John 5:24 MEANING

John 5:24
(24) Verily, verily, I say unto you.--(Comp. John 5:19; John 5:25, and Note on John 1:51.) For "shall not come into condemnation," read doth not come into judgment. (Comp. Note on John 3:18.)

The repeated "verily" introduces, as elsewhere, one of the deeper spiritual truths which He came to teach. This truth explains the "whom He willeth" of John 5:21 to have no limit but that of human receptivity. It again brings out the unity of Father and Son. The Son's word is the revelation of the Father. He that hears this word believes not on Him only, but on Him that sent Him (comp. John 12:44). It asserts that eternal life is not of the future only, but is already in germ possessed by the man who is thus brought into communion with the source of life. (Comp. 1 John 1:2.) This man comes not into judgment. There can be for him no separation from God, no condemnation. He has already passed from the state of death to that of life. What remains for him is the development of life.

Believeth on him that sent me.--Better, believeth Him that sent Me.

Verse 24. - In this verse the discourse turns from the relations between the Father and the Son, to deal with the relations of the living Christ (the "I," who is speaking throughout) with men. In vers. 21-23, indeed Vers. 19-23, the Lord had been speaking prominently of the ideal sonship, of "the Son" on the Divine side of his consciousness. The use of the first person, which is here resumed, calls more express attention to the consciousness of his human manifestation, which again reaches its climax in ver. 27. Verily, verily, I say unto you - I, whose voice you now hear, whom you are misunderstanding, rejecting, and seeking to slay. I say with most solemn emphasis - He that heareth my word - this term, ἀκούειν, suggests moral as well as physical hearing, and means whosoever allows my thought to penetrate his nature, hears and understands, hears and acts accordingly (cf. Matthew 11:1 πιστεύειν 5; 13:9, 18; Revelation 2:7, 17; Revelation 3:22) - and further believeth him that sent me; believeth i.e. that he has borne and is continually bearing true witness concerning me. There is a different meaning conveyed by πιστεύειν, with the simple dative, and πιστεύειν εἰς τινα, or ἐπὶ τινι, or ἐπὶ τινα, and again ἐν τινι; these prepositions convey a gradually deepening sense of intercommnnion and dependence; the simple accusative is found in 1 Corinthians 9:17; Ellicott on 1 Timothy 1:16). To believe on a person, or in one, conveys a different idea from believing that person with regard to any special assertion he may make. Here the belief of God has emphatic reference to the testimony the Father is bearing to the claims of Jesus. Such a hearer, such a believer, hath eternal life; even here he has entered into the "eternal now;" on earth he is in possession of the blessed consummation. Such belief in words authenticated by the Father's commission is eternal life (cf. John 17:3). It lifts a man out of the reach of corruption and condemnation, it ushers him into eternity, it is an eternal blessedness in itself; and he cometh not to judgment, but has passed from the death, into the life. He is already translated from the death state to the renewed, quickened state. The decision and discrimination between him and the world have taken place. The judgment is over, the books are closed, the condemnation is no longer possible. He will not perish, he has eternal life. "The believer is tree from the judgment which executes itself in the exclusion inflicted on the unbeliever, by the revelation of Jesus as the Light, because he is already in possession of the saving blessing" (Luthardt). Judgment, being completed, does not require repetition" (Godet). "When that confidence in Christ has illumined the heart wherein we recognize that we have been verily accepted, listened to, ruled, and defended by God, peace follows, and high joyfulness, which is the realization of eternal life, and which covers the sins that erewhile had clung to our weakness" (Melancthon). In this life of faith "we taste the powers of the world to come," "our citizenship is in heaven." "This eternal life is a veritable resurrection of the dead" (Augustine).

5:24-29 Our Lord declared his authority and character, as the Messiah. The time was come when the dead should hear his voice, as the Son of God, and live. Our Lord first refers to his raising those who were dead in sin, to newness of life, by the power of the Spirit, and then to his raising the dead in their graves. The office of Judge of all men, can only be exercised by one who has all knowledge, and almighty power. May we believe His testimony; thus our faith and hope will be in God, and we shall not come into condemnation. And may His voice reach the hearts of those dead in sin; that they may do works meet for repentance, and prepare for the solemn day.Verily verily, I say unto you,.... Who am the Amen, the true and faithful witness:

he that heareth my word; by which is meant the Gospel, and is so called, both because it is spoken by Christ, and first began to be spoken by him; and because he is spoken of in it; his person, office, and work, peace, pardon, righteousness, life, and salvation by him, being the sum and substance of it: and by "hearing" it is meant, not a bare external hearing it; for so it may be heard, and not understood; and it may be understood in a notional and speculative way, and yet the consequences hereafter mentioned may not follow: but an internal hearing it is here designed, so as to understand it spiritually, or to have an experimental knowledge of it; so as to approve of it, love, and like it; to distinguish it from that which is not his doctrine, and to feel the power of it on the heart, and yield the obedience of faith unto it: for faith in Christ himself, the sum and substance of the word of the Gospel, is hereby expressed; to which is joined faith in God his Father, they being equally the object of it; and which is introduced as a further proof of the equality in nature which is between them; see John 14:1;

and believeth on him that sent me; he does not say that believes on me, which might have been expected from him; but that believes on him that sent me, that is, on the Father; for as he that rejects Christ, and receives not his words, rejects and receives not him that sent him; so he that hears Christ's words, and receives him, and believes in him, receives and believes in him that sent him; and the same effects and consequences follow upon the one as on the other, upon hearing the word of Christ, as upon believing on the Father of Christ; and which is no inconsiderable proof of their perfect equality: for such a person that hears the one, and believes on the other,

hath everlasting life; not only in the purpose of God, and in the covenant of his grace, and in the hands of Christ, and in faith and hope; but he has a right unto it, and a claim of it, according to the declaration of the Gospel; and besides, has the principle of it in himself, the grace of God, which springs up into, is the beginning of, and issues in eternal life; he has also a meetness for it, and has the pledge and earnest of it, the Spirit of God, and shall certainly enjoy it:

and shall not come into condemnation; neither for original sin, though judgment has passed upon all men unto condemnation for it; nor for actual sins and transgressions: for though everyone deserves condemnation, yet were there as many sentences of condemnation issued out as sins committed, not one of them could be executed on such who are in Christ Jesus, as he that believes in him is openly and manifestatively in him: the reason is, because the death of Christ is a security against all condemnation; and whoever believes in him shall not be condemned, but saved; and though he may come into judgment, yet not into condemnation: he shall stand in judgment, and be acquitted by the righteousness of Christ, which he, by faith, receives as his justifying righteousness.

But is passed from death unto life; both from a moral death to a spiritual life, being quickened, who before was dead in trespasses and sins; and from under a sentence of condemnation, and eternal death, which as a descendant of Adam, and according to the tenor of the law of works, he was subject to, to an open state of justification, according to the tenor of the covenant of grace; the righteousness of Christ being revealed to him, and received by faith, and the sentence of justification passed upon his conscience by the Spirit; so that he who before, in his own apprehension, was a dead man in a law sense, is now alive to God, and secure from the second death, and being hurt by it.

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