Please note: the middle parts of verses 7-8 (not here quoted but in the KJV) are spurious. Those words were added by scribes. Today, scholars agree that those omitted words are not part of the Bible. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) accurately translates this scripture passage.
In 1 John 5, the Apostle John is trying to express and prove that Jesus is really the “Christ”. He is the son of God.
The Spirit, the water, and the blood are three things which testify to this fact. We can not rely on the testimonies of corrupt men to prove who Jesus is. So John chose three things that are from God to be a witness of Jesus’ true identity. In this verse, John is pointing out that all of them say the same thing, “…and these three agree.”
The order in which John listed these is chronological. At his baptism, Jesus received the Holy Spirit. The water is relevant during his ministry, and the blood came at the end of his life when Jesus sacrificed everything on the cross. Let’s look specifically at each one.
The Spirit: In this case, the spirit to which John is referring is the Holy Spirit that fell like a dove upon Jesus at his baptism (Matt 3:16-17). From that point on, Jesus used the power from the Holy Spirit to perform miracles and proclaim God’s message. The descending of the Holy Spirit at his baptism marked the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.
The Water: The water, in this case, does not refer to literal water. In scripture, water represents a cleaning agent, specifically one that can bring salvation by cleansing our sins. Consider the following verses for how Jesus’ words brought this living water to the world during his ministry:
Is 12:3 “…with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.”
John 4:9-14 “…Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst, but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
John 7:37-39 “…if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink…
John 15:3 “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.”
These scriptures show that the “water” is the words that Jesus spoke during his time here on earth.
The Blood: The blood here is for Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. There, he gave his life as a ransom for mankind, in order to pay for our sins. Hebrews 9:22 tells us that “without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins.”
1 John 1:7 supports this with “the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.”
The Apostle John chose the Spirit, the water and the blood as three iconic properties to prove, from a heavenly standpoint, that Jesus was the son of God.