This teaching on 1 John ch 5 was given by pastor Barry on 17th January 2021.
In this final chapter, John writes to remind us of the solid foundation we have for our faith – namely Jesus Christ. God Himself testified at Christ’s baptism and at the Cross that Jesus was the Christ, the Messiah, the One who can save people from their sins. He is perfect God and perfect man in one; God manifest in the flesh.
Because we know this truth (confirmed in our hearts by the holy Spirit) we also have assurance of eternal life – an eternal life we (as Christians) are already living now!
John again exhorts us to keep His commandments, which we will do naturally if we love Him.
In this study we also address the subject of the authority of the Bible as God’s complete word to mankind. There has been centuries of controversy over verse 7 & 8, with many claiming that verse 8 in particular is a later addition, not found in the ‘most reliable’, or ‘most authoritative’ manuscripts. The NIV study Bible claims that it is not found in any manuscript before the 16th century! The vindication for verse 8 comes not from the early Christian writes who quoted it (or which there were many), nor from the early manuscripts (of which there are enough to convince any honest enquirer), rather the vindication comes from a early 2nd century sceptic who wrote a satirical work – within 50 years of John’s letter – in which he uses 1 John 5:7-8 as his source – thus demonstrating it was part of the original text as written by John.
Why is this important? Because as Irwin H. Linton said;
“The infallibility of the record upon which rest the eternal essentials of our faith – the deity of Christ, His voluntary, atoning death, bodily resurrection and impending return in power and glory – are all rendered uncertain in a mind in which the accuracy of the Bible record is in doubt.”
We should be in no doubt that what we read in scripture (as long as we are using a good translation) is what God had preserved so that we, through the patience and comfort of the scripture, might have an unwavering and unshakeable hope!
Just as John had previously told us that God is light, he concludes his letter by telling us that Jesus is also Life. Eternal life is in Jesus.
This is why John writes, that we might know we have eternal life, and that life is in God’s Son.
May you be encouraged and blessed by this study.