We should remind ourselves that John was a Jew and thought like a Jew and he would assume that his readers would know of the Law's definition of what constituted an adequate witness. The fifth book of the Torah, Deuteronomy- 19 v 15- states that a charge against someone could only be sustained by two or three witnesses. In other words, a triple human witness is enough to establish any fact. John's point here is that surely the witness of the Spirit, the water and the blood- a triple divine witness-must be regarded as convincing. One of the central pillars around which John built his Gospel was the idea of witness: John the Baptist, in the opening chapter; Jesus' deeds; the Holy Spirit- 15 v 26; a whole range of people who would testify to the deeds they saw or the words they heard. I think that John was attentive in building the cause of Jesus Christ because he recognised that it wasn't just trust in the spoken word that is required, it is the necessity to commit ourselves entirely into His hands, dependent on His Truth for our eternal salvation. Verse thirteen is where this first letter of John ends, all that lies after it is postscript. John gives the reader his reasons for writing this missive: ''That you might know that you have eternal life''. What greater thing is there! And this is not life as we know it here, but going on eternally-to some that would be hell-but eternal life is nothing other than the LIFE OF GOD. What we have been promised then is that, here and now, there can be given to each one of us a share in the life of God! What does that mean? Serenity, because in God there is peace; the defeat of frustration, because in God there is power; the defeat of sin, because in God there is holiness (just think of that, a life free of temptation and the frustration of falling to the same old sins!); the end of bitterness, because in God there is love; and the defeat of death-no more funerals-because God is life. Oh, what hope and what joy fills our heart!
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