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The Internal Witness – 1st John 5:9-11


The Internal Witness

Text: 1st John 5:9-11.

1 John 5:10 He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son.

Do you believe in the power of the Gospel; that God can change lives through a living relationship with His Son? In this passage of his letter, John is concerned with knowing and proving that one who really believes in God unto salvation has new life in Christ. He brings forward a number proofs that the believer can use as tests. We might infer that:-

  1. There is the objective witness as we see men and women transformed by the grace of God, and they demonstrate love for each other, as Christ loved us.
  2. There is the evidence of the Holy Scriptures, as the Water and the Blood testify to Christ’s person and work.
  3. But there is also a ‘subjective’ witness. 1 John 5:10 cf Romans 8:15-17.

There is an internal witness to the work of God in the life of a believer! When a person believes on the Son of God, God implants the witness of God within him!   A word of caution before we go any further. An internal witness that exists without the external witness of the Scriptures is unreliable. Look at this confession of faith made by Peter… Matthew 16 Peter’s confession was based firstly on God’s Word, not human flesh.
Let us see in v11:-

1. The Substance of the Internal Witness!
What is this witness that is within us? Actually it is not really anything to do with feelings, it is the calm assurance of eternal life in Jesus! Look at what the Lord has given to believers:-

  • HE HAS GIVEN US LIFE! Now life itself is a precious gift of God. In the natural sense, God has given life to every one of us. It is a common grace of God. To those who are His He has given a different kind of life. New Life. Spiritual Life. Jesus said, in John 5:24 Life is the opposite of death! Romans 6:23
  • He has GIVEN US ETERNAL LIFE! This spiritual life that God has effected within our souls is eternal. It will last as long as God is on His throne! Forever! It is the saving favour of God perpetuated forever in the lives of His elect! And it is this evidence of His power and grace that God has placed within His people!

Living forever in this world would be a living hell. God gives us eternal life – that is in heaven, in glory with the Lord!

2. The Source of the Internal Witness!
Eternal Life is the Gift of God! John says that God has given it to us. It is not something that we can achieve on our own, or that we can ear, or that we can deserve! Galatians 4:4-6 As we have already noted, the wages of our sin is death – not eternal life. It is the gift of God because:-

  • God is LIFE! Life is found only in God – He is the very essence of Life. He is the source of life and he is the author of life. He it was who in the counsels of eternity ordained that His Son Jesus would bring life to sinful men and women. John 5:26 John 10:28 1 Tim. 6:16  All life springs from God! It is God who gives life to all his angels, to men, to animals. Job 12:10 If natural rational and spiritual life comes only from God, then eternal life can only proceed from the same divine and infinite source.
  • Eternal Life is God’s Gift! All life must be God’s gift but eternal life especially so, and the main for it is given to people who are unworthy of it!

So, the source of the witness within us, – If we have new life, if our whole worldview and outlook has been radically changed – we are turned from our sin, facing in an opposite direction, how would we not know?

3. The Supplier of the Internal Witness!
How can God give us this gift? 1 John 5:11 God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.

  • Because of the divine nature of Christ Himself! It is IN His Son! We serve a living Saviour! It is His divine nature that He is life. And only In CHRIST can we obtain eternal life. 1 John 5:12 How can we get this witness to eternal life within? Firstly we must note:
  • It is purchased for us on the Cross! It is on the Cross that Jesus died that we might live. Jesus lived and died on the Cross so that you and I could be redeemed from sin and given eternal life! He lived a sinless life, so he is the only one who has the right to stand before God the Father in his own merit, and we can only approach God through him. There is no other righteousness that is acceptable to God – only the perfect righteousness of Christ as been declared by God as worthy to stand as the advocate in the court of heaven. And Jesus died to cleanse your sins and mine, and he takes our sin and he gives us his righteousness, so that when we stand before God our judge we are not standing in our filthy, unworthy self-righteousness, but in the righteousness of Christ alone!
  • It is only gifted by the Lord Jesus! You can’t get this eternal life anywhere else. The common belief of the world today is that all roads lead to God and all roads lead to heaven. That is not a Christian view point, and it is not a Biblical viewpoint! Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Have you got this internal witness to eternal life? Do you know for sure that you are saved and forgiven, and have a certain home in heaven? The testimony is available for all to see! Changed lives, the Word of God, all the objective tests. But you must know the Lord personally! Sinner under conviction of sin, turn to the Lord, and acknowledge and confess and repent of your sins, and be freely pardoned, forgiven and assured of a place in God’s eternal kingdom.



Listen to this sermon:

© Bob McEvoy

From → 1st John

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