“This is He who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not only by water, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who bears witness, because the Spirit is truth.”
And it is the Spirit who bears witness,
The Holy Spirit is an additional witness to the Messiahship of Christ beyond “water” and “blood.” John uses the word “know” thirty-nine times in 1 John. This is an emphasis of certainty. The verb and the noun for “witness” occur nine times in this immediate section of 1 John.
Jn 5: 31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 “There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 “You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 “Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 “He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light. 36 “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. 37 “And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 “But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 “But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.”
John uses the various forms of “witness” 10 times in this passage sometimes translated “testimony” or “testify.” The central ministry of the Holy Spirit is to “glorify” Christ (Jn 16:13-13). The Holy Spirit is the conclusive witness to truth.
because the Spirit is truth
John steps beyond the apostolic testimony of New Testament writers to the testimony of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit cannot give testimony to anything but the “truth.” He is the primary revealer of truth and He cannot lie. The Holy Spirit is the Author of the Bible (2 Pe 1:21). He must tell the truth by His very nature.
The mission of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ who is the truth.
The Holy Spirit bears witness with our human spirit in a number of ways. First, He bears witness that we belong to God and are children of God.
Ro 8: 16 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.”
Jesus said, “I am the truth” (Jn 14:6). He is truth itself. The Holy Spirit bears witness to that truth and the Holy Spirit is truth as well as Jesus is the truth. The Holy Spirit delights to communicate who and what the Lord Jesus is all about.
Jn. 14: 16 “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever— 17 “the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.”
Jn 15: 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”
Jn. 16: 14 “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
The mission of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ. Any ministry that glorifies the Holy Spirit above the Lord Jesus Christ is off target. The Holy Spirit always points to Jesus as the Savior and provider for our souls. If we want to please the Holy Spirit, we must point to Jesus as the center of life.
We glorify Christ when we emphasize what He did for us, not what we do for Him. Emphasizing what we do for Him is self-centeredness. Emphasizing what He did for us is Christ-centeredness.