The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. (1 John 1: 2)
This was no thumb-suck. John was proclaiming to his readers what had actually happened. What if John were making it up as he went along? What if he were pulling off the greatest hoax in history?
But he wasn’t. There were many witnesses to the real Jesus who would ratify what John was proclaiming. If he were making it up, many would have stepped up to declare that he was talking nonsense and spinning lies. Although John wrote his letters years after the other New Testament writers, he was expanding on and recording the truths that had already been disseminated by them.
John equated Jesus with eternal life. No other figure in human history would dare to call himself that – eternal life. Jesus did not give those words to Himself as a title but as a function. He came from the Father to bring life to the world, not only endless life but a new quality of life that belonged to the realm of the eternal.
We humans equate the word “eternal” with “never ending” as though we will just keep on living the same sort of lives we are living now but with no death at the end of it. Our imagination does not stretch far enough to conjure up a real picture of the eternal realm. Eternal life is much more than never-ending. It has to do with a quality of life in a realm that is not ravaged by sin or time, or limited by the limitations of this present world.
What did Jesus mean by “eternal”? He also used the term, “the age to come”. This present age is the age in which we live now, an age of imperfection where everyone and everything in the world is influenced by Adam’s sin. Even the natural world was corrupted by sin and awaits an age when all corruption will be removed and the earth with its plants and creatures will be restored to its original perfection.
For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and the glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation is groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. (Rom. 8: 19-22)
It was sin that brought death to the world. Jesus’ death removed sin and restored the life which God intended for His children from the beginning. When we receive by faith the forgiveness of sin, God removes the penalty, death, and restores us to the realm where there is no death. Although we are still a part of this fallen world and subject to the death of our physical bodies, we are already the recipients of eternal life. When we shed these mortal bodies, we enter the eternal realm where there is no more death.
It is Jesus who brought us the gift of eternal live by removing the penalty of death from us; therefore we can say the Jesus is eternal life.
And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. (1 John 5: 11-12)
The perpetrators of false religions can say what they like and teach what they like but they can never make or prove the claim that those who believe and follow what they teach have the indisputable promise of eternal life. How do we know that Jesus, and those who proclaimed what He taught, was telling the truth? The resurrection!
He claimed to have the authority to lay down His life and to take it up again.
The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life – only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father. (John. 10: 17-18)
These are either the words of a madman or the sober words of truth from the Son of God. He proved He was no madman by doing what He said He would do! Eternal life in Jesus Christ if a free gift on offer to those who believe that He is the Son of God and that God raised Him from the dead and who confess that Jesus is Lord. It’s as simple as that.
If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. (Rom. 10: 9)
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Have you read my first book, Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing)? You’ll love it!
ISBN: Softcover – 978-1-4828-0512-3, eBook 978-4828-0511-6
My second book, Learning to be a Disciple – The Way of the Master (Copyright © 2015, Partridge Publishing), companion volume to Learning to be a Son – The Way to the Father’s Heart, has been released in paperback and digital format on www.amazon.com.
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