What does faith have to do with eternal life?

by Mike Ratliff

24 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. John 5:24 (NKJV) 

A fascinating study is to take a close look at the reaction the 1st Century Jews had to Jesus’ claim to deity then compare it with that of the heretics who came later. These 1st Century Jews took Jesus’ words in John 5 about his relationship to the Father as claims of deity, that is, making himself equal with God (John 5:18). Heretics who were not from the time of our Lord and were not Jews of that period were the ones who came up with Arianism, Modalism, et cetera. Each of these types of attack on doctrine of the Holy Trinity are proofs that those doing this may have indeed heard the truth (Jesus’ Word), but they most certainly have not believed the Father who sent him. If so they would most certainly not attack that wonderful doctrine that is so hard for the unregenerate to accept let alone believe. What did Jesus say about those who hear his Word and believe him who sent him? These have been granted eternal life. 

Look at what Jesus says about that. Those who possess this eternal life do not come into judgment. This is huge. That means that their sins are forgiven. This is their justification. They have been transferred out of death into life. This is their regeneration. Paul called this the washing of regeneration (Titus 3:5). No regeneration, no eternal life, sorry. It must come first for it is with the living faith given to those he saves that we believe the gospel and are so justified by the Father (Ephesians 2:1-10).

25 Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. John 5:25-27 (NKJV) 

Our Lord Jesus Christ, God the Son, from eternity always had the right to grant life to those to whom he willed, but at his incarnation as a man, he laid that aside voluntarily to subject his will to the will of the Father. In this passage we have a glimpse of the “already/not yet” tension regarding the resurrection. All in Christ are already spiritually resurrected (Ephesians 2:1; Colossians 2:13), and yet a future physical resurrection still awaits them (1 Corinthians 15:35-54; Philippians 3:20,21).

What is this judgment in v27?

28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. John 5:28-29 (NKJV) 

This is very clear and so much for those who preach universalism. These are the words of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus saves those whom he wills, the Father draws them to the Son (John 6:44) and regenerates them so they are able to believe after hearing our Lord’s Word.

Do you still believe the Gospel is about redeeming your culture?

Soli Deo Gloria!