And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
Under the Law of Moses, testimony from only one person was not valid. In order for a charge to be established against a person, at least two witnesses had to testify (Deut 19:15; Matt 18:16). If the charge was murder, the penalty for the crime was death. With the evidence of only one witness, however, the death penalty was disallowed. In order for capital punishment to be meted out, at least two witnesses had to testify (Num 35:30).
Most of us have at least a rudimentary grasp on how legal proceedings work, whether from experience, from reading about it, or from television (though we may hate to admit it). We understand both the importance and the power of testimony. We also appreciate the principle of testimony outside the legal realm. We recognize the value of someone telling his or her story to others. There is great power in personal testimony.
In the verse at the top of this article, John (1 John 5:11) is in the midst of writing about a great testimony, and about the ones who stand to testify to it. Above he tells us that the testimony itself is the truth of what God has given us in his Son Jesus. What strikes me about this is that nothing of which John writes is based in human testimony. Although John will write elsewhere of things he has seen and experienced, of things to which he can testify, here it is not the testimony of John. Specifically, the witness in this case is God. God is the one who bears witness to these things (5:10). What is more, the Spirit of God—along with “the water and the blood”—also testifies to our redemption and salvation (5:7). Thus we have from the mouth of God his own personal testimony: we have been given eternal life, and that life is in his Son. We have no less a witness than Almighty God. –Ricky