Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 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. For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. 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. And this is the testimony: God has given 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 5:5-12
I finished off 2 peter and I am on to 1 John. This letter is thought to have been written by the author of the Gospel of John. Based on the language of this passage I would tend to agree. Blood and Water were important themes in the book of John and they are being echoed here.
I have been reading a really interesting book recently by Bill Bryson simply called The Body – a guide for occupants. He treats the body almost like a back country wilderness adventure, taking the reader into every nook and cranny of the human body and describing its wonderful workings. He makes the point that blood does much more than carry oxygen to our cells. It transports hormones and other vital chemicals, carries off waste, tracks down pathogens and kills pathogens, helps regulate our body temperature, and even helps us share emotions through blushing and becoming “flush” with anger.
Blood and water are vital to the functioning of our physical bodies. We can survive only minutes without our heart moving blood throughout our bodies and only a few days without water to quench our thirst. I think the point the author is trying to make is that the presence and participation of God, the Holy Spirit, and Jesus in our spiritual lives is equally vital for the proper functioning of our souls.
We all have an intuitive idea of what it means to be physically alive, but what does it mean to spiritually alive? That is one of the questions the author is trying to answer for the recipients of this letter. It sounds like they have lost sight of the reasons for their faith as the number of people who actually met Jesus grows fewer. They see earthly things and people going about their lives oblivious to the spiritual world that Jesus was the window between. They may not have articulated it this way but they are really asking the question that is at the beginning of this passage “Who is it that overcomes the world?”
The answer is given in the last part of the passage “And this is the testimony: God has given 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”. So to be spiritually alive we need God and His Son Jesus. Our spiritual health is determined by the degree to which we quench our thirst with living water, allow the blood of Christ to wash away our sins, and the Holy Spirit to fill or souls.
Prayer: God help us to tend to our spiritual health as diligently as we do our physical bodies.