Thursday, January 21, 2016

Jesus the Son of God: We Can Have, Know and Enjoy Eternal Life (1 John 5;11-12)

[This] is what God has testified: He has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life
(1 John 5:11-12, NLT).

The Apostle John now sums up all that is in store for the believer. Not only do we have the promise of God’s Spirit living in us to help, teach, encourage, strengthen, and change us. “But you have received the Holy Spirit, and he lives within you, so you don’t need anyone to teach you what is true. For the Spirit teaches you everything you need to know, and what he teaches is true – it is not a lie. So just as he has taught you, remain in fellowship with Christ” (2:27). “[The] Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world… the Spirit of Truth” (4:4, 6). “God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us” (4:13). But we are also given a gift that cannot be earned, the gift of eternal life! Jesus Christ is the only true God, and he is eternal life (5:20). We can enjoy eternal life (2:25), we can have eternal life (4:9), and we can know we have eternal life (5:13). This is the God-size-coolness beyond measure!

What is eternal life? Eternal life is not simply an unending progression of years. A common New Testament word for “eternal” is aionios, which carries the idea of quantity as well as quality. In fact, eternal life is not really associated with “years” at all, as it is independent of time. Eternal life can function outside and beyond time, as well as within time. For this reason, eternal life can be thought of as something that Christians experience now. Believers don’t have to “wait” for eternal life, because it’s not something that starts when they die. Rather, eternal life begins the moment a person exercises faith in Christ. It is our current possession.
[Source: Got Questions Ministries website]

As you know, there are a lot of people who are scared to death about dying. Some people are so afraid that they won’t even talk about it, and if a loved one does die, they try to act like it didn’t really happen. We see this fear in our society with such a focus on being wrinkle-free, young and fit, and the increase of photo editors’ apps. But the truth is that all of us will die sometime, and that can seem kind of scary for those who don’t have hope. The power or fear of death can be defeated. However, we don’t need to live our lives being deathly afraid about dying. We know it’s going to happen; but we can be relieved of the worry and fear that so many people have.

God “has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.” This eternal life really starts right now, when we confess our sin before God and accept God’s Son as our Lord and Saviour. With Jesus in our lives, we can live life to the fullest right now – with joy unspeakable (even in the midst of suffering and persecutions) and a great sense of purpose in life (you know why and what you’re living for) we never thought possible. To live without Jesus, on the other hand, is to be (always) bored, unsatisfied life, depressed, afraid, and the worst of all is not hell but – separation from God.

As this letter 1 John is written to Christians, I want to focus on us: Not only does being a Christian increase the quantity of our life (life eternal with God), but also brings a greater quality of life (life lived in Jesus right now). Brothers and sisters, what more could we ask for? Praise and worship God!

What comes to your mind when you think about death?
Fear or faith?
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