Note: This devotion taken from last Sunday's sermon on John 3:31-36.
He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true (John 3:33).
The verb here for “setting the seal” refers to a form of authentication meant to verify the genuineness of something. It is used, for example, to refer to the setting a seal on a letter, which often involved pressing a distinctive mark on wax. The NKJV renders this verse: “He who has received His testimony has certified that God is true.”
So, John says no one receives this testimony merely from natural or earthly witnesses, but the one who receives this testimony is given an overwhelming confirmation or authentication from above. He realizes that the witness to Jesus as the Messiah is true, no matter the objections lodged against it. One thinks of Paul’s words in Romans 3:4, “let God be true, but every man a liar.”
This verse tells us something about how revelation—especially for us in this age, inscripturated revelation—is received by God’s people. Just as they trust in Christ by faith, they also trust in his Word by faith. There are many apologists who spend much time defending the truthfulness of God’s word, often by the use of rational evidences. I am not saying there is no place for that. It can be useful in both evangelism and discipleship, if God is pleased to use it as an instrument. On the other hand, trust in the truthfulness of God’s Word is something that will be most readily accepted by those who are converted with no need for apologetics at all.
Think of an infant being fed by a bottle or nursing at his mother’s breast. Do you really need to stand there and convince the infant of the value of milk? “Now baby, let me reason with you. You really need to drink this milk. I know you may be unsure about it, but I can demonstrate to you that it is wholesome and it will help you grow and develop, and I’m sure that once you understand my presentation on milk you will just love it.” No, such cajoling is unnecessary. A born-again believer hungers for the Word of God and craves its truthfulness, just as an infant desires and is satisfied by milk. He has “set to his seal that God is true.”
Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle
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