Who condemns who??

 
The ultimate, true hope we place in Christ.  The hope of life in eternity with Him.  Through all the victories and tragedies, ups and downs, this is where we place our hope in through it all.  The hope we have that through all the unfairness of life, when it seems so hopeless and pointless and all the love in the world just is not enough, we know we are being formed and re-formed more and more in His image for what is to come.  The hope that all the trials of this life really are just practice for what we just have no understanding of yet.
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.   Do we believe?  “Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.” John‬ ‭3:18‬ ‭ESV.  If we believe in Him, we will have everlasting life!!  Now there’s a deal!  But the everlasting question is, do we really believe?  If we believe, then shouldn’t it follow that we do as He tells us?  If I claim belief in Christ, thereby claiming my own everlasting life, but make no attempt to live following his commands to love as He loved and take His Good News to those who need to hear it (ALL PEOPLE), then do I really believe in Him?  I believe in the IRS – and I file tax returns each and every year.  I believe in my job – and I show up for work everyday, do what I believe I’m expected to to the best of my abilities.  I believe the barrel of a gun pointing at my head has the power to kill me – I will most likely do as the person holding said gun tells me to do.  So, if I believe in Christ as I claim and believe I do – do I live as He says?  I hope so, but I know I fall short every day.  But I do know I am attempting to, and growing in that attempt…
Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.  The hour Jesus is referring to here has come, the day of Pentecost.  It came on Pentecost and continues to this day.  We are the dead, we hear the voice of the Son of God.  Those with eyes may see, and those with ears may hear.  If we do “hear”, then we are no longer be spiritually dead but alive.  We will carry this new life into eternity with us.


For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man.   The Father is the ultimate judge and authority, just as He is the giver of life.  But He sent His Son down in our form to be life itself for us, and to be judge over us.  When the day of our judgement comes, it will be Jesus Christ doing the judging, and He will do so being fully human, knowing perfectly what it means to suffer, to be tempted, to be depressed, to be exalted.  Not from a detached, theoretical point of view, but one who is joined with us in humanity.

Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.   This can be one of those mind blowing passages in the bible, especially taken by itself.  If we take this literally, then we have images of the dead rising up out of their graves and walking before us, just as Christ did in the flesh.  But we do know John was an artist, and took his fair artistic liberty.  I think he is using imagery to make a point that we are all coming before Christ on our day of judgement.  Those who are already dead would be called to that judgement before we who are still alive.  Christ’s return, while certain, is not know as the “when.”  Until then, we will go to our judgement from the grave…

 I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.  The will of him who sent me.   What is that will?  Remember the cross?  Jesus did not come to condemn but to save.  We condemn ourselves.  Did Jesus condemn Pilate at the cross?  Caiaphas?  The mob who chose to save Barrabas over Him?  But He did follow the will of the Father all the way onto and through the cross.  Who was condemning who?  The will of the Father is mercy not sacrifice.  Where are we in that scene at the cross, where the will of the Father is in plain view.  Are we giving up our lives on the cross with Jesus, living for the God of eternity?  Or are we down with the crowd, the principalities and the powers, living for the Prince of this world?


“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life. “Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to execute judgment, because he is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this, for an hour is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear his voice and come out, those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment. “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
‭‭John‬ ‭5:24-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬


 

John Lewis
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