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Believe in the Son and Enjoy Eternal Life

Believe in the Son and Enjoy Eternal Life

Excerpt
The “water and blood” refer to the terminal points in Jesus’ earthly ministry: his baptism (water)190 and his crucifixion (blood). This is the best interpretation and is followed by most scholars. Historically, Jesus “came” into his power by the “water” of his baptism and even more so by the “blood” of his cross. Unlike the previous two views, this explanation fits the historical context of John’s epistle. John writes this letter to counter the Gnostic tendencies of the false teachers. These false teachers, who at one time were part of the fellowship (2:19), were denying the humanity of Jesus, and so John emphasizes the reality of the Incarnation. John’s further qualification that Jesus came “not by water only, but by water and blood” is likely a direct renunciation of the false teaching (perhaps that of Cerinthus) that claimed that Jesus was born an ordinary human being but became God’s special agent when the heavenly Christ descended upon him at his baptism. The heavenly Christ abandoned him before his death and, consequently, it was only the earthly Jesus who died on the cross. In seeking to refute this teaching, John emphasizes that it was Jesus Christ who experienced both baptism and crucifixion. Marshall eloquently explains the importance of John’s teaching. More
Akin, Daniel L. 1, 2, 3 John. Vol. 38. Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001. Print. The New American Commentary.
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