I hope you have had an amazing week. It has been a busy, busy week. I think that Spring is that season of the year where many begin to “wake up” from the hibernation of the cold winter. We begin to perform our “To Do” list that we have been thinking about during the winter such as Spring Cleaning and Gardening. That is what has been in my noggin for the winter. Daydreaming about the warm weather and the sun. I have plants. And I have dirt. I just need the motivation to get it done. So instead of doing that, I am going to study this passage and chat with you all about it.
In this set of verses, there are two “Verily, Verily” statements (KJV). In the ESV, the verbage is “truly, truly”. These “Verily” statements as said by Jesus and recorded by John are powerful and should not be skipped over when “rightfully dividing and skillfully using the Word of God” (2 Timothy 2:15). When studying the Bible, we are trying to understand what the writer has said. We also need to take into account the surrounding text to gain an accurate understanding of what Jesus is saying, who He is communicating with, and what Scripture from the Old Testament that He is referring to since most of what He communicates points back to God’s original instructions.
These “Verily” statements are as follows:
24 "Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. 25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.(ESV)"
These statements pack a powerful punch to Satan and his objectives. Satan and sin lead us to destruction and death. However, God leads us to righteousness and eternal life. This passage is not a warning but a threat to the evil plans of Satan. It is a war cry of sorts. Jesus is saying, “People of God, get ready. The time is coming when you must choose life or death. And the time is now.”
We are empowered by the Spirit of the Living Christ that raised Him from the dead and is at work in those that believe Him. Not only does the Spirit empower us, but His presence ensures life eternally. “We don’t stand under judgment for we have passed from death to life, and the Spirit is the life within us and the assurance that we are joined to the Creator of the Universe and the Son of God who was raised from the dead. The risen Christ is alive within us,” Vika Tu’anaki writes in a note on this verse along with Romans 8:10. “But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.” Hallelujah!
This “life” is what we are striving to continue to have. Sin brings “death”, which is eternal separation from God. God is the Creator of everything good and right. If we separate ourselves from the Creator of everything good and right, we are done. We are dead. And that is what is meant by those that are dead coming to life. So when you see spiritual death in the Bible, just remember that spiritually it means “separated from God”. Naturally, there is death in the Bible physically. However, we are not to fear one that can harm or even kill the physical body. We are to fear the One who can destroy the soul (Matthew 10:28). It is the soul that lives on after the physical body has finished its purpose.
Jesus came to make a spiritual pathway back to the Father – back to being in the presence of the Creator of everything good and right. Jesus caused us to be able to have right relationship with the Father. We have an example to live by and an eye-witness testimony of the Kingdom of Heaven. Those that believe Him are already living eternally. Those that don’t believe Him are spiritually dead, and once their body finishes its purpose, that’s it. It is finished. While still living as “body, mind, and spirit” we must choose if we are going to follow God or not. And there is only One God, and that is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the Father of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; the Alpha and Omega; the Beginning and the End; the Creator of the universe; the Everlasting; the Eternal; the Ancient One; etc.
So in these “verily” statements, John is bringing to remembrance Jesus’ words teaching on being in right standing with the Father. The time to do so is now. In the Amplified version, these verses are rendered:
24 "I assure you and most solemnly say to you, the person who hears My word [the one who heeds My message], and believes and trusts in Him Who sent Me, has (possesses now) eternal life [that is, eternal life actually begins - the believer is transformed], and does not come into judgment and condemnation, but has passed [over] from death into life. 25 I assure you and most solemnly say to you, a time is coming and is [here] now, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear it will live."
Do you see that eternal life begins when we believe the message that Jesus has brought. The message that Jesus lives and reigns forever – the Living Word of God. It is important to make that decision now, while we still can make that decision. And the only reason that this post is so heavy with this message is that these verses have a sense of urgency in them. It is important to make this decision to follow or not follow now.
If you made the decision to follow already, then the urgency falls on telling others to make the decision now. This is not for our own gain. We don’t gain any prizes here for telling people about Jesus. Telling others is for the good of those others. If they don’t make the decision to follow Him or if they make the decision not to follow Him, then they will be eternally separated from all that is good and right. And I would not wish that on anyone, including the person(s) that hurt me the worst. I am just trying to match the same urgency as these verses.
I hope you all have a great week. I will continue to work on these posts for every Monday. So stay tuned for the next post.
Gotta go fill up my cup…..