired, "What are your speculations now?"

"Speculations?" Faraday replied in astonishment. "I have none. I know whom I have believed. My soul rests upon certainties!"

The Lord wants us to live, not in speculations but in assurance! That brings us to the next message in our series on God's Dear Children from 1 John 5:6-13. This passage takes some thinking and consideration to understand, but it is here to deal with our assurance in the nature of Jesus and the personal assurance of salvation for the believer through Him. John is very concerned that we “know” that we have eternal life and that we “know” what we believe. John uses the word “know” almost 40 times in this brief book. Also, John uses the word ‘witness’, ‘testify or ‘testimony’ ten times in the short passage we are considering tonight. So we see that John is further solidifying our confidence in our Lord and what He has done for us.

Now let’s look at the triple testimony or witness which we have concerning Jesus Christ and His saving work. John tells us about this testimony in 1 John 5:6-13. John offers evidence that Jesus Christ is both Savior and Lord for all who believe in Him by pointing out that three credible witnesses testify about Him.

I. The Reliable Witness

1 John 5:9

John points out that we often rely upon the testimony of man. If we did not, how could we live in this world? You trust that your wife has not poisoned your food. You trust that no bomb is attached to you car when you start it. You trust that the elevator at work will not snap and let you drop to your death. You trust that the orange juice you drink is not contaminated. You do this day in and day out.

We can see today how important it is to have a trustworthy person of testimony in which to trust. We are living in the age of the Coronavirus and we find it difficult to trust our own hands. We are not sure if what we touch is contaminated. It is important to have confidence, and even more so when it comes to faith in Christ.

Daily we trust human witnesses and how much more should you trust God? There are those who trust their doctor to write a prescription, which the recipient cannot read. Then, they take that to a pharmacist that they hardly know at all. The medicine given to them by the pharmacist is made by a company the recipient knows nothing about and contains elements that are completely foreign to the user. But, the patient takes the medicine in full confidence that it will provide a cure for what ails him. Yet, that same person scoffs at the idea of trusting what God’s Word says. They mock the idea of trusting in Jesus as Savior. Though millions have found the Lord to be true across thousands of years, the people who trust man’s word still halt at trusting God’s Word. How foolish is this? My friend, the one thing you can trust fully is God's Word to you.

Jesus is God’s final Word! He is the Word of God in flesh. He came to save us. He came to pull back the curtain of eternity and enlighten us. He came to offer the only path to a relationship with God. John writes that we have a three-fold witness concerning our trust in who Jesus is and what He promised to do for those who trust Him.

II. The Repeated Witness

1 John 5:6-8

What are the three witnesses mentioned here?

We have the witness of the Spirit – Power - the power of God in the Spirit to do all God said He will do.

We have the witness of the Water – Purity - the symbolism of baptism, which shows that God has cleansing power to bring about our purity. The water does not wash us, but it is a symbol of what God does in the heart and life of a person who trusts Him.

We have the witness of the Blood – Pardon - in the end, it is the blood of Jesus that was shed for us that grants us purity before God. How? God demands a perfect life from me, but I don't have one to give Him. Yet, God provided His Son, who was completely pure, to give me His perfect life as a substitution for my sinful life.

All of these are in agreement that Jesus is who He is said to be in the Word of God. We can see how and why John used this picture. John is tying the Old Testament image of cleansing to the New Testament reality of our complete purity in Christ.

First the background.

At the time John wrote these words, a heretical doctrine was circulating which said that Jesus was not God when He was born. This heresy stated that Jesus became God at His baptism. Then, the heresy furthered posited that the Spirit of God left Jesus before He died on the cross so that He was only a man when He died. John was writing to correct this false doctrine. He was showing that Jesus was God, very God and was giving evidence for this. To see this fully we need to look at the Book of Leviticus and tie that to the life of Jesus.

The Pictures of Jesus Christ in the Old Testament are clear. In Leviticus 8, for example, the priests were consecrated for their ministry as a testimony to the people that they were set apart for special service. They were washed with water for purity. Also, sacrifice of blood for atonement was made by the blood of a bull. Furthermore, the anointing oil was poured on them as a sign of Spirit of God. Thus, the priests had water, blood and the Spirit. Jesus fulfilled this picture in His life. He had water at His baptism. He poured out blood on the cross. And He had the Spirit to come down on Him at His baptism, and He stated clearly that the Spirit would testify of Him even after He had left this earth in the ascension.

We see this further in the life of David in the Old Testament. Look at Psalm 51:7, 11. He asked to be cleansed with hyssop to be clean, to be washed that he might be whiter than snow and to have the Spirit of God not taken from Him.

Water, Spirit - John 3:5; John 7:37-39 - and Blood are clearly mentioned by Jesus in regard to salvation - John 6:53.

We see the testimony of Jesus received through the Holy Spirit in the foretelling of His coming, the testimony to Mary and Elizabeth, the conception in Mary through the Holy Spirit, through miracles and signs and in a host of other ways. The presence and power of the Holy Spirit were undeniably in Christ. We see the testimony of the Spirit at his Baptism. Not needing the washing for purification that the prophets and priests of old did, because of His sinless nature, Jesus still chose to be baptized as a testimony to that righteousness in Him that came from the Father Himself. He gave the testimony of the blood at His Crucifixion, for at the cross the blood of the Lamb of God was poured out to atone for our sin, again verifying that this One was God's chosen means of accomplishing our salvation.

It is through Jesus that we have Pardon through His Blood. We have His Purity through the washing of our souls. We have His Power through the Spirit.

III. The Reaffirmed Witness

John writes in 1 John 5:13 to simply reaffirm that we can know that we are saved. We do not have to guess or hope, we can know!

Do you know that you are saved? You should and you can. If you are not sure, be sure tonight. Even if you are saved, the lack of assurance can keep you from greater service for God. If you are sure, live like it. Live as a Pardoned, Purified, Spirit-filled believer.

When the famous author Robert Louis Stevenson was a little child, he accidentally locked himself in his room and couldn't get out. As darkness came on, he became terror-stricken. When his father was unable to open the door, he sent for a locksmith; but while he waited, he talked to his son through the keyhole. Hearing his dad's soothing conversation and knowing he was there was all young Robert needed.

All Lord wants us to have the assurance of our salvation. He gives us the triple testimony that He is the Lord and Savior of those who trust Him.


One of Spurgeon's favorite stories was about a dying Welsh lady who was visited by her minister. Seeing her weakened condition, he bent over and whispered, "Sister, are you sinking?"

She didn't reply, but looked at him as if she couldn't believe her ears. He repeated his question, "Sister, are you sinking?"

With a supreme effort she raised herself a little and then said triumphantly, "Sinking? Oh, no! Did you ever know a sinner to sink through a Rock? If my hope was built on the shifting sands, I'd be greatly distressed; but thank God, Pastor, I'm resting my all upon the Rock of Ages!"

That, my friend, is what every true Christian is doing – resting on the Rock of Ages. If you don’t know, you can know by receiving Him now. If you know, act like it! Live like it! Give like it! Pray like it! Witness like it! Worship like it!