From Death to Life

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In the Gospel of John, chapter 5, verse 24, the Lord Jesus declares:

John 5:24

(24a) “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life…” (ESV)

Anyone who acknowledges and obeys the Lord’s teaching—recognising that this teaching comes from God—will inherit these blessings. Any person who accepts Jesus’ teachings wholeheartedly, and who believes that the Father has sent Jesus, has eternal life. (John 3:16-18; 8:51; 11:26)

The Lord Jesus continues with these words of comfort and solemn assurance:

(24b) “…He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.”

In addition, that person will never be condemned. He has passed over permanently from a state of spiritual death to a state of spiritual life. The miseries of sin—including spiritual death and alienation from God—will afflict him no more. By the grace of God, he has entered upon a state of spiritual life and blessing through faith in the Son of God and in his Father in heaven. Now, this believer is a child of God, and an heir of God’s eternal kingdom. Furthermore, everyone who thus believes is delivered also from eternal death. (Rom. 8:1,16-17, 33-34; 1 John 3:14)

John 5:25

“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)

Again, the Lord Jesus solemnly declared to the people this fact: A time is coming when the dead would respond to the Son’s voice of command. Those who are dead in trespasses and sins would hear the Word of the Lord speaking expressly to them. They would hear his teachings being proclaimed in the power of the Holy Spirit, and—through the work of the Holy Spirit—they would know that the truths of these teachings applied to them. (Cf. John 16:7-11; Acts 4:31; Eph. 2:1,4-5)

By the Holy Spirit, these spiritually dead souls would be made alive. As the Lord Jesus’ voice penetrates their souls through his Word and by his Spirit, their souls would be created anew. They would be born again to new and eternal life. They would be drawn by the Holy Spirit to call upon the name of the Lord for salvation.

By the grace and mercy of God, the Holy Spirit in regeneration would make them able and willing to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. The same Holy Spirit who brought them to Christ would remain with them forever, indwelling, sealing and sanctifying them to God for all eternity. (Luke 15:24,32; Col. 2:13)

John 5:26

“For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.” (ESV)

The Father in heaven is uncreated and eternal. No one ever imparted life to the Father in order to bring him into existence. The Father has had no beginning. He is the Self-Existent One and the Self-Sustaining One—without beginning of days or end of life. He gives life to every living thing. (Exodus 3:14; Ps. 90:2; Acts 17:25)

(26) “For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself.” (ESV)

Just as the Father is eternally self-existent, so likewise is the Son. The Son, too, is uncreated and eternal. In respect of his divine nature, no one ever imparted life to the Son in order to bring him into existence. He has had no beginning. Like the Father, his life is eternally self-existent and self-sustaining. He is the eternal Logos. Through the Son, the Father imparts life to every living creature. (John 1:1-4)

Since the Son has this divine life within himself, then it follows that he has the power and authority to impart life to others. He—and he alone—has the ability to impart abundant and eternal life to the spiritually dead, and to deliver them from their state of spiritual death. (1 Cor. 15:45)

This life—this eternal life—is the life that the Son grants to everyone whom the Spirit convinces, convicts and converts to Christ. Everyone who, in repentance and faith, calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved. They will receive this gift of life eternal. Repentance and faith are gifts of God’s unmerited, sovereign grace. (John 7:37-39)

[Excerpt from Expository Notes: Gospel of John (chapter 5 verses 24-26). To read or download the full version of these Notes, click on the NT Commentaries menu tab above.]



  1. Have you ever thought about eternal life? Have you realized that you can go to Heaven and not to Hell? Have you realized that you can have a perfect and wonderful life in Heaven with God, without sorrow or pain, and that all of this can be received as a gift? If you have not given this much thought, it is worth your while to think about it now in the light of the next verses. They show the reality of this new life and the way you can receive it. They describe how all things will be made new and we can freely drink from the fountain of the water of life. The only condition is that we want it and are thirsty:

    – (Rev 21:3-6) And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
    4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
    5 And he that sat on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said to me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
    6 And he said to me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to him that is thirsty of the fountain of the water of life freely.

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