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When Jesus said "I am the resurrection and the life" what did he mean?

Discussion in 'General Theology' started by Neostarwcc, Sep 16, 2017.

  1. Neostarwcc

    Neostarwcc Eternal life is a free gift. Amen. Supporter

    United States
    Jesus says in John 25-26: "I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?"

    What exactly did he mean by "I am the resurrection and the life?" and what did he mean by "we will never see death"? I'm confused. Don't we all die? Both believers and unbelievers? And is Jesus saying that unbelievers will die while we as believers won't? But, we all die!

    Jesus also says in Matthew 9:24 "Go away. The girl is not dead but asleep." does this mean that when we die we are just asleep in the ground awaiting the resurrection to life or the lake of fire?
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  2. Acts2:38

    Acts2:38 Well-Known Member

    United States

    John 11:25-26

    * In a nutshell, if you trust, believe, obey Jesus, you will receive eternal life. Many people think that if you just believe only you are saved. They think it is believe as the English word "adjective" believe. This is not so. You can't just sit on the couch saying I believe and not do Jesus's commands and think your saved. Believe in John 11:25-26 is used as a verb "pisteuō". An action word. If you believe/obey Jesus's commands (John 14:15 and John 15:14) faithfully, you will be saved since it is He that is the truth and the way (John 14:6).

    Matthew 9:24

    * Jesus did many signs and wonders. The disciples were also given the ability to do signs and wonders. This is because they needed to show, confirm, that Jesus is who He says He is, and to give testimony. Matt 9:24 merely was part of this when you take this entire chapter into view.
  3. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

    United States
    Hi Battlestar, all of us die physically, of course, but the saints will not experience death "eternally", the second death in the Lake of Fire (which is eternal separation from God), like the reprobate will.

    I cannot say this as well as Dr. Carson does, so here is part of his commentary on these two verses in answer to your question (bold and underlined emphasis is my own):

    On I am (egō eimi) with a predicate, cf. notes on 6:35. Jesus has repeatedly mentioned resurrection on the last day (John 5:21, 25–29; 6:39–40). In this he has been in line with mainstream Judaism. But these references have also insisted that he alone, under the express sanction of the Father, would raise the dead on the last day. The same truth is now repeated in the pithy claim, I am the resurrection and the life. Jesus’ concern is to divert Martha’s focus from an abstract belief in what takes place on the last day, to a personalized belief in him who alone can provide it. Just as he not only gives the bread from heaven (6:27) but is himself the bread of life (6:35), so also he not only raises the dead on the last day (5:21, 25ff.) but is himself the resurrection and the life. There is neither resurrection nor eternal life outside of him.

    Assuming the firmness of the text, the question is whether (1) resurrection and life refer to the same thing, making the mention of life a mere pleonasm, a preacher’s way of reinforcing a point, or, better (with Schnackenburg, 2. 331), the word life adding little new meaning but nevertheless elucidating what is meant by resurrection; or (2) resurrection and life refer to two complementary things.

    The second option is more credible (cf. Dodd, IFG, pp. 364–366), and it appears that the two components, ‘I am the resurrection’ and ‘I am the life’, are successively elucidated in the two ensuing clauses. The plain reference of resurrection is to the final resurrection of believers at the last day, through Christ whose power effects it. This part of Jesus’ claim is elucidated by the next clause: the one who believes in Jesus will ‘come to life’ (NEB; this is the obvious meaning of the verb in 5:25 and elsewhere), even though he dies. These words ensure that it is the final resurrection that is in view. The elucidation of I am … the life appears in the clause after that: whoever lives and believes in me will never die. The verb lives cannot simply mean is alive, as the triteness would be unbearable; obviously only those who are alive can believe! We have repeatedly noticed that the background for these verses is 5:21ff., and there the notion of life is invariably the life of God, saving life, eternal life, the life of the kingdom. So also here: we might paraphrase, ‘whoever has eternal life and believes in me will never die’. The two descriptions ‘has eternal life’ and ‘believes in me’ are not tautologous. The first stresses the internal change that must come about, wrought by the power of God (viz. he lives, he has eternal life); the second underlines what stance the individual must adopt (viz. he believes). In Greek they are lumped together (pas ho zōn kai pisteuōn), suggesting that both descriptions refer to one individual. This clause, then, is the elucidation of the truth that Jesus is the life.

    Doubtless it is theoretically possible to see this life as exclusively post-resurrection life, life lived in the resurrection body. But this is surely promising something more. If the last half of v. 25 stipulates that the believer, even though he or she dies, will nevertheless come to life at the resurrection, the first half of v. 26 stipulates that the believer, the one who already enjoys resurrection life this side of death, will in some sense never die. That is a recurring theme in this Gospel. In anticipation of Jesus’ resurrection and the pouring out of the Spirit, there is the repeated promise that those who believe in him will immediately possess eternal life. ‘I tell you the truth, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death’ (John 8:51; cf. John 3:15, 16; John 5:24). Ordinary, mortal life ebbs away; the life that Jesus gives never ends. It is in that sense that whoever lives and believes in Jesus will never die
    . ~Carson, D. A. (1991). The Gospel according to John (pp. 412–413). Leicester, England; Grand Rapids, MI: Inter-Varsity Press; W.B. Eerdmans.
    Our bodies lay dead in the ground, but we (our souls) are conscious after we die physically. See, for instance: Luke 16:19-31; Revelation 6:9-11; 2 Corinthians 5:6-9; Philippians 1:21-26

    Yours and His,

    1 John 5
    13 These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.
  4. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

    United States
    Agreeing, mostly, as only those who show themselves to be regenerate by pursuing heart-holiness and true neighbor-love as they pass through this world are entitled to believe themselves secure in Christ. ~Packer, J. I. (1993). Concise theology: a guide to historic Christian beliefs. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House.

    Just to be clear however, those who "show" themselves regenerate (by what they do/say/think), are not saved (nor do they remain so) by the 'doing' of any of these things. We are saved by grace (on the basis of the things that Christ did for us ... His life, His death on the Cross, and His Resurrection) through faith (which is a "gift" from God .. Ephesians 2:8-9), not on the basis of anything "we" do :preach:

    The things that Christians do are the RESULT or FRUIT of being saved, not the cause (of our salvation, or of its permanence). IOW, we can only "act" like Christians if we already are Christians. (St. Paul gives us some very good reasons why it is impossible for those who are not already Christians, who do not know God, to do what Christians do, in his description of a non-Christian/"natural" man or woman .. see 1 Corinthians 2:14).

    If someone truly hears and "believes" .. John 5:24 (πιστεύω [pisteuo] which is a verb in this case BTW, present, active, participle, singular, nominative, masculine), and have therefore come into possession "eternal life", then they will choose to obey/please God as a result .. Ephesians 2:10.

    We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus FOR good works .. not because of them.

    Soli Deo gloria!

    Yours and His,
    p.s. - if the life of someone who claims to have become a Christian does not show/demonstrate who they are by what the do/say/think, then their "claim" should be regarded, by themselves and by others, as nothing more than that!

    John 5:24
    He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017
  5. Acts2:38

    Acts2:38 Well-Known Member

    United States
    You misunderstand what I jot down. I never said you can "work" your way into heaven and have eternal life. However, I did say, according to scripture, that one needs to do/obey the commands the gospel has from us from our Lord and Savior.

    James 2:14-26 is pretty clear cut.

    "20 But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?

    21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?"

    Yes, you cannot "work" your way into heaven but you need to obey the commands Jesus taught us.

    Hebrews 11:8 = By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went."

    An action. Doing something.

    Like Jesus said, John 14:15 = If ye love me, keep my commandments.


    John 15:14 = Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

    Like I mentioned before, believe is used as a verb, an action word. Obedience, if you love Jesus that is.

    You misunderstand Ephesians 2:8-9 to some extent. Yes, grace is a free gift (Romans 11:5-6) but when a person refuses to do as God directs, they demonstrate their lack of faith in God. Hence verses like Matthew 7:21-23. God expects us to do His will, Ephesians 2:10.

    Therefore, God judges us by what we do to determine whether He will grant us His gift of salvation (1 Peter 1:17-19)

    I hope I clarified more of what I posted before and explained clearly for you.
  6. St_Worm2

    St_Worm2 Senior Member Supporter

    United States
    OK, I believe we are on the same page. We "obey" because we are (already) saved, not to become saved or to remain saved. If a person refuses to obey God, that is the best "evidence" we have that their claim of becoming a Christian isn't true (that they never came to saving faith in Christ, no matter what their "claim" may be, no matter what "prayer" they may have said, etc.).
    God knows our hearts far better than we do ourselves. He doesn't have to look at what we "do" to determine who we "are", and whether or not we are saved, He knows :preach: WE, on the other hand, have no way of "knowing" apart from what we do, or fail to do. Our works demonstrate what kind of faith we have, dead/demon faith w/o works, or lively/saving faith that results in works of obedience!

    So here we depart from one another once again, because if God truly bases our salvation on what we "do" (rather than on our faith/belief in what the Lord did for us), then ours is a salvation of works, not of faith.

    We are granted salvation from the moment we first "believe" .. John 5:24 (see below), not after we've proven ourselves faithfully obedient. If the latter is true, that God bases our salvation on our obedience, then we have no need of a Savior.

    Just to be clear, "obeying" the Law is what we/mankind has always been unable to do outside of faith in Christ (which is why the Law functions as a harsh "tutor" (παιδαγωγός [paidagogos]) in the life of an unbeliever, to lead them to Christ, that they may be justified by faith (since we have all proven ourselves unable to obey the Law) .. Galatians 3:24; James 2:10-11; cf Romans 3:20, 28.

    Yours and His,

    John 5
    24 He who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, HAS eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  7. Acts2:38

    Acts2:38 Well-Known Member

    United States
    Hello again friend,

    Thank you for your continued civil discussion.

    Here are some points we need to clear up with examining scripture.

    John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

    So, the gift we are talking about is for any and all peoples who decide to follow Jesus. The "believeth" is a verb. You must do something to account your faith in Jesus (Hebrews 11:8 example). Abraham did something to show his faith and it was accounted to him for righteousness. If you "believeth" (do) in Jesus, you will have everlasting life.

    Little scenario: Would Abraham have been saved and in God's good graces, if he had not obeyed God but still believed in God?

    No one sits on the couch saying "I believe in Jesus" and continues to watch a Sunday football game when they should be worshiping God, should expect God to be pleased with this person's choice. They would be disobeying, showing their lack of faith.

    One of the main reasons Christians come together on the first day of the week is to take communion in remembrance of Christ's sacrifice for us.

    No one should expect to be saved, when they do not obey a command from Jesus (Mark 16:16), and expect that they will receive eternal life.

    No. One is not saved yet, until they have obeyed, by faith/belief (action/verb), and done commands asked of us.

    For example:
    If a person has not "believed and baptized" Mark 16:16, then they have not put on Christ Galatians 3:27 (Romans 6:1-5 also). If they have not done that, they are not saved. It is a command one does, if they have faith/belief in God, otherwise they will not be saved.

    Yes, God does know all. He know every avenue of choices we would make for every decision.

    But see, the Lord is not slack on His promises, "not willing" that anyone should perish, even if He knows their choices already (2 Peter 3:9).

    Really reexamine 1 Peter 1:17-19 again. It's clear cut with no hidden secret meanings.

    "according to every man's work" they will be judged.

    It is agreed, you cannot "buy" your way into heaven. However, you must obey and do, to get that free gift of eternal life (James 2:14-26 should be pretty clear).

    Another scenario:
    A friend calls you over the phone and tells you he has a (free) gift for you. He asks that in order for you to get your gift that you drive over and pick it up.

    Now, question:
    If you (action) go and drive there, will you get the free gift?

    If you do not go there will you get the free gift?

    Do you have to do something in order to get the free gift your friend offers?

    The case is the same for the gift God offers us. We need to "do" to get the free gift.

    No. You are granted the "free gift" of salvation that is offered when you do these things:
    Romans 6:1-5
    Galatians 3:27
    Acts 2:38, 41, 47
    Mark 16:16
    Luke 13:3

    So on and so forth
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  8. 1213

    1213 Disciple of Jesus

    I believe it means, when the body dies, our soul doesn’t, but it continues without seeing dead.

    Resurrection and life means, people get life through or by Jesus. The words he declared can make change in person’s mind to righteous and righteous will have eternal life.

    These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.
    Mat. 25:46
  9. dreadnought

    dreadnought Lip service isn't really service. Supporter

    United States
    United Methodist
    Jesus, who many of us believe to be God in flesh, is the life-giver. We learn to look to him for all things.