Believing God

I Jn 5:9-12

9 If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; for this is the witness of God which He has testified of His Son.

10 He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.

11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. (NKJ)

This message was preached July 28, 2002 at FBC Toulon, by Albert Harmon. See it at toulonbaptist.com  
  1. The Greater Witness
    1. If we receive the witness of men
      1. In the OT conditions were set down that qualified someone as a witness and the number of witness to establish a fact.
    2. The witness of God is greater
      1. Whatever the testimony of man might be, God's testimony is greater.
      2. It is greater in quality as it comes from God who cannot lie.
      3. It is greater in its force, in that it is undeniable.
    3. He has testified of His Son.
      1. Several times.
        1. At His baptism.
          1. Matt 3:16-1716 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." (NKJ)
        2. At His transfiguration.
          1. Matt 17:5 While he was still speaking, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them; and suddenly a voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Hear Him!"
        3. The day of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem.
          1. John 12:28-29 "Father, glorify Your name." Then a voice came from heaven, saying, "I have both glorified it and will glorify it again." Therefore the people who stood by and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to Him." (NKJ)
        4. At His death.
          1. The darkness
          2. The earthquake
          3. The veil of the temple torn in two
          4. The resurrected saints
        5. In His resurrection.
          1. This is the most spectacular of all.
          2. This was a testimony to the acceptance of Jesus life and death as a satisfactory atonement.
      2. But also in His works
        1. John 5:31-37 "If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. "There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. "You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. "Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. "He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. "But I have a greater witness than John's; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish-- the very works that I do-- bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me. "And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. (NKJ)
        2. John 8:17-18 "It is also written in your law that the testimony of two men is true. "I am One who bears witness of Myself, and the Father who sent Me bears witness of Me."
        3. Heb 2:4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will? (NKJ)
  2. To Believe or Not to Believe
    1. He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself
      1. This is a work of the Spirit of God in our heart.
        1. It is more than an intellectual decision.
        2. It is more than the result of an intelligent investigation.
      2. The Spirit quickens us and makes us spiritually alive.
        1. Eph 2:5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
      3. He then lives in us in such a way as to give us an internal witness.
        1. Rom 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (NKJ)
        2. Gal 4:6 And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" (NKJ)
    2. He who does not believe God has made Him a liar,
      1. I often have people tell me that they believe in God.
        1. But at issue is much more than that.
        2. Do you believe the testimony of God concerning His Son?
        3. If your God is not a Father and does not have a Son then it is the wrong God and you are calling God a liar.
      2. Because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.
        1. Since September 11 there has been a greater interest in God.
        2. We see it in the gatherings that were held in prominent places.
        3. But it is not the God of the Bible or the Father of Jesus Christ that there is an interest in.
        4. You see when you say Jesus you exclude the Jews, the Moslems, the liberals and a host of others.
  3. Eternal Life The Gift of God
    1. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life.
      1. A present possession, The tense is the perfect tense.
      2. A real condition.
      3. But really a relationship more than anything else.
    2. This life is in His Son.
      1. There is no eternal life outside of Jesus Christ.
      2. That is what makes Christianity offensive to others.
      3. Paul spoke about the offence of the cross and that is really what this is.
      4. Jesus alone died for sin and no one can come to God unless it is through Jesus Christ.
    3. He who has the Son has life
      1. We are in Him and He is in us.
      2. To have Jesus is to believe the testimony of the Father about Him.
    4. He who does not have the Son of God does not have life.
      1. In John's mind there is no middle ground.
      2. Without Jesus you are lost and on your way to hell.
      3. With Jesus you have eternal life.

A twelve-year-old boy became a Christian during a revival. The next week at school his friends questioned him about the experience. "Did you see a vision?" asked one friend. "Did you hear God speak?" asked another. The youngster answered no to all these questions. "Well, how did you know you were saved?" they asked. The boy searched for an answer and finally he said, "It's like when you catch a fish, you can't see the fish or hear the fish; you just feel him tugging on your line. I just felt God tugging on my heart." --James S. Hewett, Illustrations Unlimited (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc, 1988) p. 188.