1 John 5:12
He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life.
Before proceeding to analyse this passage, contemplate for one moment the mysterious grandeur of human nature's position through the Incarnation; for it is obviously through the Incarnation that we "have the Son." Think, then, that in all other works of Deity communication is the distinction. When God creates, He communicates being to nothing; in nature, God communicates beauty, form, and harmony to materialism; in providence, God communicates wisdom, truth, power, responsibility, and so forth, to agents and agencies; in legislation God communicates will and law to moral nature; and in revelation God communicates grace and truth to mankind; but in the Incarnation God does not communicate, but He assumes. Observe the words, "He that hath the Son hath life." There is no man named. God Almighty, when He speaks from the throne of revelation, speaks to human nature. He does not by tits word lay hold on the conventional, the local, the chronological, or the transitory in man. Now mark the decisive grandeur of this; for it intimates a connection between our nature now and our condition hereafter. Christianity now is Christianity forever; every stone which is now laid to your spiritual fabric is to form part of an ascending structure of conscious humanity, which is to rise higher and higher towards perfection throughout the everlasting ages. He, therefore, "that hath the Son hath life," and the same life that he will have hereafter.
I. WHAT IS IT TO "HAVE THE SON"? We say, then, in the first place, every human being on God's earth "hath the Son." There is not a pulse in your body but proclaims Calvary; there is not a drop in your veins but preaches Christ. You are not to imagine creation proceeding by one principle, providence administered by another, and grace acting by a third; the same God who acts in creation and rules in providence bestows in grace. And therefore I charge it upon every unconverted man, with this truth bound upon his heart, "Verily Christ is in me, and I knew it not." But more particularly, to take the words spiritually: a man may be said to "have the Son" when He is the sovereign of his intellect. He will ascertain upon clear grounds and through an honest logic whether this book be or be not Divine; but the moment the man has come to the conclusion, "Verily God is in this thing, verily God is in these syllables," then all that he has to do is to submit his intellect to Christ, then he "has the Son." Secondly, a man may be said to "have the Son" when he hath Him as the ruler of his desires. If we "have the Son" our desires are submitted to Christ even as our intellect. Thirdly, Jesus Christ may be said to be ours, or we "have the Son," when He is the pacifier of our conscience. Lastly, a man may be said to "have the Son" when Jesus Christ is the centre of his affections. The worldling's centre is the world; the sensualist's centre is the enjoyment of the passions; the rationalist's is the cultivation of the intellect; the politician's the progress of his party. But the Christian hath one centre and one circumference — Jesus Christ in the beginning and the middle and without end. His supreme attractor is Christ.
II. THE POSSESSION OF CHRIST IS TANTAMOUNT TO THE POSSESSION OF LIFE. In the first place, then, this connection contains (though not here stated) three marvellous views. First, it is the unfathomable mystery of heaven; secondly, it is the infinite mercy of earth; and, thirdly, it is the unrivalled miracle of all eternity. Lastly, we go on to show you the right connection between "having Christ" and "having life." It is to be drawn from the contrast to the fall. The fall of man was the death of man through the first Adam; the rise of man is the life of man in the second Adam.
(R. Montgomery, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.