THE WITNESS OF GOD
1 John 5:1-12
God’s words are greater than man’s words. God’s words are more convicting, have more authority, and are clearer than man’s words. God’s witness is greater than man’s witness. The Bible says in 1 John 5:1-12, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous... For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. 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. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.”
There are so many marvellous things in this passage, but we give special attention to an expression in verse nine, “the witness of God is greater.” This is the divine record versus man’s record. The witness of God is greater.
Obedience to God is more than doing His will; it is delighting in doing His will. The Bible says in 1 John 5:1-3, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him...By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”
Many people say, “I know what the Bible says; I have heard it all of my life.” Of course, there are others who do not know what the Bible says and have never heard it. The real issue is not hearing it and knowing it; it is in obeying it.
We are to delight in doing God’s will. This delight comes out of our relationship with God and our fellowship with God. As we love Him, we love obeying His will.
The Bible says in 1 John 5:1-2, “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.” In other words, we should never get over loving God and delighting in doing His will because of our love for Him. The heart of obedience in the life of a believer grows out of his loving communion with the Lord God. When we are not obeying the Lord, it is directly related to the fact that something haas happened to this loving fellowship that we are to have with our God.
The prospective bridegroom was extremely nervous as he and his fiancee were discussing their wedding plans with their pastor. “I’d like to see a copy of the wedding vows,” the young man said; and the pastor handed him the service. He read it carefully, handed it back, and said, “That won’t do! There’s nothing written in there about her obeying me!” His fiancée smiled, took his hand, and said, “Honey, the word obey doesn’t have to be written in a book. It’s already written in love in my heart.”
Remember, we have been born into God’s family. We are seated with Him in heavenly places. We are now children of God, and we ought to be so grateful for salvation that we are willing to obey His commands with delight. We must never consider His commands to be a burden to us.
The word “grievous” is used other places in the Bible. In one place, it is given in the warning that Paul gave to the Ephesian elders when he greeted them at Miletus. Paul told them that they would see his face no more. He said, “After my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you” (Acts 20:29). This is the same word, and it means “burdensome” or “distracting.” It speaks of something with which you do not want to deal.
If I come to the place where the Christian life is grievous, and all the joy is gone, it is because I am failing in my personal walk with God. God has miraculously designed the Christian life so that I can enjoy knowing the Lord and loving the Lord and walking with the Lord. Out of that joyous relationship and fellowship that we have with God, we can delight in obeying His commands. Are we living lives of obedience to God?
“If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” — John 15:10