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Verse 24. He that heareth my word. To hear, in this place, evidently denotes not the outward act of hearing, but to receive in a proper manner; to suffer it to make its proper impression on the mind; to obey. The word hear is often used in this sense, Mt 11:15; Joh 8:47; Ac 3:23.

Many persons outwardly hear the gospel who neither understand nor obey it.

My word. My doctrine, my teaching. All that Jesus taught about himself, as well as about the Father.

On him that sent me. On the Father, who, in the plan of redemption, is represented as sending his Son to save men. See Joh 3:17. Faith in God, who sent his Son, is here represented as being connected with everlasting life; but there can be no faith in him who sent his Son, without faith also in him who is sent. The belief of one of the true doctrines of religion is connected with, and will lead to, the belief of all.

Hath everlasting life. The state of man by nature is represented as death in sin, Eph 2:1. Religion is the opposite of this, or is life. The dead regard not anything. They are unaffected by the cares, pleasures, amusements of the world. They hear neither the voice of merriment nor the tread of the living over their graves. So with sinners. They are unmoved with the things of religion. They hear not the voice of God; they see not his loveliness; they care not for his threatenings. But religion is life. The Christian lives with God, and feels and acts as if there was a God. Religion, and its blessings here and hereafter, are one and the same. The happiness of heaven is living unto God—being sensible of his presence, and glory, and power—and rejoicing in that. There shall be no more death there, Re 21:4. This life, or this religion, whether on earth or in heaven, is the same—the same joys extended and expanded for ever. Hence, when a man is converted, it is said that he has everlasting life; not merely shall have, but is already in possession of that life or happiness which shall be everlasting. It is life begun, expanded, ripening for the skies. He has already entered on his inheritance—that inheritance which is everlasting.

Shall not come into condemnation. He was by nature under condemnation. See Joh 3:18. Here it is declared that he shall not return to that state, or he will not be again condemned. This promise is sure; it is made by the Son of God, and there is no one that can pluck them out of his hand, Joh 10:28. Comp. See Barnes "Re 8:1".


But is passed from death unto life. Has passed over from a state of spiritual death to the life of the Christian. The word translated is passed would be better expressed by has passed. It implies that he has done it voluntarily; that none compelled him; and that the passage is made unto everlasting life. Because Christ is the author of this life in the soul, he is called the life (Joh 1:4); and as he has always existed, and is the source of all life, he is called the eternal life, 1 Jo 5:20.

{v} "passed from death" 1 Jo 3:14

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