John chapter five brings forth a reality of Christian living to the saint of God. That reality is that we shall suffer persecution when we expose men's sins and stand for truth. Jesus was "persecuted" because he spoke words of truth and performed actions of law (John 5:16-18). Christians will be persecuted in this life because we are not part of the world (John 15:19). The apostle Paul said that this is the lot of every Christian that lives Godly in Christ Jesus (Il Tim. 3:12). The fact is, the Christian is "appointed" to this persecution (l Thess. 3:3). The Jews who sought to persecute Jesus in John five would not go unpunished just as any other who would persecute the people of God (Il Thess. 1:6-10).
Jesus gives His detractors a 'wake-up call' when exposing their lack of faith. He challenges the Jews to search out the real source of their faith. Jesus said,
"Think not that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, [even] Moses, on whom ye have set your hope. For if ye believed Moses, ye would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (5:45-47). Here is a lesson about what real sincerity and honesty is. The word "accuse" (kategoreo) - "to state or bring as a charge against a person, accuse him of it" (LS 422). Moses brought the charge of disbelief upon the Jews because of their actions and words (not their intentions and conscience). Note that Jesus accuses the Jews of not believing the writings of Moses though they laid claims to strictly adhering to the Mosaic Law (cf. John 5:45; 9:28; Acts 15:21). Clearly the one who sincerely believes is the one who is truly abiding in the word of God!
Many have deluded themselves into thinking that they are true believers and that they preach truth; however, their actions and words betray them. Their words and actions testify against them. Though they truly believe that they are doing and speaking words of truth, in reality they are practicing and preaching error. No amount of "sincerity" on their part will change the fact that they are in error! The Jews had "set their hope" in Moses, yet because they did not accept his sayings regarding Jesus they were identified as unbelievers.
Many of our denominational friends and even some brethren will unashamedly tell us that they believe that Jesus is the Christ. They will tell us that they believe in heaven and hell. They tell us that they understand that there is a right and wrong way of living. They know the consequences of sin. Note; however, from the Lord's statements to the Jews in John five, that merely saying that one accepts the teachings of another does not make that person an accepted disciple.
The Jews laid claims to believing in Moses and his teachings, yet Jesus all but calls them liars. Moses has "accused" the Jews of disbelief because they did not accept the fact that Jesus is the Messiah. Moses wrote about Jesus and so the Jews should have been able to recognize and believe in Him (Deuteronomy 18:15-19; Acts 3:22). Therefore, by their rejection of the One that Moses wrote of they were actually rejecting Moses.
Let us consider the fact that Jesus has brought forth the word of our salvation through the apostles and prophets by means of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-15; Eph. 3:3-6). Due to the gospel message, many proclaim "belief' in Jesus. Though this "belief' is spoken, their actions and words betray them as did the Jews. Jesus told the Jews of John five, "ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor seen his form. And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he sent, him ye believe nod' (John 5:37-38). Clearly, belief is identified as "abiding" in truth. The one who "abides" in the word of God is the one who "believes" God (see also 1 John 5:1 compared to 1 John 2:29; 4:7; 5:18). He who abides not in the doctrine of Christ surely does not truly believe in Jesus (Il John 9). Though my conscience may be clear and I truly proclaim to have the 'love of Jesus burning in my heart,' I do not have true faith in Jesus if my words and actions betray truth. Pointedly stated, my conscience and inner feelings do not determine truth. Does Jesus "accuse" you dear reader of unbelief?