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1 John 5:5-6
5 Who [tis] is [esti] he that overcometh [nikao] the world [kosmos], but [ei me] he that believeth [pisteuo] that [hoti] Jesus [Iesous] is [esti] the Son [huios] of God [theos]?
6 This [houtos] is [esti] he that came [erchomai] by [dia] water [hudor] and [kai] blood [haima], even Jesus [Iesous] Christ [Christos]; not [ou] by [en] water [hudor] only [monon], but [alla] by [en] water [hudor] and [kai] blood [haima]. And [kai] it is [esti] the Spirit [pneuma] that beareth witness [martureo], because [hoti] the Spirit [pneuma] is [esti] truth [aletheia]. KJV-Interlinear
5 And who is the one who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? 6 This is the one who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. NASB
Another of the more perplexing passages in the Bible. Most would think that this is a reference to the sacrifice and the shedding of blood on the Cross. But not so.
This is a reference to the several sacrifices offered by the Levitical Priesthood which refer to the entirety of the spiritual life.
33 'These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.' NASB
First, who can overcome the world? Believers in Jesus Christ only. No other person, no other faith, no other religion, no other belief on this earth in all of history will help the individual to overcome the world and the flaws and defects and limitations that the world has placed on mankind. Namely sin and death. Neither can be defeated by the world.
Sin is in the body from conception. The sin nature is a genetically passed on defect to the whole human race. 'In Adam all have sinned.' This is the primary reason for the lack of participation of Joseph in the virgin pregnancy of Mary. Jesus did not inherit the sin nature from the male line of humanity. He was born of the seed of the woman. He was born without the genetically created sin nature.
There is nothing that mankind can do to eliminate the sin nature from our physiology. We cannot detect it. We cannot even identify it. So how could man eliminate it from the genetics of our race?
Second, physical death is a part of our existence. Again, mankind cannot postpone death and we cannot eliminate it either. 'Oh,' but you say, 'What about our extended lives these days?' Well mankind had longer life spans even in the earliest generations of Adam and Eve. Some 900 years plus. And they had none of our medical science. So our 90 years is nothing to boast about. Just a century ago our life span was averaging only 40 years. So man has not made many advances in extending his life span into eternity. Man never will.
Only those who believe in Christ will gain eternal life. But not in this body. Our present bodies will have to be traded in, in order to enjoy eternal life. That will come at the resurrection.
Likewise, just living a clean life will not gain you eternal life. Thus the reference to the water and the blood. Like I mentioned early in this study today, the water and the blood is not a reference to the shedding of blood on the Cross. Not in total anyway.
John refers to each water, and blood, separately. Not like the piercing of Christ's side wherein blood and water (serum) came running out. That was an indication that Christ did not bleed to death. He was already dead when the soldier pierced His side.
So what is it all about then?
When Jesus approached John the Baptist, he was baptized in water. But there was also a reference that the Holy Spirit would descend upon Jesus in the unique baptism which is the true spiritual baptism for all who are saved. Water does nothing.
So again, what does it all mean?
Many folks try to live a life of pure ritual. That is to say, they want to live a life which they feel appeases God, but by their own 'good' efforts. This we call human good, or human effort. Being baptized (by water) only will not save you. Living a good life only will not save you.
Only those who believe in Christ, the one who went to the Cross and was sacrificed in our placed, will be qualified to receive the better baptism (of the Holy Spirit - which also occurs automatically when you believe in Christ), and in so doing they will be qualified for the spiritual life by means of the fellowship procedure. The topic of the book of John.
Do not forget the primary topic of John - fellowship.
So, who will overcome the world? Those who believe in Christ (the blood), and those who subscribe to the spiritual life (the water), through their chosen or adopted pattern of life as defined by the love concept (learning the principles of the Bible) which we have been studying.
Verses seven and eight tie this all together. But we'll save that for tomorrow.
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.