The Gift of Life

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” ~John 10:27

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” ~John 10:10

 “For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life.” ~John 17:2

Gift of LifeEternal life comes from Christ Jesus. It’s a gift that’s represented in every facet of Jesus’ obedient revelation of the Father. Salvation is introduced in his birth, his ministry and teachings pave the way for it, and his death and resurrection ensures our participation in it.

Jesus’ gift of eternal life isn’t just a model or a standard of ethics and morals for us to follow. And it’s not just memorizing and/or practicing his teachings. Joining eternal life in Christ is becoming involved in him and his Body. It’s a close connection. It’s a deeply personal relationship.

We are not just people who follow Jesus. We are swept up and integrated into God’s mighty work of reconciling the world and redeeming creation. Salvation doesn’t just satisfy a legal requirement. Salvation frees us to participate in the eternal life of God.

It’s more than just a moment in time. It’s more than his crucifixion. It’s more than your baptism. Much more. It’s bigger and deeper. It’s infinitely more about our nature and character in relationship with God than it is about our legal standing. What Christ has done is abolish all the obstacles and empower us to be God’s children and live eternal life with him in abundance.

It’s a gift.

Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Peace,

Allan

3 Comments

  1. James Prather

    I like the way you put it. It’s not just getting something, it’s joining something and becoming a part of something.

    For the longest time, I found the term “eternal life” in the Gospels is very enigmatic. If we understand Jesus’ words from a post-cross perspective, then it becomes even more confusing. The rich young man in Mark 10:17 asks Jesus what he must do to inherit “eternal life” and Jesus responds with keeping the commandments. I don’t think Jesus was joking, or trying to say “see? you need something more than commandments, you need me.” I think he was dead-on serious when he answered. But that doesn’t make any sense if we interpret when Jesus says “eternal life” as “salvation of my soul and going to the good place when I die to be with God forever.”

    The rabbis of the first century used the phrase “eternal life” to mean “living in harmony with God, now.” And so Jesus’ response to the rich young man makes all the more sense. How do you live in harmony with God right now? You obey His commandments. Eternal life is something that starts right now, and goes on forever. What Jesus says in John 10 is in the context of being the Good Shepherd whose sheep listen to his voice. We listen Jesus’ voice in that we obey the commandments as interpreted by Jesus. Jesus’ mission as Messiah was not only to die for our sins, but to give us eternal life – to bring our lives into harmony with God right now as we live out our lives in faith and obedience.

    Peace,
    James

  2. Allan

    I’ve heard it said that eternal life isn’t a quantity of life that begins when I die, it’s a quality of life that begins when I’m born again.

  3. Jesse

    I recently heard John Eldredge (author of “Wild at Heart”, “Way of the Wild Heart”, etc.) say if something “doesn’t bring life and doesn’t bring freedom, then it isn’t of Christ.” Simple, and yet a lot to chew on, if you really think about that.

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