"Two Things which God has joined together"

"Verily, verily, I say to you, He that hears my word, and believes on him that sent me, has everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death to life." (John 5:24.)

There are two things joined together in this verse. These two things man tries to put very far asunder. Read the verse again. Now what are those things? They are believing and having. As we have it in another place, "He that believes on me has everlasting life."

Sometimes a person will say, with great anxiety, "I do believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. I am sure I trust in none else. I feel I am a lost sinner. I fully believe that the death of Jesus was the atonement for sin. I have no doubt that God raised Him from the dead. I know that it is only through the shedding of His precious blood that sins can be forgiven. But I cannot get to know that I have everlasting life."

If this really is my reader's condition, if you have heard the words of Jesus — if you do really trust in Him alone, then there is no question — there can, in that case, be no question whether you have everlasting life or not. I only ask, do you really trust alone in the finished work of the Lord Jesus? If so, I have no need to ask, have you everlasting life? If one of these things is true in you — namely, real faith in Christ, — I know the other is. You have everlasting life; for Jesus says, "It is most certain, it is most certain, I say to you, he that believes on me has everlasting life." Yes, in one breath, Jesus joins these two blessed things together — BELIEVES-HAS! The discovery of this to the soul gives perfect peace. No more perplexity; no more uncertainty. The more deeply you feel your own unworthiness, the more amazing will the love of Jesus appear in dying for your sin. Oh yes! Sin will appear more and more terrible, and the glory of the cross shine brighter and brighter; the world will be now with thee lighter than vanity, for thou, even thou, hast a home in the mansions of light. And though tempted in a world of sin, opposed by a subtle enemy, and groaning over inbred corruptions, yet still thy trust is alone in Jesus, and thou hast everlasting life.

I think I hear thee saying, Is this true of me? Trembling believer, Jesus has said it; it cannot be false. This moment, if thine ears are opened by the Spirit of God to hear the words of Jesus, and in thine heart to believe on God who sent Him, then certainly thou, even thou, hast everlasting life. And how blessed, how perfect, the salvation of God! Thou not only hast everlasting life, but thou shalt not come into condemnation. Jesus says it and He will keep His word to thee. Yea, even more still, — thou art passed from death to life. Just as all Israel passed through Jordan with the Ark of God, so, my dear follow-believer hast thou passed with Christ from death into resurrection, and therefore into everlasting life. Open thine eyes, for thou art risen with Christ. As surely as He took thy place in death, the divine Substitute, so surely has God given thee a place with Him in spotless brightest glory. Go in peace, then, and doubt no more.

But there are two things more joined together. "He that believes not is condemned already." Whether thou goest to the ale-house, or to church; whether thou art living in open sin, or trusting in thy strictly religious life; I tell thee, if Jesus is not thine only trust thou art condemned already; thou art waiting the execution of divine vengeance as a rejecter of Christ. "Search the Scriptures, and see if these things be so."

C.S.