Saturday, August 8, 2009

8-8; I John 5:6-9; Importance of and Testimony to Christ's cleansing

(Belin- washing clothes in Amazon- drinking from it later)
Devotional using scripture, quote from John Calvin and thoughts for the day each day- on the 500th anniversary of Calvin's birth.

8/8- I John 5:6-9

6 This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. 7 For there are three that testify: 8 the [c] Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. 9 We accept human testimony, but God's testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son.

Calvin abridged: Here John is saying that the substance of the law is found in Christ. “water and blood” refer to the Old Testament symbols. Water symbolizes the cleansing away of filth. By blood expiation is made and a pledge of reconciliation with God. Christ fulfills all of these symbols- by ultimately cleansing us of all of our sins (cf. Hebrews 9,10). The Spirit makes these things certain in our hearts- producing a firmness and stability within us. There are disagreements by both Latins and Greeks on the inclusion of verse 7. I (Calvin) am inclined to include them as the passage flows better with their inclusion. The meaning is that the Spirit testifies in three ways to Him, and so we should acquiesce to him. “These three are one” is not referring to God’s essence, but to their harmonious testimony about Christ. The Spirit testifies twice- he declares Jesus as the sole majesty of the deity, and the Spirit is an earnest pledge and seal- a confirmation in our hearts. “Not be water only” means that the salvation is not a half but a whole salvation. 5:9- “we receive the witness of others”- How ungrateful people are when they reject Christ who has been approved in such a way. Our own corruption alone prevents us to receive Christ, since he gives us full proof for believing in his power. The power of the cleansing of water and blood is not of human design, but of divine design. We must look to God, and his design- not ours- for the blotting out of sins.

Thoughts- Jesus is the fulfillment of the symbols of water and blood. Specifically- he is the fulfillment of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. He cleanses us, and claims us. The Father, Son, and Spirit testify to this cleansing- whether verse 7 is included in scripture or not, the truth contained in it is confirmed in other parts of scripture (Heb. 9,10). Blogthought- I am riding back from Peru today. Feel like a bucket of grease has been poured over my head! How I long to be cleansed. How I long for the people of Belin to have clean water= form which they can drink and be cleansed. Would that I longed to be cleansed in a more important way- from the inside.

Prayer: Help us to be clean. In you alone, O Lord is our ultimate cleansing. Help us to look to you for forgiveness and cleansing power.

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