Jesus Christ himself is the one who came by water and by blood—not by the water only, but by the water and the blood. The Spirit bears witness to this, for the Spirit is the truth. The witness therefore is a triple one—the Spirit in our own hearts, the signs of the water of baptism and the blood of atonement—and they all say the same thing. If we are prepared to accept human testimony, God’s own testimony concerning his own Son is surely infinitely more valuable. The man who really believes in the Son of God will find God’s testimony in his own heart. The man who will not believe God is making him out to be a liar, because he is deliberately refusing to accept the testimony that God has given concerning his own Son. This is, that God has given men eternal life and this real life is to be found only in his Son. It follows naturally that any man who has genuine contact with Christ has this life; and if he has not, then he does not possess this life at all.
And we know he is, because God said so with a voice from heaven when Jesus was baptized, and again as he was facing death—yes, not only at his baptism but also as he faced death.* And the Holy Spirit, forever truthful, says it too. So we have these three witnesses: the voice of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, the voice from heaven at Christ’s baptism, and the voice before he died.* And they all say the same thing: that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.*
Jesus—the Divine Christ! He experienced a life-giving birth and a death-killing death. Not only birth from the womb, but baptismal birth of his ministry and sacrificial death. And all the while the Spirit is confirming the truth, the reality of God’s presence at Jesus’ baptism and crucifixion, bringing those occasions alive for us. A triple testimony: the Spirit, the Baptism, the Crucifixion. And the three in perfect agreement.
For three be, that give witnessing in heaven, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost [For three be, that bear witness in heaven, the Father, the Word, or Son, and the Holy Ghost]; and these three be one.
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