Jesus is the Son of God. I have a witness that Jesus gives me eternal life. That life is found in Jesus and nowhere else. This gift of life allows me to conquer the world. I have the Spirit of God providing me the evidence. That is a mighty powerful witness. This is stunning.
5 Who is the one who conquers the world but the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 Jesus the Messiah — he is the one who came by water and blood, not by water only, but by water and by blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the Spirit, the water, and the blood—and these three are in agreement. 9 If we accept human testimony, God’s testimony is greater, because it is God’s testimony that he has given about his Son. 10 The one who believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. The one who does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 The one who has the Son has life. The one who does not have the Son of God does not have life. 13 I have written these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. | 1 John 5:5-13 (CSB)
The key word, sometimes translated “record” or “testifieth.” God gave witness to His Son, but He has also given witness to His sons—to individual believers. The Greek here is μαρτυρέωa; μαρτυρίαa, ας f; μαρύριονa, ου n; ἐπιμαρτυρέω: to provide information about a person or an event concerning which the speaker has direct knowledge — ‘to witness.’
- μαρτυρέωa: αὐτοὶ ὑμεῖς μοι μαρτυρεῖτε ὅτι εἶπον ὅτι Οὐκ εἰμὶ ἐγὼ ὁ Χριστός ‘you yourselves can witness that I said, I am not the Messiah’ Jn 3:28.
- μαρτυρίαa: οὗτος ἦλθεν εἰς μαρτυρίαν ‘he came to witness’ Jn 1:7.
- μαρτύριονa: ἀποβήσεται ὑμῖν εἰς μαρτύριον ‘this will be your chance to witness’ Lk 21:13.
- ἐπιμαρτυρέω: δἰ ὀλίγων ἔγραψα, παρακαλῶν καὶ ἐπιμαρτυρῶν ταύτην εἶναι ἀληθῆ χάριν τοῦ θεοῦ ‘I write you this brief letter to encourage you and to witness that this is the true grace of God’ 1 Pe 5:12.
In a number of languages it is necessary to indicate specifically what is the content of a witness, so that, for example, in Luke 21:13 it may be necessary to say ‘this is your chance to witness to the good news’ or ‘… to tell about the good news’ or ‘… to tell what you yourselves know about the good news.’
We know that we have eternal life! Not only is there the witness of the Spirit within; but there is the witness of the Word of God. “These things have I written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, in order that you may know that you have eternal life” (1 John 5:13, NASB).
Eternal life is a gift; it is not something that we earn. But this gift is a Person — Jesus the Messiah. We receive eternal life not only from Jesus, but in Jesus. “He who has the Son has the life” (1 John 5:12, NASB). Not just “life” but “the life”—the life “which is life indeed” (1 Tim. 6:19, NASB).
This gift is received by faith. God has gone on record in His Word as offering eternal life to those who will believe on Jesus the Messiah. Millions of disciples have proved that God’s record is true. Not to believe it is to make God a liar. And if God is a liar, nothing is certain.
God wants His children to know that they belong to Him. John was inspired by the Spirit to write his good news book to assure us that “Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God” (John 20:31). He wrote this epistle so that we may be sure that we are the children of God.
- John 11:25–26 (NASB) —Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die. Do you believe this?”
- John 14:6 —Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.
- Romans 5:21 —So that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus the Messiah our Master.
- Hebrews 5:9 —And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation,
- Hebrews 9:12 —and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
- 2 Timothy 1:1 —Paul, an apostle of the Messiah Jesus by the will of God, according to the promise of life in the Messiah Jesus,
- 2 Timothy 1:10 —but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior the Messiah Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the good news,
- 1 John 5:20 —And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus the Messiah. This is the true God and eternal life.
Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. 2, p. 528). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
Christian Standard Bible. (2017). (1 Jn 5:5–13). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
Louw, J. P., & Nida, E. A. (1996). Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament: based on semantic domains (electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., Vol. 1, p. 417). New York: United Bible Societies.