“For as the Father raiseth the dead, and giveth life to them; even so the Son giveth life to whom he will.” John 5:21
Jesus said in John 6:44: “No man can come to me, except the Father who hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.”
That means none of us is, by nature, capable of making a decision to come to Christ because, as the Bible teaches, we are by our natural birth into this world “dead in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). It is only when God, by means of His Word, awakens us from spiritual darkness and death that we can know and come to Jesus and trust in Him and His atoning sacrifice for pardon and forgiveness (cf. John 1:12-13; 3:5-6; 6:63; Rom. 1:16-17; 10:17; Eph. 1:13-14).
Therefore, “as the Father raiseth the dead, and giveth life to them; even so the Son giveth life to whom he will.”
As God the Father raises the spiritually dead and gives them life through faith in Christ Jesus, so also God the Son gives life to whom He will through the preaching and hearing of His Word.
Ephesians 2:4-10 says it this way: “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath made us alive together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) and hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not by works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
This makes it so important that we hear God’s Word and share it with others because it is through that Word that God’s Spirit calls us to faith in Christ and His cross and raises us up from spiritual darkness and death to faith and life in Christ Jesus! And it is through the Word that He keeps us in that faith!
Though none of us are worthy and all of us would, by our own will, reject Christ and continue in unbelief, Jesus mercifully intervenes and, through His life-giving Word, raises up those “whom He will” to faith and life in Him.
This, of course, means that when we trust in Jesus as our Savior from sin and eternal death, we have every reason to thank and praise Him — for dying in our stead and bearing on the cross the just punishment for our sins and for sending us His Word and by the Holy Spirit calling us from spiritual death and unbelief to faith and spiritual life in His name.
It is as the Bible teaches us in 1 Corinthians 1:30-31: “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who from God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: that, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”
We thank You, dearest Jesus, for raising us up from spiritual death to spiritual life through faith in Your name. Yours is the glory! Amen.
[Scripture is quoted from the Revised 1833 Webster Version of the Bible.]