There is nothing in the New Covenant concerning salvation, that can be known or held apart from Christ. The boundless riches of God are “hid in Christ” and in Him alone. Eternal life is not a decree; it is not a commodity that can be had apart from Christ. It is not to be had by merely a confession, a statement, a rite of passage, or some religious formula that has been agreed to. It is ours only by virtue of relationship.
“And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life”
1 John 5:11-12
Eternal Life is nothing less than the LIFE of the Son dwelling in our hearts. Eternal life is to produce in us an abiding in Him who is the Life. It is crucial that we comprehend the Parable of the Vine in John 15; Christ is the Vine, and we are the branches. The branches only have access to the Life of the Vine by remaining joined to and abiding in Him. The key to our growth, to partaking of His grace, and His peace, is a current ongoing relationship with Christ ruling and reigning in our hearts. Religion reduces the living wonder of this salvation to confessions or beliefs separate from a living reality. The difference between those who live by confessions and statements, and those who know Him deep within their being in their daily lives, is enormous. Peter expressed this difference quite succinctly.
“Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner…”
1 Peter 2:7
To those who know the necessity of Him living within “He is precious”. They recognize the importance of obedience to Him to maintain the ministrations of His graces by which they can live a life that pleases Him. His presence in our lives becomes the atmosphere in which we live and breathe. But to those who are disobedient, He is disallowed; His graces are shunned and lost. The disobedient are those who hold their salvation in confessions alone by which they negate the need to obey Him. Their salvation is not contingent upon His Life being in them and therefore He is not precious to the point of necessity. This lack of the inherent need of Christ is revealed in lukewarm living and faith devoid of works. The confessions of Him replace the inherent need for Him. They may honor Him with their words and may even teach good things yet walk independent of His life.
It was the Church of the Laodiceans which declared: “I am rich… I have need of nothing”. Our need for Christ determines how precious He is to us. How quickly we tend to move from the essentialness of Christ into a life lived outside of His resources. Too often we live uneventful, unremarkable, and impotent lives resting on promises which are only ours IN CHRIST.
“For all the promises of God IN Him
are yea and IN Him Amen…”
2 Corinthians 1:20
The promises of God are YES and AMEN IN HIM. I have no access to the promises of God apart from Christ. To have victory over sin I need His Life daily. To know the power of grace enabling me to live righteously I need to be held by His Life within. To know experientially His Peace, I must abide in Him who is the Prince of Peace. Left to myself I am bereft of any hope. I dare not rely on any other means than Jesus Christ alone.
In Christ Alone
Everything I ever hope to be
Contingent on abiding in Thee
No other hope I’ve ever found
Except in Christ, my life is bound
No trust in words or thoughts of men
Only in the wonder of Christ within
When to this earth my body is given
In Him alone will I be risen
To the New Jerusalem glorious and bright
In Christ alone, I have this right.