33 He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.
We have an abrupt change in this verse from those who rejected Christ’s testimony (v. 32) to those who embraced His message. Not everyone rejected the testimony of Christ when He came to earth; some embraced Jesus as their God and Savior.
Note the argument from verse 32 to 35:
The Son uttered what He saw and heard in the eternal state, v. 32
His testimony was in harmony with the Father’s testimony about Him, v. 33
The only begotten Son spoke God’s words accurately, v. 34
The Father put “all things” under the Son’s sovereign control, v. 35
33 He who [the believer] has received [welcomed] His testimony
Some people during the life of Christ accepted His testimony about Himself. These people believed in eternal life. The word “received” means welcomed. There are those who have positive volition toward Christ. These people keep what they receive as a possession. They associate with Him.
The word “His” is emphatic. To believe in the Messiah is to believe in God, because the Messiah is God’s interpreter of what is true (Jn 1:18).
has certified [sealed] that God is true.
The person who “received His testimony” attested to the fact that God is truthful (3:21). Those who received Jesus’ testimony certified or sealed His testimony. It ratified the complete authenticity and truthfulness of what God said.
The word “certified” means to seal. A seal certifies what is correct. It authenticates something to be true (Jn 6:27). Certification is from a practice of signing important documents by placing a distinctive mark on a document by a signet ring pressed into warm wax. The seal was used to indicate more than ownership; it also authenticated the content as valid. This is the personal guarantee of the believer that Christ’s message is true. It is a seal that God is behind Jesus’ message. It is to make His testimony as our own as a permanent and efficacious possession. It is to acknowledge God’s claim on us.
The believer affirms the truthfulness of God, because the Son bears witness to what God has given him to say. To believe Jesus is to believe that God is truthful in His proclamations. People who accept Christ’s testimony certify that God is true. They give veracity to what He says. The one who certifies accepts the witness of Jesus that what He attests is the message of God.
Certification of Christ’s veracity by an individual is necessary for that person to possess eternal life.
Those who reject God’s testimony of Himself assert that He is a liar. On the other hand, there are those who sign off on the veracity of Jesus’ testimony about eternity. Whoever accepts the truth in Christ confirms that God is true and that He does not mislead men about His promises.
Acceptance of Christ’s words certifies them as true. The testimony of Christ acknowledges that God is true. The testimony of Jesus is the testimony of God. We cannot make too much of Jesus and what He has to say.