What to watch for below: This post is dedicated to our Gracious Father in Heaven and to our earthly fathers as we celebrate Father’s Day today. Enjoy worshiping our Good Father with the songs below. May the video message encourage you to be a witness for God’s Son. Before you go, take a moment to pray with me during the closing prayer and if you want to dig deeper the sermon manuscript is available. God bless all our fathers!
Click the arrow below to hear the closing prayer
Sermon Manuscript: A Father’s Testimony
Text: 1 John 5:6-12
Scripture passages in this sermon are from the New International Version (NIV) Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
This morning we want to honour our fathers. If there is one thing that we were created to experience in this life, it is the love of a father. It seems the love from a mother is something that is more guaranteed inherently and instinctively, but every child needs the presence of a loving father to help them be ready to face the world.
This may or may not have been true for you, but for me my father was one of the greatest witnesses of my life. He was present to witness the first day of my life. He was there to see my first steps and save me from walking into danger. He witnessed and guided my first solo bicycling run without training wheels. He witnessed birthday after birthday. He was present at the most significant times of my life – my High School graduation, baptism, my lowest moments in illness, my wedding, my university graduation, witness my move out west, witnessing me hold my first child, my graduation from seminary and witness the places where I served the LORD over the years.
I am profoundly grateful for having a father who has been a faithful witness and encouragement in my life.
Was this true for you? It was true for Jesus.
In my series of sermons from the First Letter of John, today’s passage has an important message to fathers. It is this: God was a faithful support to His Son be the same for your children. Let’s explore this as we read 1 John 5:6-12, “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 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. 10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
S.D. Gilbert was quoted saying, “It may be hard on some fathers not to have a son, but it is so much harder on a boy not to have a father.” Source: King Me, Steve Farrar
Maybe you have noticed in this passage that there is a word that repeats itself a number of times. It is the word – “testimony.” This word comes from the original Greek word “marturia” which can also be translated to “witness.” In the Jewish religion according to Deuteronomy 19:15, “A matter must be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.”
It is in this passage that the apostle John wants to establish the truth that there was enough testimony to confirm the true identity of Jesus being the incarnate Son of God. He presents three witnesses. Let us hear from these witnesses.
Three Witnesses of Jesus as the Incarnate Son of God
1. The Water testifies of Jesus’s Ministry
John brings this forward in verses 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.” Commentators believe the water John is referring to refers to Jesus’s baptism.
Jesus’s ministry began at the Jordan River when He came forward to be baptized by John the Baptist. He did not come to be baptized for the washing or repentance of His sins for He was sinless. He came forward so that His Heavenly Father could bless and initiate His ministry with His Spirit’s power and presence. The apostle Matthew records it this way in His gospel Matthew 3:16,17, “As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Three important phrases every father needs to express to His children are found in this last verse: 1) This is my son or my child – this gives foundational identity and the importance of belonging; 2) whom I love – this gives a child support, acceptance and care; and finally 3) with him (her) I am well pleased – this gives a child confidence, assurance, blessing and proper initiation into living out your life. This is what Jesus needed from His Father in heaven to empower Him in His life and ministry.
Fathers, when was the last time you empowered your child with your presence, love and blessing? Can you say to your child, “I’m proud to be your father, I love you and I bless you!” These words will do wonders for your child’s well-being and future. Jesus needed it – how much more your child?
Here is a side note: Have you been baptized? Your baptism is a beautiful time to publicly profess your faith in Jesus, but it is also a time for your Heavenly Father to say the same words over your life, “This is my child, whom I love; with him or her I am well pleased.”
2. The Blood testifies of Jesus’s Death
The second witness that testified that Jesus is the Son of God is the blood. Again, from verse 6 we read, “He did not come by water only, but by water and blood.”
The apostle John emphasizes that Jesus is not only declared the Son of God at His baptism, but He is also declared the Son of God at His death on the cross. When Jesus blood was spilled at the cross it broke the curse of sin over us.
The death and suffering of Jesus is very important for John to state here because the false teachers of his day were promoting the idea that the Spirit that descended on Jesus at His baptism left Jesus before He suffered and died. They did not believe in a substitutionary death for mankind. John is reaffirming that Jesus was fully God incarnate at His death.
Jesus had to be the perfect substitute for us. God paid for our freedom by the blood of His Son. The apostle John wrote this in the previous chapter – 1 John 4:10, “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
The apostle Paul joins in this chorus of love from God the Father in Romans 6:32, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?”
How do we respond to this love? How do we respond to God sacrificing His Son for us? I love this quote from C.T. Studd, ““If Jesus Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for Him.” Fathers, how are you leading your children in living sacrificial lives for God?
3. God the Father testifies that His Son is Life
The water and the blood (Jesus’s baptism and death) are witnesses of Jesus being the Son of God, and the third witness is God the Father Himself. John wrote in verses 11 & 12, “And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
God is testifying to all mankind that Eternal Life is in His Son. If you accept Jesus as God’s Son, if you believe He is the Christ, you too will have this eternal life and God’s testimony of Jesus will be in you. John brings home this truth in verse 10, “Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony.” Jesus was revealed to be this Eternal Life when God raised Him from the dead on the third day.
Have you accepted this testimony from God about His Son? It is not enough that you accept my words about Jesus being the Son of God you need to say, “God I accept your testimony about Jesus that He is your Son and that He is eternal Life. I believe Him to be my Saviour and my LORD.”
Why is this important to accept God’s testimony about His Son? John says in verse 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.” Do you have God’s testimony about Jesus in your heart?
God was present in Jesus’ life as a loving Father. Not only did God empower Jesus at His baptism, He gave Jesus the strength to endure the cross, and finally He raised His Son back to life revealing that He is eternal life and that life is in His Son. Can you see the love of God the Father for His Son? Are you now a witness for Jesus Christ?
I once read a story about an 11-year-old boy who bundled up on a rainy, cold Sunday afternoon to pass out gospel tracts about salvation through Jesus. His father who was a pastor said, “Son, it is very cold outside, and it is pouring down rain. The surprised son replied, “But Dad, aren’t people still going to hell even though it is raining?” The son convinced his father to let him go out alone. After two hours of walking in the rain, he was soaking wet. With one final tract he approached the nearest house and rang the doorbell. He rang it again and again with no response. Finally, the door slowly opened, and a very sad-looking woman said, “What can I do for you son?” With a smile he said, “Ma’am, I just want to tell you that Jesus really loves you, and I want to give you my last Gospel tract that will tell you all about Jesus and His great love.” The following Sunday morning the pastor asked if anyone had a testimony to share. A woman stood up and said, “Last Sunday I no longer had any hope or will to live. So, I went to my attic and prepared to hang myself. As I stood on a chair with a rope tied around my neck, I was about to jump, but then I heard the doorbell ringing. I thought I would wait until it stopped, but it kept on ringing. Finally, I loosened the rope and went to answer the door. I could hardly believe my eyes! The most radiant, angelic boy I had ever seen stood there telling me that Jesus loved me. I accepted the tract he offered me and became a Christian.” (Lou Nicholes – Author and Missionary).
Fathers let us encourage our children to be witnesses for Jesus and do it by example. Happy Father’s Day! You are loved!