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

Quote for Today – Thomas Kelly

Quote for Today

Thomas-R-Kelly

“Now is the dwelling place of God”
Thomas Kelly

“…and the life which I now live in the flesh
I live by the faith of the Son of God”
Galatians 2:20

The Present Truth – Part Three

The Present Truth

Part Three

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints”
Jude 1:3

The I AM

“I AM the door of the sheep…”
John 10:7
“I AM the door…”
John 10:9
“I AM come that they might have life…
abundantly”
John 10:10
“I AM the good shepherd…”
John 10:11
“I AM the good shepherd…”
John 10:14

The Life of Christ as expressed and communicated to the disciples was present tense. I AM is not future tense. It is the present truth of His being, the ever existing One, ever dwelling and working and subsisting in the now of our life. Just as breathing is essential to our natural life so is His Presence to our spiritual life. The error and misconception of religion is that it offers a historical Jesus (we are saved by what He did) and a future Jesus (we will see Him in heaven). Of course these things are true but without the infusion of “present truth” we are bereft of the power and the dynamic of the “now” life. In I AM, Jesus presented Himself as the current One and the ever present One. Eternal Life is now; free from the earthly concepts of time, distance and human limitations. It is a life which can only be known by the union of relationship in Christ Jesus. Those who are in Him have this life and those who are outside of Him have not eternal life (1 John 5:11-12).

Jesus is always seeking to bring His disciples to the power of living in the moment:

“Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?”
Matthew 6:25

“Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?”
Matthew 6:26

Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof”
Matthew 6:34

This trusting, child-like, faith rescues us from the worries and anxieties of the cares of this life. It is not irresponsible nor neglectful; it is a life of peace that takes no thought for tomorrow. It sows seeds today knowing that tomorrow’s provisions are assured in the doing of today. It is a life held in the peace of God by knowing He is the I AM of our tomorrows. It is because of this true understanding that obedience becomes paramount in our daily life. The religious do not concern themselves with “present truth” for their lives are lived in teachings and doctrines; heaven is assured because of what Jesus did historically and their present tense life has no bearing on future events. These ones are careless, ignorant of the “doing of truth” present tense; their time on earth passes in a fog of illusion and deception. It is in the now that eternal destinies are determined.

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

Paul’s life of identification with Christ was revealed in the now life he lived. The I AM of Jesus became the I AM of Paul. “I am” crucified was the declaration of Paul’s life in Christ. Not ”I will be” but present tense “I am”. The eternal “I AM” truth must become ours. It is in our obedience to the “present truth” in the “now” of life where the peace and power of this life is experienced.

Abraham’s Present Truth

“And he said, Take NOW thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah…And Abraham rose up early in the morning…and went unto the place of which God had told him
Genesis 22:2-3

“If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham…”
John 8:39

– Continued in Part Four –

Part One
Part Two

Part Four
Part five

Brian Troxel

Valleys Our Door of Hope

Valleys Our Door of Hope

“Now unto him that is able to do
exceeding abundantly above all
that we ask or think”
Ephesians 3:20

The valleys of the Christian walk are difficult but necessary. It is in the valleys that our vision of Him is narrowed and our world seems black and white. Life becomes a series of endless, relentless steps seemingly without purpose. The sun rises late and sets early. Friendships become distant and the way is solitary. It is here fellow sojourner where hope becomes the anchor of our heart. This hope does not rely on external things, for the visible betrays the truth and the feelings within offer no encouragement. It is here where we need to be reminded “that (He) is able to do…” His word is not only shrouded in promises but He Himself is the promise. He is the One who accomplishes His Word in and through the context of our journey.

“NOW”

Not at some distant future moment in time but “now” brings our praise to Him in the moment; in the valley, in the heart ache of a circumstance, a loved one, or a broken relationship. Now is God’s Word to us that in the valley He is “doing” in us the very thing that He has promised. The length of the valley is shortened when we with faith and hope cling to Him who is invisible. Faith sees Him. It recognizes the unseen hand even in the face of our enemies and the hard things we must endure. Moses “endured” because he saw Him who is invisible. The enduring graces of faith, hope and love working within His own are in themselves the very fulfillment of His Word to us; to be people of substance in a world void of light and life.

“And now, Lord, what wait I for?
my hope is in thee”
Psalm 39:7

The valleys bring us to new places of trust in Him. We are no longer looking for an event or some external hand of help. We are reduced to a hope centered upon God Himself. It is here that character and trust in God alone becomes woven into the very fabric of our lives.

“And I will give her…
the valley of Achor* for a door of hope”
Hosea 2:15

Valleys are to become doors into new places of hope and glory. It is by walking through them (and not lingering) that they become to us a door instead of a dead end. May our feet keep moving and the fire of His love impel us to new places in Him.

“Blessed is the man that endureth temptation:
for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life,
which the Lord hath promised
to them that love him”
James 1:12

*Note: Achor – עכר
The root-verb עכר (akar) means to stir up, disturb or trouble. HAW Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament remarks that this verb “reflects the social dimension of an individual’s action”.

Jacob uses this verb to describe his position among the Canaanites when Simeon and Levi killed the men of Shechem after the rape of Dinah (Genesis 34:30).

After years of drought, king Ahab accused Elijah of being the troubler of Israel (1 Kings 18:17). King Solomon proclaimed that a cruel man brings trouble to his own flesh (Proverbs 11:17), and a man who brings trouble on his household inherits the wind (11:29).

This verb’s derivation עכור (akor) means trouble, but it occurs only as the name Achor. (Abiram Publications)

Brian Troxel
www.aword.info