To Have Eternal Life

“Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

We accept man’s testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which he has given about his Son. Anyone who believes in the Son of God has this testimony in his heart. Anyone who does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because he has not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:1-5, 9-13 NIV)

Here are two great truths clearly stated to be seen and comprehended. He who loves God must practice agape love. And he who has the Son has life, because life is found only in the Son.

Still, even though those are very easy to understand, a short bit of explanation is due. What does it mean to have the Son? The original Greek word used by John is ‘echo’ and it literally means to hold. Basically it is used in a physical sense that if one holds something, he possesses it. By implication though, it can also mean to have a continuity with or relationship with something. Simply put, to have the Son means to hold Him dear in your heart, to possess His character and to continue in a relationship with Him. When we enter into this relationship, we will realize that our lives are different from what they once were. We have different thoughts, motives and actions. We have different goals. We have a different outlook and disposition. In short, we have a new life. It is an eternal life in both time and essence. It is eternal in time because will be with Him always and forever. And it is eternal in nature since it is offered by the eternal God, the One who is existed before there was time and will continue on even after time is no more.

Remember, Jesus told His disciples in John 6:51, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” Also, He said in John 11:25-26, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die,” and again in John 14:19, “Because I live, you also will live.” So we are to remain in Jesus—we are to ‘echo’ Him—holding onto our relationship with Him through our faith. This has been His true desire for us all along. After all, God loves the world so much that He gave His only Son so that whoever would believe in Him would not perish but would have an eternal life with Him!

These are central truths to the Christian. They are the undisputed, Gospel truth. Yet even more, look at the reason that John gave for sharing these truth with those who already believed in Jesus. His reason was to reassure those believers who had accepted this teaching so that when the time would come for them to stand before the throne of the Almighty God they could have confidence and not fear His judgment for they had accepted God’s grace and had properly responded to it. Reassurance bring confidence. Confidence brings hope. And hope builds peace. These are all characteristics and qualities of an eternal life.

So today, I offer you John’s thoughts…straight from the Word. May you, as the old hymn says, find a “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow”, for great is His faithfulness—toward you!

Have a wonderful day in His grace!
Ron

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