Daily Reading: John 5:24-30:
“Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life. Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. “Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out—those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned. By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me.”
“Has crossed over from death to life” yet we still die. Since Jesus doesn’t lie, how do we reconcile his words of life with our bodies of death? Some explain it by saying your spirit is saved but your body is not yet saved. I don’t believe in partial salvations. When you were saved, you were made into a new person and the old has gone (2 Corinthians 5:17). The gift of salvation doesn’t come to us on the installment plan. Paul said, “The new has come.” Whatever salvation is, it has arrived. You are either saved or you need to be. You are either in the kingdom or out of it. You are either one with the Lord or separated from him. There is no gray area here. So, if salvation doesn’t come in installments, and if we have already received every spiritual blessing in Christ (Ephesians 1:3), why do we still die?
Think about what happened when you were born again. You repented and believed the good news with help from the Holy Spirit, You came to see Jesus as he really is and you changed your unbelieving mind (that is what repentance is). One moment you were in the dark; the next you were in His wonderful light. One moment you were alienated from the Source of Life; the next your spirit became fused with His. This was a radical change as Jesus said. You crossed over. You became a new person. You changed. As the Israelites crossed over the River Jordan and enter the Promised Land the first place the landed was Gilgal means the places of rolling away of your shame (2 Kings 4:38). You crossed over from death to life all your shame all your guilt and sin removed. You became a new you.
But your body did not change. Here’s the point: You are not your body. Your body is an earthsuit which you wear for a time but which wears out and will eventually need replacing.
Your physical body is a tent. It is a temporary habitation useful for this brief camping trip called earthly life. However, it is not your permanent home. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality (1 Corinthians 15:52-53).
Thanks to Adam’s regrettable choice, nearly everything in this world operates under the law of sin and death (Romans 5:12). That includes your body but it does not include you (Romans 8:2). Remember, you are not your body and, like Christ, you are not of this world (John 8:23, Philippians 3:20).
Jesus Raises All the Dead (John 5:25,28-29). So who will be raised by Jesus? Verse 28: “All who are in the tombs.” And who does that include? Verse 29: Those who are raised to life and those who are raised to judgment. You will rise from your grave just as surely and just as bodily and just as obediently as Lazarus did. Jesus was showing in that hour what the last hour would be like. And He was revealing more of his glory—the glory of his sovereign voice over death.
For as the Father has (zōē) of the absolute fullness of life, both essential and ethical, which belongs to God, and through him both to the hypostatic “logos” and to Christ in whom the “logos” put on human nature. This means that God has no needs ever. Complete and sufficient in Himself. Because God is self-sufficient, we can go to him to satisfy all our needs. We never have to worry about “drying up” his never-ending well of goodness, peace, mercy and grace.
Doing good (John 5:29), as Jesus defines it, is hearing and believing Jesus (John5:24). Nothing more, nothing less. “That can’t be it. It’s too simple. There must be some work that God requires from me.” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29).
Want to impress God? Then be impressed with Jesus. Want to do something good with your life? Then drop your cheap sacrifice and marvel at Jesus. Being persuaded that Jesus is who he says he is, and living from that persuasion, is the most productive thing you can do with your life.
Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out – those who have done what is good will rise to live, and those who have done what is evil will rise to be condemned (John 5:28-29). To do evil in a religious sense is to break the rules, but to do evil in a Biblical sense is to harm yourself by “thrusting away the word of God” (Jesus) (Acts 13:46), “suppressing the truth” (ditto) (Romans 1:18), and “trampling the Son of God underfoot” (Hebrews 10:29).