Commentary on "Believing in the Son of God"
Day 3: Monday, August 24, 2009
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. (I John 5:6-8 ESV)
Today's lesson focuses on the meaning of the phrase; "water and blood" and why we can confidently place our faith in him for our salvation.
The lesson makes some good points about "water and blood" but totally misses the point of how we can apply this to identifying the antichrist teachers of our day.
First, let's turn to the Gospel of Matthew and read the account of the baptism of Christ by John The Baptist.
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, "I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?" But Jesus answered him, "Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, "This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased." (Matt. 3:13-17 ESV)
Jesus began his public ministry at the baptism by John in the Jordan River. From this account, we learn that Jesus was in no need of cleansing from any sins but let it be so "to fulfill all righteousness". It was actions of Jesus coupled with the Spirit of God and the voice of God that declare the perfect righteousness of Jesus. It is this three-fold public testimony that qualifies him to become the Messiah.
Keep in mind the phrase; "not by the water only but by the water and the blood” found in I John 5:6. Even though Jesus was without a sin nature and did not need to be cleansed from sins he did not have, he had to do much more than just be perfect. Remember, the wages of sin is death and this debt had to be paid if mankind's relationship with God was to be restored. It was important for Jesus announce the start of his ministry with the baptism by John, which represented his perfect righteousness. He was shown to be qualified and willing to pay the penalty for our sin by the shedding of his own sinless blood.
The Apostle John was confronting the antichrist heresy of his day. It was being preached that what we needed to do to be saved was to become perfect. Even if we could lead a such a life, which the Bible declares no person can do, it would be pointless because we would also be the one required to pay in blood for our sin nature. Remember, three days after his death Jesus came back from the grave as our Savior. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is 'the rest of the story' concerning the blood of Christ. The water speaks of his righteousness yet his sinless blood would have accounted for nothing without his resurrection.
For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it-- the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. (Rom 3:20-25 ESV)
For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. (I Cor. 15:16-20 ESV)
Only the Messiah was able to come by both "water and the blood" and then three days later rise from the grave by his own power. Note well: " for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”.
Copyright 2009 BibleStudiesForAdventists.com. All rights reserved. Revised August 16, 2009. This website is published by Life Assurance Ministries, Glendale, Arizona, USA, the publisher of Proclamation! Magazine. Contact email: BibleStudiesForAdventists@gmail.com.
The Sabbath School Bible Study Guide and the corresponding E.G. White Notes are published by Pacific Press Publishing Association, which is owned and operated by the Seventh-day Adventist church. The current quarter's editions are pictured above.
Official Adventist Resources