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26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,


26 For

This “for” explains how the Son can exercise judgment and provide resurrection life by His word.

as the Father has life in Himself,

No one has eternal life self-existent in them except God. The Father is self-sufficient and self-existent, which means He has eternal life residing in Himself forever and without beginning. This is what theologians call “aseity” (self-existence). This distinguishes Him from created beings. God is uncreated. Human beings, however, derive their beings from God.

so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself,

As the Father is the source of life, so the Son in His incarnation is the source. The reason is because the Father appointed Him. In God’s counsel, everything centers on Christ. Eternal life always comes through Him.

The Father grants the Son to have life “in Himself.” This does not mean that the Son gained the prerogative of eternal life only after the incarnation. The Son eternally possessed life in Himself as God (Jn 1:2, 4). John 1:4 asserts that the Son had eternal life in His pre-incarnate state. The Son had life in Himself in eternity. Both the Father and Son had life in themselves in the eternal state.

Jesus is engaged in the giving of eternal life as God gives life. Sinners do not have eternal life; they have abiding death in them until they believe on Jesus.


The Father appointed the Son to give eternal life to those who believe on Him.


Since, as the Bible presents, the Son has eternal life inherent in Himself, He can grant eternal life. What He does rests on His eternal sonship. No human being other than Jesus could say that he has life in himself. We received life from God; it was given to us. That, however, was never true of the Father and Son.

Christ was more than a prophet who merely announced God’s message. He is God’s Son who has eternal life inherent in His essence.

The Son was begotten but not created. His life-in-Himself is a necessary precondition of His prerogative of raising the dead and executing judgment. This did not begin with His incarnation on earth. It is an eternal act that has never changed in time or eternity.

God’s existence is both uncaused and independent. His self-existence is not the same as being self-caused. A person cannot cause his own existence. God is a self-existent Being, not a self-caused being. A self-existent Being is an uncaused Being. This is what we mean by aseity. God existed prior to and independent of creation (Ge 1:1; Ps 90:2; Jn 1:1,3; Ac 17:25; Ro 11:36; Co 1:17; He 1:2; 2:10; Re 4:11). Every creature has derived existence; God derives His existence from no one.