Commentary on "Believing in the Son of God"
Day 4: Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The theme for today's lesson draws our attention to the testimony of God concerning his son, Jesus Christ.
If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. (I John 5:9,10 ESV)
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. 3:17,18 ESV)
Not until Thursday is the actual testimony of God concerning his son covered, which we will find stated in verses 11 and 12 that follow. Since the author of the lesson concludes that the three, the water, the blood and the Holy Spirit, are God's testimony, we will take another look at the meaning of 'the water and the blood'.
We should already be aware that without the shedding of the blood of an innocent sacrifice, can there be no remission of sins:
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins. (Heb. 9:22 ESV)
We have seen the witness of the water where Jesus was baptized at the start of his ministry. He had the authority to do this because he was already perfectly and totally righteous. We, on the other hand, must have the issue of our sins dealt with first. At the moment our sins are forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ, we then become washed and cleansed of our sins.
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (Rom 6:3,4 ESV)
Now, we come to the Lord's Supper where Jesus is washing the feet of his disciples and is talking to Peter.
Jesus said to him, "The one who has bathed does not need to wash, except for his feet, but is completely clean. And you are clean, but not every one of you." (John 13:10 ESV)
Notice that Jesus states that Peter is clean, but his feet need washing. Peter's salvation is secure but the effects of everyday sin needs to be addressed and cleansed. Jesus bled and died for us. When he becomes our Savior, he cleanses us from the effects of all sin by imputing his righteousness upon us with the Seal of the Holy Spirit.
Only by the blood of Jesus can our sins be forgiven. Only by Jesus sending the Holy Spirit into our lives can we be washed and declared clean from those sins that have been forgiven. Only when Jesus 'washes our feet' daily, are we cleansed from the effects of sins we still commit. What Jesus is telling Peter is that while here in this life, we come to him for daily cleansing.
Notice, Jesus declares to Peter; "you are clean". This is not about Peter's salvation which was centered on the forgiveness of his sins by the shedding of Jesus' own blood that was about to take place. This was about a continuous and active cleansing that only the righteousness of Jesus Christ can provide.
As we shall see fully on Thursday, from the testimony of God (the Father), only Jesus could do the following:
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