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Life And Eternal Life In The Gospel Of John

In John 10:10 (NIV), Jesus says about his sheep: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” In John’s gospel, there is much about life and eternal life through Christ. In John 20:30-31, it is written that Jesus did many things not recorded, but what is recorded is “written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

The best known verse in John (and probably in all of the New Testament) is John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Traditional Christian theology says that eternal life begins after death. But does it?

As noted in yesterday’s post, John’s gospel is different. One difference is that it may present the Christian life and eternal life as the same thing. In Jesus’ unity prayer found in John 17:2-3, he prays for the disciples he’s leaving behind: “For you granted [your Son] authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” In John 5:24, Jesus says: “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.” (See also John 3:36; 4:14.)

I’m not sure, but if we believe that we are presently experiencing eternal life, couldn’t we very well think more concretely and joyously that Christ actually lives within us? A lot more scripture to consider on this point, but what John says is worth a prayerful look.

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