Posted by: Standing Solus Christus | June 30, 2007

How is Life in Christ? (Lesson 1: Question 8 Answer)

8.  How is life in Christ?  What kind of life, temporal or eternal?

John very plainly in verse 4 states that “in Him (the Word) was life”. He uses in the Greek εν αυτω, a dative of possession, “which is conceived as a special kind of relation or respect.”10 This appears to add to  the emphasis that Christ possesses life (ζωη) in a special way much greater than the mediators who came before Him.  One must assume this is due to His preeminent status in the universe as not only Creator, but also the sustainer of life as we know it.  As quoted above, Calvin in his commentary on this verse refers to Hebrews 1:3, which states that He upholds all things by the word of His power.  All things hold together in Him (Col 1:17), thus life profoundly finds its source and sustenance in Christ.

The fact that all of life finds itself sustained in Christ means that we must affirm that this includes both temporal and eternal life.  The temporal life, the life of this age as indicated above is held together in Christ.  However, eternal life, the life of the age to come is also found in Him as was symbolized in the tree in Genesis.11 This concept of life will be repeatedly emphasized by John in this Gospel and his letters.  John 5:26:  “For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself.” John 6:35a:  “I am the bread of life.” John 11:25:  “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.” John 14:6:  “I am the way, the truth and the life.” 1 John 5:11:  “And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.”  We can go on at least ten more times, but will assume the point has been made.

10 16 S.M. Baugh, 1 John Reader (Philadelphia: P&R, 1999) 107

11 Meredith Kline (2007) Kingdom Prologue Genesis Foundations for a Covenantal Worldview (Eugene, OR:  Wipf & Stock 2006), 95


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