Eternal Life in the Gospel of John
A dedication to a living friend: Alex McC.
Introduction: “Eternal” – What is “Life” in Creation?Our Christian Faith adheres to the Everlasting existence of all those created “in the image of God”. This speaks specifically of God’s human creatures: “mankind”. “Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath (or spirit of life), and man became a living being”. But our topic will get to the “Eternal word”. Genesis 2: 7 Adam received “God’s breath” and that gave him “LIFE”. Remember that this “breath” was Divine and conclusively, everlasting in essence. Nothing of God can cease to exist. (See note 1 below). There are 2 similar and related words in Hebrew and in Greek. “Neshemah” (Hebrew) and “Pnoen” (Greek). Both means breath. We have two Hebrew (and Greek) words that are different but both have similar, related meanings. In Genesis 2:7 we have the Hebrew word neshemah and, in the Greek Septuagint, the word pnoen, for the “breath” that God breathed into Adam, the “breath of life.” The Greek word for “spirit” (pneuma) is from the same root as pnoen, i.e., pneo, meaning “breathe or blow”. Neshema means “breathe”, but so does the Hebrew word “ruach”, generally translated also as “spirit.” ”This is what God the Lord says—the Creator of the heavens, who stretches them out, (expanding universe) who spreads out the earth with all that springs from it, who gives *breath* to its people, and *life* (literally, “spirit”) to those who walk on it” Isaiah 42:5 (NIV) Therefore, this Divine action in Creation gave mankind an everlasting human soul and spirit. In fact, in the earthly Paradise, the original Divide desire for mankind was for his creation to never die. This “Divine breath” was not given to animals, only humans by transference from generation to generation. From Adam on, every subsequent humans have the same “breath” of God in them (Soul and Spirit). _______
Eternal Life according to the Apostle John and the Gnostic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke).(See note 2 below). Traditionally Christianity presents “Eternal Life” as a “Life after Death” as presented in Christian eschatology. (See note 3 below). The Apostles’ Creed testifies: “I believe… the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.” The 3 Apostles as well as the Apostle Paul speaks of Eternal Life as something promised to come. John presents Eternal Life as something given and for a Believer, already acquired. Christians… We have “passed from death to life” (notice the past tense). “He who hears my word, and believes him that sent me, has eternal life, (not “will” have) and comes not (present tense) into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” John 5:24 You see, John grasped the understandings of Christ’s message in a most revealing and liberating fashion. For John, Christ came to give believers far more than a “promise” but an “immediate” unique life that will continue in Eternity. Therefore, our “present conciseness” (this very moment, for example, by both of us, writer and reader), of being occupied by HIM, the Christ… this spiritual edification, this “moment” that makes HIS Grandeur so beautiful and attractive. Spiritual edification (lifting up) will and can be “remembered when we will be transformed into our promised Glorious Body”. Thus Eternal Life is to be enjoyed right this instant and daily and to our Eternal Glory. You and I can very well share on this very subject and even talk about this article later in Paradise or maybe in the Father’s House, or during the Tribulation, or the Kingdom or even in the new Heavens and the new Earth… we will most definitely remember these times spent with HIM while on earth way to the Eternal State (Glory) and eons later. One (almost) final thought. Our future transformed glorious body “must” be associated with our current Existence, Consciousness and Body… and that will be transformed into a Glorious Body. Not a “new” body. Not a “new” life. No. A new one presupposes a different association between the now and the glorious tomorrow. A new body is an impossibility. Otherwise John is wrong and more importantly, our Lord’s promise for our enjoyment right now is false. Impossible. We can’t have Eternal Life presently if a new and different glorious person other than our current one is replaced with a new and different one. No. God created us once, Christ saved us once, and we shall forever keep our current being… but transformed and “partaking in the Divine Nature“. Our current created being is what God created and what Christ saved. Our current “individuality”- transformed – is about to have a great ride. Final thought. Since all mankind has received a Divine “breath” and since God cannot die, then, all humans have an Eternal existence. But our topic is more elevated. We are speaking of Eternal Life. The one that the Son gives. And according to the Gospel of John, we can enter right now in the enjoyment of that Life. _______ Note 1: a) The death of the soul and b) Everlasting Life vs Eternal Life a) Some teach the Adam and Eve lost their “souls” with the first sin. We do not adhere to this teaching. We know of no Scriptural support for such a position. The confusion comes from the fact that the word “soul” is using different words in the Original and some verses suggesting that the soul “dies” are different in contents and contexts and a different meaning than in Genesis. Yes, certain Old Testament speak of the death of the soul but it is to be distinct from the original “breath” of Life of Genesis. b) Also, note that “everlasting life” and “eternal life” are to be differentiated also.
- “Eternal” means “not within any time limit, outside of time and existing without a beginning or end, like spirit”.
- “Everlasting” means “the life which did not always exist but was granted by God and it is, henceforth, forever, running within time and beyond, which has a beginning but no end.”
– of or forming a general summary or synopsis.
“a synoptic outline of the contents”Note 3: Escothology http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/eschatology 1: a branch of theology concerned with the final events in the history of the world or of humankind. 2: a belief concerning death, the end of the world, or the ultimate destiny of humankind; specifically : any of various Christian doctrines concerning the Second Coming, the resurrection of the dead, or the Last Judgment. _______ All photos taken with proper “right of use”. _______ #philippepaquette _______