The Record of God: 1 John 5:9,11-12

 •  5 min. read  •  grade level: 7
OH 5:9{OH 5:11-12{THERE are few scriptures which contain more comforting testimony for anxious, troubled souls than the above; they present the very truth which can meet the poor burdened heart, writing bitter things against itself. Nothing can be more distinct than this fact, that the evidence of the soul's acceptance is outside of us altogether; nothing we can either do or feel is any ground of security or rest for our souls; what an unspeakable mercy and comfort it should be so! For, just reflect a moment; this day all might be favorable and bright around me-happy frames, sweet experiences, and the like, simply produced by our circumstances; then to-morrow, on the contrary, all is as dark as yesterday it was bright; coldness and deadness within, and all that I prized so much and valued as evidence has vanished in a night. What a state of destitution and misery am I now plunged into, in a moment too!
Reader, this is not a supposed case, it is a real and a common one; is it yours? I have heard of some one who formed his judgment of the sun by looking at it in a pool of water; now and then was the water moved and agitated, every breath of wind more or less troubled it, consequently this man thought the sun moved as often as it appeared to stand still; but as soon as he learned no longer to judge of the sun by the water on which it shone, then he discovered his mistake, and that the sun was ever the same-steadfast and fixed. Oh! how blessed for poor weak things like us to know that our security is in what God has done, and our consciousness of security, or certainty of it, in what God has said; this cannot be too often insisted on, or pressed upon souls-this alone can meet the rage and fury of Satan-this alone can silence the troubles and thoughts of the heart.
The risen Savior knew well what perplexed the heart, troubles and thoughts; how does He meet them? By turning the mind out on Himself, from themselves.
Let us look then a little at the testimony I have spoken of, and found in the scriptures given above.
First, then, we have "God hath given to us eternal life:" what a sentence that is! It begins with the giver, “God hath given;" it closes with the gift, "Eternal life;" and this, bear in mind, God's own witness, record, testimony. What is eternal life? Nothing less than the very life of the One who died on the cross as substitute for His people, and rose again from the dead; in His death He closed their history as children, not only of wrath, but of Adam; and in resurrection He became the Head of a new race, and as such communicates His own life; "He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost." (John 20:2222And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: (John 20:22).) So now of all who believe in Jesus, who receive the record, testimony, witness of God, it is true they have passed from death to life, they have Eternal Life-they are not in the flesh. So then under the first head or testimony we have God's record of Himself, His Son, His gift; the blessed giver God Himself-the source and spring of it all; His Son the Lord Jesus, the One in whom it is all made good, for it is in Him all that God bestows is found; and then His gift, Eternal Life.
Now the second testimony or record of God is found in 1 John 5:1212He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. (1 John 5:12), “He that hath the Son hath life." It is similar to that beautiful verse, the word of Christ Himself, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that heareth my word, and believeth in him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but is passed from death unto life." (John 5:2424Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24).) Now observe in the first record which has been before us, God Himself, His Son, and His gift, were all presented; here in the second place, it is God's pledged word. God Himself affirms that he that believeth hath; God has given me testimony not only to the love that was in His heart towards me, but also to the fact that in believing in Christ I have present eternal life; faith hears Christ's word, believes the Father who sent His Son, possesses Christ, and has everlasting life. Do you not see how the eye of the soul is turned out on God, and on Christ, not in on self? and do you not see that it is the heart of God, the Son of God, the gift of God, and the word of God that are all the subject of testimony? Can you not trust such testimony rather than your feelings, frames, experiences, all of which are like the surface of yonder lake, agitated and swept by every wind, even in its gentlest whispers or its wildest fury? But there is something even beyond the comfort and satisfaction of my heart, and that is that I do not make God a liar; "he that believeth not God, hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son." We receive in this world everything for the most part on testimony; when in ordinary conversation people say they cannot believe such and such a thing, it is because the testimony is deficient in some way, generally because of the character of the persons bearing testimony; and on the contrary we find no difficulty in giving credit to testimony from one who is trustworthy and reliable. “If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater."
“That which can shake the cross,
May shake the peace it gave-
Which tells me Christ has never died,
Or never left the grave.
Till then my peace is sure,
It will not, cannot yield;
Jesus I know has died and lives:
On this firm rock I build.
I change, He changes not,
My Christ can never die;
His love, not mine, the resting-place,
His truth, not mine, the tie." W. T. T.