Truly, truly, I say to you, the one who hears My Word, and believes the One who has sent me, has everlasting life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. John 5:24
One phrase in this verse that needs explanation is the last one: “has passed out of death into life.” People generally think this must be talking about after I physically die because “I’m not dead, I’m alive; they haven’t buried me yet, so how did I pass from death to life when I’m alive?” Normally people think in terms of the physical and biology when they read about death in the Bible, so to us our death means our dead body and that’s all.
But what is death and what is life according to the Bible? In Genesis Chapter 3 you first read about sin. God told Adam and Eve, the day you eat of this fruit you will die. But they didn’t die until 900 years after eating it. So how is this to be understood?
Firstly, we need to realize that our ideas of life and death are not based on the Bible. One thing we do read in the Bible is that we are dead in sins and trespasses. (Eph 2:5) The word that is translated for “eternal” life in the original Greek language is “aionian” life. This means more than eternal actually, this is real life. The scripture says that believing Jesus is what gives us aionian life and therefore real life. What we were born into physically is just biological life. All your life you’ve been thinking this is life that you are living. That is our natural idea. They put your body in a coffin and that’s when you’re dead. That’s the human idea, but it is not God’s idea. He who believes “has aionian life” because he has already passed from death to life. You get real life by real believing. You get this physical life by being born from your mother. That’s not the Bible “life.” Since you were little, your idea of life was all the things you do. The real life is a very different matter. You’re not used to thinking – according to God I am dead right now. “My thoughts are not your thoughts,” is what the Lord says (Is.55:8). Our way of thinking about “life” in the Bible is all wrong.
Who wrote the Bible? Real believers sent from God. God spoke to them. Abraham believed God, and God “reckoned that to him as righteousness.” (Rom.4:3) Righteousness, and therefore life. All have sinned and therefore are dead. We must give up hoping in this so-called life and hope in the real life through believing. Believing into Him equals believing into life. This thing now is not life, it’s death. The Bible is right. Real life is totally different than what you call life and actually it’s much better. In the whole world, what are people doing? Holding onto this “life.” That’s going the wrong way. This is not life.
Are you a sinner? Then you are dead. And this existence is not life. It feels like it, but that’s your feelings, not the truth. Feelings are deceptive. The Bible is true.
The fact is each of us is programmed to be a loser in this life. But, in Christ, we’re programmed to be winners. Everybody loses in “this life.” But Christ overcame death and we can believe into that victory! We grew up all wrong with wrong ideas about life and death. Sin is what separates us from God. Believing into Him is life. Abraham believed God and then was righteous. We are not righteous of ourselves. It is through faith we can be righteous.
The Basic Principle: The Bible is right, and my natural, human ideas are all wrong. I need God’s thoughts. I must replace my thinking (my operating program) with believing. My operating program is to figure something out and then try and do it. There is a quote that says: “All progress in life is progress towards the grave.” That’s speaking of this life and how true that is! Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life.” (Jn 14:6). Either He is a liar, or He is right and each of us is going to bet with our life. If you believe into Him, that’s the beginning of life.