John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 11:26 - 11:26

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - John 11:26 - 11:26


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

26.And whosoever liveth, and believeth in me. This is the exposition of the second clause, how Christ is the life; and he is so, because he never permits the life which he has once bestowed to be lost, but preserves it to the end. For since flesh is so frail, what would become of men, if, after having once obtained life, they were afterwards left to themselves? The perpetuity of the life must, therefore, be founded on the power of Christ himself, that he may complete what he has begun.

Shall never die. The reason why it is said that believers never die is, that their souls, being born again of incorruptible seed, (1Pe_1:23,) have Christ dwelling in them, from whom they derive perpetual vigor; for, though

the body be subject to death on account of sin,

yet the spirit is life on account of righteousness,

(Rom_8:10.)

That the outward man daily decays in them is so far from taking anything away from their true life, that it aids the progress of it, because the inward man is renewed from day to day, (2Co_4:16.) What is still more, death itself is a sort of emancipation from the bondage of death.

Dost thou believe this? Christ seems, at first sight, to discourse about spiritual life, for the purpose of withdrawing the mind of Martha from her present desire. Martha wished that her brother should be restored to life Christ replies, that he is the Author of a more excellent life; and that is, because he quickens the souls of believers by divine power. Yet I have no doubt that he intended to include both favors; and therefore he describes, in general terms, that spiritual life which he bestows on all his followers, but wishes to give them some opportunity of knowing this power, which he was soon afterwards to manifest in raising Lazarus.