Eternal Life and the Resurrection – Part One

Eternal Life & The Resurrection

Eternal Life

Introduction

“And this is the promise that he hath promised us,
even eternal life”
1 John 2:25

Jesus did not come to give us eternal existence. All of humanity has an ongoing existence after this life. Christ came to bring His creation into life!

“I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly”
John 10:10

Life is so much more than the continuum of time; life is to be filled with an abundance of knowing, loving and worshiping Him who is the LIFE. Many believers consider eternal life in reference to something they receive after they die, rather than in terms of their relationship with God in the now. This is where we lose the impact and the wonder of all that Christ is. Jesus Himself defined eternal life and His definition was clear and concise; eternal life is defined by our relationship with Him and His Father.

“And this is life eternal,
that they might know thee the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.”
John 17:3

The depth of our knowing of Him and the Father is THE determining factor in the power and wonder of our own resurrection.

“Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection
Hebrews 11:33-35

Eternal life is not something we earn; it is simply the gift of God. Through grace we are given this gift in the person of Jesus Christ without merit or works of our own. He IS eternal life; it is not a commodity given apart from Him. It is my relationship with Him which determines the power and the marvelous working of His life in mine. Relationship is never earned; it is fostered and nurtured by the entwining of one life with another. Love always denotes action, sacrifice and pursuit.

“And this is the record,
that God hath given to us eternal life,
and this life is in his Son.”
1 John 5:11

Eternal Life is IN the Son and my partaking of Him determines the depth, the power and the influence of Him within my being. The branch must abide in the vine to partake of the power and life of the vine. As I yield to His Life and His government eternal life is at work. Jesus did not come to bring a new teaching; He came to bring unto us His Life in the “age” of our time* (see note below). Eternal life is not a futuristic notion. It is in the here and now that we are afforded the opportunity to deepen and grow in our life IN Him. In this present tense of life, we are made partakers of His promises and His goodness. The word of the Lord is ever “Today if ye will hear His voice harden not your hearts”. It is the present tense of our relationship with Him that gives value and depth to eternal life. Paul says in Galatians:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live;
yet not I, but Christ liveth in me:
and the life which I NOW live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God,
who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20

Eternal life is the “now” life. It is Life held within the frailty of the earthen vessel. It is what we DO with His life which determines the power of His resurrection within us. The parables of the Talents, the Pounds and the Sower all clearly reveal our part in this mystery. The story of the talents was not about how many talents were received; the truth conveyed in the parable is all about what they did with what they received. Same with the story of the Pounds. The fruitfulness of the various lives represented in the parable of the sower were NOT predicated on the life of the seed; fruitfulness was determined by the soil into which the precious seed fell. So too with us. It is the soil of our lives which determines the fruitfulness of Christ. No one can hinder or cause us to be unfruitful or to be fruitful. It is our own relationship with Him which allows and determines the growth of the seed.

The story of the talents was not about how many talents were received; the truth conveyed in the parable is all about what they did with what they received

Relationship is the great Mystery of God; a mystery which cannot be taught or learned intellectually. It can only be surrendered to, explored and developed. Faith is the portal and love the motive for our relationship with Him who is the Life.

“The Life which I now live…”
Galatians 2:20

This is true for all of us. The life we are now living is the expression of who He is in us. We must embrace the witness of the scriptures concerning our present and true spiritual condition. Religion seeks to insulate us from the truth of the words of Christ but there is a stark reality we must step into if we would walk with Him. In the shining forth of Him there is a beholding of ourselves. It is in this crucible of “present truth” that we are faced with our present need. How good is the living word of God! Let it cut and reveal the verity of what we are that we may run to Him for Grace. It is in Him “where we (can) live, and move” and fully become a new creation. How can we settle for a sip here and there when the living waters of His life are available? How can we continue to hide from ourselves and those around us our true condition when the power of His Life is available to us freely and without measure? It is in our ability to face ourselves that we discover the abundant resources of the living Christ. Truth, to be truth, must expose all that is untrue within us. Truly it is the goodness of God that ever leads us to repentance. Of all the gifts that have been given the gift of repentance excels them all!

Continued in Part Two

* Note: The Greek word translated “eternal”
[166 (aiṓnios) does not focus on the future per se, but rather on the quality of the age (165 /aiṓn) it relates to. Thus believers live in “eternal (166 /aiṓnios) life” right now, experiencing this quality of God’s life now as a present possession. (Note the Gk present tense of having eternal life in Jn 3:36, 5:24, 6:47; cf. Ro 6:23.)]

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Living Now for Eternity

Thought for Today

Living Now For Eternity

“Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle,
even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me”
2 Peter 1:14

The life of the true believer is lived with the reality of eternity in view. Our life is to be held in the context of our departure and our readiness to stand and give an answer for the life we have lived here (2 Corinthians 5:10)*. Peter’s epistle is the result of seeing his life from the eternal perspective. His exhortation to the people of God is one of “endeavoring” to remind them to continue to add to their faith, to grow in the virtue of Christ unto godliness and love. There is a calm and settled approach to his departure from this world. His care is not for himself; his heart is for the condition and welfare of the Body of Christ. They who live with an eternal perspective cannot be uninvolved in the welfare of His people.

“And I will make every effort to ensure that after my departure,
you will be able to recall these things at all times”
2 Peter 1:15

A life unaffected with a concern for the condition of God’s people is the revelation of a life lived unto itself. The eternal Love of God in Christ must produce within His own an expression in harmony with the things that concern Him; to love the things He loves and to hate the things He hates. His anointing rests upon those who walk and live as He is.

“But unto the Son he saith…
Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity;
therefore, God, even thy God, hath anointed thee
with the oil of gladness above thy fellows”
Hebrews 1:8-9

Ω

“Transiency is stamped on all our possessions, occupations, and delights. We have the hunger for eternity in our souls, the thought of eternity in our hearts, the destination for eternity written on our inmost being, and the need to ally ourselves with eternity proclaimed by the most short-lived trifles of time. Either these things will be the blessing or the curse of our lives. Which do you mean that they shall be for you?”
– Alexander MacLaren

Θ

* “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad”
2 Corinthians 5:10

Brian Troxel

Thought for Today – Resurrection

Thought for Today

“I am the resurrection”
John 11:25

Wherever and whenever the heart of a wandering soul, a lost soul or a dying soul meets the wonder of Him, resurrection and life are the immediate result. He is not only the Resurrected One, He is the ever resurrecting one. Regardless of age, status in life or circumstances, He is our resurrection. Newness of life, joy, worship and praise are the on-going expressions of any life beholding Him. Death, sorrow, fear, discouragement and despair flee from His presence as shadows disappear from radiant light.

Linger not in the shadows of human reasoning or the stains of sin or unbelief. Come to the fountain which will never fail; whose waters are filled with the abundance of His Life, cleansing, refreshing and replenishing us with the vigor of His eternal life.

“Come ye saints, look here and wonder,
See the place where Jesus lay;
He has burst His bands asunder;
He has borne our sins away;
Joyful tidings,
Yes, the Lord has risen to-day”
Thomas Kelly

Quote for Today – William Gurnall

Quote for Today

PREPARATION for Eternity

“And as it is appointed to men once to die,
but after this the judgment:…”
Hebrews 9:27

“Prepare to die whilst you are in health. It is an ill time to calk the ship when at sea, tumbling up and down in a storm: this should have been looked to when she was in port. And as bad is it to begin and trim a soul for heaven when tossing on a sick bed. Things that are done in a hurry are seldom done well. Those poor creatures, I fear, go in an ill dress into another world who begin to provide for it when they are dying but alas, they must go, though they have not time to put on proper clothes”
William Gurnall

DESIRE – The Revelation of Life –

DESIRE

The Revelation of Life

“…for we also who are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened,
seeing we wish not to unclothe ourselves,
but to clothe ourselves,
that the mortal may be swallowed up of THE LIFE”
2CORINTHIANS 5:4

Contrary to the present day “gospel” of a large segment of the church heaven is neither the theme nor the purpose of the New Testament. Jesus is. The purpose of the New Testament is to produce people whose lives have been gripped by the LIFE of Jesus within their hearts. The New Testament was not given just to take us to heaven but to INFUSE His Own with the DIVINE NATURE (2Peter 1:4). The purpose for which Jesus came was to GIVE us life, HIS LIFE, without which we are not able to live in heaven.

“I am come that they might have life,
and that they might have it more abundantly”
JOHN 10:10

In the Book of Revelation John, speaking of that Heavenly Jerusalem, declares what is required to ENTER into the gates of this Glorious City…

“But nothing unclean will ever enter it,
nor anyone who does what is detestable or false,
but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life…”
REVELATION 21:27

The prerequisite to being found in the Lamb’s book of life is to HAVE the LAMB’S LIFE. It is in having HIS LIFE in us by the which we are freed from the falsity and detestable expressions of the fallen nature of man. This LIFE is found in having HIM not by reciting or adhering to some religious teaching or doctrine.

“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”
1JOHN 5:12

Eternal life is not about longevity of life. It is HIS eternal LIFE in us by virtue of our HAVING HIM! Our enjoyment of it, our growth and development IN it, is found in our partaking (sharing and communing) of that LIFE (2Peter 1:4). Peter tells us the reason the New Testament promises are given is that we may become PARTAKERS of the DIVINE NATURE. May God open our eyes to see beyond the rote of sitting in a pew listening to sermon after sermon while the true purpose of preaching is to motivate God’s people to arise and participate in HIS LIFE.

Life, whether it is heavenly or earthly by its nature, is filled with longings, desires and pursuits. As the natural life is filled with unholy lusts and affections so the heavenly life is filled with holy pursuits and desires…

“For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit,
and the Spirit against the flesh:
and these are contrary the one to the other”
GALATIANS 5:17

The life of an individual is known by the thing it covets and pursues. They that have the life of the Son seek and pursue the things that are consistent with His nature. A lack of desire or longing for more of God reveals a heart that is not under the influence of that LIFE. Paul speaks of this groaning and burden which is the echo of the LIFE of the Son within (see Romans 8:22-23 and 2Corinthians 5:4). This desire is the fruit of the Spirit of God within an individual. Lust for the things of this world is the expression of a worldly man. The expression of a believer is the groan and cry to be “swallowed up” in the LIFE of the SON.

“IF ye then be risen with Christ,
seek those things which are above”
COLOSSIANS 3:1

Ω

Where there is no cry for heavenly things
There is no heavenly life.

Brian Troxel

ETERNAL LIFE

ETERNAL LIFE

THE SON

“…this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life,
and this life is in his Son”
I JOHN 5:11

Eternal Life cannot be separated from the Son. HE is eternal life. His LIFE in us is Eternal life. While much of the Christian Church has succumbed to religious formulas, God’s truth stands sure.

“He who has the Son has life;
he who does not have the Son of God does not have life”
I JOHN 5:12

We have relegated the act of becoming a Christian to a statement of “faith”, rather than the reality of His Life within the individual; we have ruled out the LIFE of the Son as the revelation of the redemptive power of a salvation that is ours through FAITH in the SON. Where there is no change in the life of an individual there is no conversion. Change is always the evidence of HIS LIFE.

“Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ,
he is not His”
ROMANS 8:9

Our access to, and our enjoyment of, all the resources of heaven is only known by relationship with and abiding in the Son. No amount of teachings, religious conformity to the concepts of men, or association with various ministries/organizations will ever replace the wonder of a living relationship with the risen Christ!

The purpose of all ministry is to see that HE ALONE has the pre-eminence in our midst and in our hearts. We must return to the simplicity of the FAITH that fuses the life of the believer to our Risen Lord.

Ω

“No man can create faith in himself.
Something must happen to him which Luther calls “the divine work in us,”
which changes us, gives us new birth,
and makes us completely different people in heart,
spirit, mind, and all our powers”
Count Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700–1760)

Brian Troxel