“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.”
that God has given of His Son
We cannot excuse rejection of Jesus as the Son of God on the basis of ignorance because God made Himself abundantly clear on that subject. Unbelief in Jesus as the Son of God is culpable because it rejects God’s testimony.
It is not possible to confuse the nature of God’s witness to Jesus Christ as the Son of God. God makes the witness possible. He asserts the validity of the Son.
We affirm God’s credibility by believing His testimony about Jesus Christ.
Belief in Jesus as the Son of God is the irreducible minimum in becoming a Christian. By accepting God’s testimony to the truth in Jesus, we affirm the credibility of the One who gave the testimony. Lack of trust in God’s Word constitutes Him a liar.
We may think we honor God when we say, “Well, I would like to believe, but somehow I don’t feel sure that I am a Christian. If only I could have a different feeling come over me, then I would know that I am a Christian.” But so long as we talk like that we make God a liar. God has told us something in His Word that He expects us to believe.
What does it imply if we do not believe Him? This unbelief deals with more than the testimony; it looks beyond the testimony to the subject of the testimony. Our disbelief is a failure to trust Him. There is a wide difference between believing a man and believing in a man. If we believe a man, we do no more than accept the fact that whatever statement he may be making at the moment is true. All that we are saying is that in a particular case we believe that he is telling the truth.
However, if we believe in a man, we accept the whole man and all that he stands for in complete confidence and trust. We are not only prepared to trust his spoken word but also to trust our lives to him. Believing in the Father’s testimony is not simply accepting what He says is true; it is a commitment to all that He says is true; it is to place ourselves in His hands for time and eternity.
When we put ourselves into God’s hands, the Holy Spirit within us testifies that we believe aright. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us the conviction of the ultimate worth and value of Jesus Christ. This trust assures us that we are right to make this act of commitment to Him. The man who refuses to do that is refusing the promptings of the Holy Spirit within his heart. He refuses to listen to God’s message.