This is he who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ; not by the water only but by the water and the blood. And the Spirit is the one who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and these three agree. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:6–12
David Jackman writes:
In what sense did Jesus come by water? This cannot be a reference simply to His physical birth, as a human being, since that matter was not under dispute. Much more likely and pertinent is that the beginning of the ministry of Jesus, when His ‘coming’ began to be widely revealed, was marked by water in His baptism in the river Jordan. Not only was this the public beginning of His ministry, it was also a divine witness to His identity. The Spirit descended upon Him, like a dover, and the voice of God was heard affirming that this was His beloved Son with whom He was well pleased. It was a coming by water to take up the work which the Father had entrusted to Him.
Although they would have put a different construction upon the vent, seeing it as the moment at which the human Jesus received the divine Spirit as a temporary endowment, the false teachers would have had no difficulty in affirming that the Christ had come in, or by, water. What Joh is at pains to stress is that He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. He means that the One who came, whom Christians confess to be the Son of God, was as fully and thoroughly the eternal Son, the Christ, at His death as He was at His baptism or birth. The Jesus who died on the cross was not just a man from whom the divine Spirit had been withdrawn; He was nothing less than God. He came by blood. The purpose of His coming, explained at His baptism, was fulfilled only in His sacrificial death. The same Son of God became the atoning sacrifice for our sins and it is faith in Him alone and in His completed work that brings eternal life, love for God and for His children, and victory over the world.
MEMORY WORK – Shorter Catechism Q/A 6
Q. 6. How many persons are there in the godhead?
A. There are three persons in the Godhead; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one God, the same in substance, equal in power and glory.