Three of One Accord

This is the One who came through water and blood, Jesus Christ, not by water alone, but by water and blood. The Spirit is the One that testifies, and the Spirit is truth. So there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and the three are of one accord. If we accept human testimony, the testimony of God is surely greater. Now the testimony of God is this, that He has testified on behalf of His Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony within himself. Whoever does not believe God has made Him a liar by not believing the testimony God has given about His Son. And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son of God does not have life.  I John 5:6-12  


So there are three that testify, the Spirit, the water, and the blood, and the three are of one accord. 


Some differing faith groups have expressed uncertainty about the identity of the three Witnesses, but most accept the explanation offered by Tertullian in the second century:


“For He [Jesus] had ‘come by means of water and blood,’ as John has written; that He might be baptized by the water, glorified by the blood. These two baptisims He sent out from the wound in His pierced side in order that they who believed in His blood might be bathed with the water; they who had been bathed in the water might likewise drink the blood.”   On Baptisim XVI.


I offer this for us to ponder; these three Witnesses are still present in His Church, administering the grace that only comes From God.


As Jesus Himself was baptized and the Holy Spirit descended on Him as a dove; the Father confirms Jesus is indeed His Son. He confirms this upon us at our baptisim as well (John 3:5).

And as Jesus shed His blood on the cross and died for our redemption, the Spirit testifies to this as well ( John 19:30). For, as Jesus hung upon the cross, dead, the lance (spear) was thrust into His side and the blood and water immediately flowed out (John 19:34).


This leads us to our pondering point; the Sacraments of Baptisim (water) and the Holy Eucharist (blood) are still witnessed to By the Holy Spirit in His Church today. The life-giving Spirit empowers the life-giving water and the life-giving blood.


This can not be done on man’s accord, but only the accord of the three Witnesses through the power of God. An empty ritual could not and would not bring about eternal life, yet our faith brought to life by the Spirit Himself, testifies within us that Christ is who He says He is. And through the water and the blood we are incorporated into the Sacrament of His Body, the Church.


As Saint Ambrose put it, “As Eve was formed from the sleeping Adam’s side, so the Church was born from the pierced heart of Christ hanging dead on the cross” (CCC 766).


So this week let us listen to the testimony of the Spirit, the water and the blood; calling us to a life of faith, hope and love in relationship to Christ, His Church and our service to others in love (Gal.5:6).




2 Responses

  1. Praise God for His Sacraments and the grace imparted by His Spirit.

    Great post!

  2. Thank you, Amy. And yes His grace, mercy and love are things to be praised aren’t they? And His Sacraments are His tangible way of reminding and even revealing His love to and through us.

    Thanks for your encouragement!

    And I look forward to reading some new post from you, because they encourage me.


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