Were you surprised the government couldn’t run a website as well as Amazon does? Not me. The first time I filed my taxes online, I remember you had to click on a big button that said SUBMIT! Submit, indeed… But once I pushed the button, the screen went blank and nothing seemed to be happening. For a long, long time. Freaked me out, because I wasn’t sure if they got my return or not. I wondered if I should shut off the computer and try again or if that would ruin everything. There was no way for me to know because nobody at the IRS thought to program in a little scroll bar – you know that little green, line thingy that shows you the download progress when you order a new app or song? it lets you know everything is okay. Don’t panic; just wait. That scroll bar has probably done more for mental health than psychiatry has. It’s nice to have some real time feedback to let you know that everything is proceeding in the right way.
There is a “scroll bar” for Jesus. Think about it: How can you be sure, once you have put your faith in Jesus, that anything has changed? How can you know that by believing in Jesus you really do have eternal life? John said you can know in three ways: First, you can know because Jesus came all the way down to where you are – all the way down to stand in the waters of baptism (See “All the Way – Part 1″). Secondly, you can know because Jesus went all the way to the Cross – giving His life, spending His blood – which no one would do unless it was going to work (See “All the Way – Part 2” and “What’s Love (or Justice) Got to do with It?“).
But you can know in a third way, too. God gives us a scroll bar, too – something to let us know everything is okay – don’t panic. God gives us real time evidence that we have been connected to Him forever.
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. (1 John 5:6 )
The Spirit shows us day by day, in real time, that we are alive in Christ. He is like a scroll bar. Obviously, He is a lot more than just evidence that everything is working, but the fact that He testifies – continuously – is important. We don’t need to wonder if trusting Jesus is really effective. We don’t need to wonder if we have eternal life. The Spirit shows us.
Here’s the rest of what John said:
For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement. We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has 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. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. (1 John 5:7-13)
That’s the truth. It comes with a “scroll bar.”