Of the Spirit, Not of Man

1 John 5:5-8

“Who is it that overcomes the world except the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 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.”

Jesus Christ is God. He is the second person of our triune God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit. He was with God in the beginning, and he is God, and he is our creator God who made us (See John 1; Phil 2; Heb 1).

Jesus Christ left his throne in heaven, came to earth, was conceived of the Holy Spirit and was born as a baby from a human mother, Mary. Thus, he humbled himself by coming to earth and by taking on human form, by taking on the form of a servant, and by becoming obedient to death on a cross.

Before he began his earthly ministry, he asked to be baptized of John the Baptist, not to repent of sin or to have need of forgiveness of sins, for he was without sin, but this was a foreshadowing of the death he was to die on a cross for our sins so that we could repent of our sins and be forgiven, and be given eternal life with God, for this is what our baptism symbolizes.

When Jesus came up out of the waters of baptism, the Spirit of God descended upon him, and a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased” (See: Matt 3:13-17).

1 John 5:9-10

“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.”

Too many people easily believe other humans, but they doubt that they can hear from God. They will listen to what humans tell them, and they will follow them, but they deny the Holy Spirit of God, and they choose to listen to men instead of God.

But when we believe in Jesus Christ, we are indwelt with God’s Holy Spirit who is our counselor, our teacher, our guide. And, he brings to our minds all that Jesus Christ taught. We have the testimony of God within ourselves.

The Holy Spirit is given to us who believe in Jesus to teach us all things, to guide us into all truth, to disclose to us what is to come, to empower us to be Christ’s witnesses, and to give us spiritual gifts to be used of God to spread the gospel of our salvation and to minister to and to encourage our fellow believers in their walks of faith in the Lord Jesus.

In the book of Acts, when the Holy Spirit indwelt the followers of Jesus Christ, they were empowered of the Spirit of God to speak the words of God to the people. And, many people put their faith and trust in Jesus Christ that day.

Peter said of what took place that day, quoting from the book of Joel, that this was a fulfillment of Joel’s prophecy that in the last days God would pour out his Spirit on both men and women and that they would prophesy, and see visions, and dream dreams.

Paul often spoke of how the Holy Spirit spoke to him, and of how the Holy Spirit directed his life, and of how he showed him where to go, and of how the Holy Spirit empowered him with the words to speak. In fact, he said, all who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

Paul also said that natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him. He cannot understand them because they are spiritually appraised (discerned). But then he went on to say that we who believe in Jesus have the mind of Christ (dwelling within us).

The Holy Spirit gives us spiritual gifts, which are supernatural gifts, not natural talents, and they are to be exercised in the power of the Holy Spirit, not in the natural thinking and inclinations of man.

Also, God has placed each one of us in the body of Christ as he wills, and he has given each one of us assignments within the body, which are our body parts. These parts (roles) within the body of Christ are not assigned by man, but by God. Thus, they are to be spiritually discerned of the Spirit of God, and not of the will of man. For, we are all different, but we are all part of one body.

[Lu 10:21; Jn 14:26; Jn 16:13; Acts 1:8; Acts 2:17-18; Acts 11:12; Acts 13:2; Rom 8:14; 1 Co 2:14-16; 1 Co 12; Rom 12; Eph 4]

1 John 5:11-13

“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.”

When we read the Scriptures, it is good to read them in context and to not make a doctrine or a belief out of a few verses removed from their context. So, if we want to understand what it means to “have the Son,” then we should read the whole book of 1 John, and we should also compare it to other books in the New Testament so we get a fuller understanding.

So, skimming back through the book of 1 John we learn that if we say we have fellowship with God, but we walk in darkness, that we are liars who do not live by the truth. So, what this is saying is that we cannot “have the Son” if we are still walking in (living in) sin. Sin is to no longer have dominion over our lives to where we are ruled by it (Rom 6; Rom 8).

Then, we read that we know that we have come to know Jesus if we keep (obey) his commandments (under the New Covenant). Now, we also read that, although we are not to sin, that it is possible that we might sin, but that Jesus is our advocate to the Father should we sin. But the Word also tells us that if we walk in sin, we do not have the Son.

So, if we say that we know Jesus, but if we do not walk in obedience to his commands (his instructions to us), then we are liars. But then it goes on to say that if we say we are in the light, but we hate our brother, that we are still in the darkness, and we walk in the darkness.

And it continues by letting us know that if we (agape) love the world of sin, i.e. if we hunger and thirst for what is from the world, and if we prefer the pleasures of the world to what we have in Christ, that the love of God is not in us. If what we prefer, and what we seek after is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, then we are not of God. For, it is whoever is doing the will of God who abides forever.

And, John is not the only one who taught these things. Paul taught them all the time. He said that if we walk according to the flesh that we will die in our sins, but if we walk according to the Spirit, then we have eternal life. He said that if we make sin our practice that we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting to death the deeds of the flesh, then we will live.

[See Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; Gal 5:16-24; Gal 6:7-8; Eph 5:3-6; Rom 2:6-8; 2 Co 5:10; 1 Jn 1:5-9; Tit 2:11-14; 1 Jn 2:3-6]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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2 thoughts on “Of the Spirit, Not of Man

  1. Sue, 1John 5:7 is completely omitted from your ESV version. The KJV version is, “For there are three that beat record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.”

    Like

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