I charge you before God, He making all things alive, and Christ Jesus, He witnessing the good confession to Pontius Pilate…
1 Timothy 6:13 (LITV)
With these words Paul exposes the folly of our trust in the understanding of the mere creeds and so-called “confessions” to which we have so often limited our faith. For, what great theological oration did Christ Jesus give before Pilate? Yet it says, “He witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate.” A witness is one who has lived that of which they speak; and the life of which they speak is their confession. Christ witnessed the good confession before Pilate; for Christ’s confession was the very Life of God by which He was obedient to His Father in all things.
The good confession of which He witnessed was that He was the Son of God in the flesh. Ours is likewise to be that the very same Life of the Son of God is being manifested in the life of our own flesh. Just as God and man were fully present in Christ before Pilate, so also our witness of Him shall be no witness at all until the substance of our real lives is being transfigured by the substance of God’s real Life working within us through the obedience of faith.
The standard of witness that John confesses is, “That which we have seen and heard, declare we unto you…” And this ought to be just as real for every child of God living today. In God’s appointed order, there is no discrepancy – though there can be a distinction – between His “Word” and Christ Himself. Christ is the Word of God. If then we be Christ’s, and His word dwells in us, how can we not be constrained and compelled by that Word? “Why do you call Me “Lord, Lord,” and not do the things I say?” We have taken the distinction between command and Commander as justification for the glaring discrepancy between them in our own lives. But the Spirit of God does not continually abide such hypocrisy.
The incarnation of Christ Jesus is in itself the ultimate rebuke for our rending of the Word spoken from the Word lived. For in Him the Word was born a man, true Divinity elevating true humanity in Christ to its proper place in absolute harmony with God; so that those likewise born again of His Spirit from above might become partakers in the same resurrection life today.
For how does John describe those who abide not in that Life?
By this we know the Spirit of God: every spirit which confesses that Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh is from God. And every spirit which does not confess that Jesus Christ IS come in the flesh is not from God; this is the antichrist which you heard is coming, and now is already in the world.
1 John 4:2-3
Notice how John says that it is a spirit which either confesses or denies the good confession. For he who confesses is he in whom righteousness is manifested in the flesh, and he is from God; but he who denies is he in whom righteousness is not manifested in the flesh, and that one is not from God. In the case of the first spirit, it witnesses truly of that which it has seen and heard: which is the Word of Life; and in them the Life is manifest. But in the case of the second spirit, they bear witness of no such Life in the flesh; and their words are empty, because the Life, which is the good confession, is not manifest in them. Such is the spirit of antichrist: it is contrary to Christ’s Life working in a man, though that man may speak Christ’s Name.
And again, regarding this second spirit which confesses not: it could be a demon, or it could be the spirit of a man, and there would be no difference. For the true confession that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is a life being evidently lived in the flesh “by the faith OF the Son of God.” (Gal 2:20). Does the faith of Jesus Christ Himself ever fail? That is the faith by which we are to be living. Religion limits itself to a form faith in Christ; but the righteousness of God is “through the faith OF Jesus Christ toward all and upon all those believing…” (Rom 3:22)
John, as he does throughout his first letter, is saying that those who have the Life of Christ ought to walk even as Christ walked: who, though being God, became a man, so that we, being men, might “become the righteousness of God in Him.”
Such is the good confession. To truly confess His name is to have His Life at work even in our life in the flesh, just as He was always about His Father in His own flesh.
If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater; because this is the witness of God which He has witnessed about His Son:
The one believing in the Son of God has the witness in himself.
The one not believing God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed in the witness which God has witnessed concerning His Son.
And this is the witness: that God gave us everlasting life, and this life is in His Son.
1 John 5:9-11 (LITV)
Indeed, I tell you truly: he that believes in Me, the works which I do, that one shall do also, and greater than these he will do, because I go to My Father.
John 14:12 (LITV)