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What does the Apostle John mean when he writes, "God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son"?


1 John 5:11

NASB - 11 And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.

Clarify Share Report Asked April 14 2018 Mini Robert Broyles

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Mini Robert Broyles
I take the position that we have "eternal life" (immortality) by faith; not in reality. We receive "immortality" at the second coming of Christ. See 1 Cor 15:50-55 Only then does immortality (eternal life) become a reality within us.

You see all us share Adam's fallen life and thus we are mortal. Paul explains this in Romans 5:12

"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man (i.e., the 1st Adam), and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned (in Adam)."

So Paul links sin to mortality. This is the opposite of immortality. Immortality is always linked to sinlessness or righteousness. So then, if you insist that you have immortality then you must also insist that something in you is holy and righteous. 

Did the Apostles teach that something in them was holy and righteous? No! Paul said, "For I know that nothing good dwells in me" (Rom 7:18). And John states "If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves" (1 John 1:8)

Now what's the good news? That "in Christ Jesus", not in us, we have a "new creation". Let's read this: "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation" 2 Cor 5:17 The "if" applies to the believer. The believer as accepted and has realized that "in Christ" he has a new creation.

Christ is called "the last Adam" (see 1 Cor 15:45). Why? Again, because "in Him" we have a "new creation". That creation is sinless and therefore immortal. Would you like to see further evidence?

Turn to Col 1:13 "For He (God the Father) rescued us from the domain of darkness (i.e., this world), and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."

Clearly, as children of the 1st Adam, we are still in this world and not in the "kingdom of His beloved Son". So Paul is writing about our "new creation" "in Christ Jesus". 

Do I have more evidence? Yes:

Turn to Ephesians 2:5 "When we were dead in our transgressions (i.e., as children of Adam), God made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus."

Did you get that? We are currently in the heavenly places "in Christ Jesus". Again, this cannot apply to us as children of the 1st Adam because we are still here in this fallen world. 

Then what is Paul writing about? When Christ, as "the last Adam", was raised He was raised with a glorified humanity. Our old Adamic life died forever when Christ was crucified (see Rom 6:6 and Rom 7:4), but upon the resurrection Christ was raised with a glorified, sinless humanity. 

When we, as children of the 1st Adam, place our faith "in Christ" then Christ, as our High Priest, presents us perfect in Himself. That's literally because we have a "new creation" in Him that stands blameless and holy before God and His holy law. We are complete "in Him"! Col 2:10

April 14 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that John (who had personally known Jesus, and who had been one of His twelve apostles, or closest chosen followers) is indicating in this verse that God has provided only one means by which humans can obtain eternal life (that is, life that extends beyond their earthly existence into eternity), and avoid eternal separation from Him.

The means that He has provided is not any action that any person can do, achieve, or perform, but solely through faith in the sinless life and atoning, sacrificial, substitutionary death of Jesus, who was the incarnate Son of God; whose suffering and death (because He was both fully human and fully God) paid the penalty required by a holy God for the sins (disobedience to God's commands) of all humanity from eternity past to eternity future; and whose subsequent resurrection from the dead to live eternally testified to the sufficiency of this payment in God's eyes.

Jesus Himself had expressed this same thought in words that John had heard and recorded in his gospel, or account of Jesus' life (John 14:6).

April 15 2018 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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