“And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the spirit is the truth. ~ 1 John 5:6b
Explanation of the Text: It is John who encourages believers with reminders of the Holy Spirit and His role in the lives of believers. John is also very specific in assuring us that the Holy Spirit is a the Spirit of truth. When Jesus promises the disciples that a helper will be coming for those who have trusted in Christ, John records that God the Father will be sending the Spirit of truth (John 15:26). Just a few verses later in 16:13, John indicates that it is the Spirit of truth that will guide believers in the truth. What does the Spirit have to do with Christ who came by water and blood?
The answer to that all important question is, everything. It was the Holy Spirit that empowered Christ during His ministry on earth. It was the Holy Spirit who brought Jesus Christ to the temptation and through the temptation. Here, the Holy Spirit testifies to the truth of Jesus Christ. We can be sure that Jesus Christ is who John claims Him to be in the first part of verse 6 (and throughout his writing of the first epistle) because the truth has been brought to us by the one who bears all truth: God, and more specifically, God the Spirit.
Examination & Application of the Text: Ultimately, this text indicates that God has testified about Himself. God the Spirit has born witness of God the Son. Because He is the Spirit of truth, we trust Him. As believers, our trust in Him is sen every day as we rely on the Holy Spirit to provide guidance to us in our daily lives, convicting us of sin, convincing us to walk in a godly manner. If we cannot trust the Holy Spirit in the basic affirmation of Jesus Christ, what will it take for us to place our trust in Him?
The Holy Spirit is at work, fulfilling the role and responsibility that God the Father intended. Each day we lean on Him in order to fulfill our role. David Jackman writes:
So the Spirit bears witness through the Scriptures, God’s Word of truth, by which human minds are instructed and human wills are changed, as he brings Christ’s obedient followers increasingly into likeness to their Lord. The Spirit of God still takes the Word of God and produces children of God (1).
Therefore, we have the goal of not quenching the Holy Spirit, as Paul would say, in order that we may be conformed more and more to the likeness of God. It begins with the acceptance of the basic premise of the Holy Spirit’s testimony about our Lord and Savior.
Questions to Consider:
- What is the role of the Holy Spirit?
- What activities do you see the Holy Spirit actively engaged in in your life?
- What in your life is hindering that work and relationship? Be specific and identify what steps need to be taken to get rid of the sin that may be quenching the Spirit’s work in your life.
David Jackman, The Message of John’s Letters, The Bible Speaks Today (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1988).