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Thursday, December 27, 2012
Unity # 18: Bearers of the Life of Christ
Unity # 18: Bearers of the Life of Christ
Theme Song: Yahweh
We do not want to go away from You because You have Words of eternal life. Lord, to whom shall we go apart from You. (John 6:67) Better is one day in Your courts than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in Your house than to dwell in the tents of the wicked. Please renew Your deeds in our time and in Your wrath remember mercy. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, o Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Please give me strength now, for my flesh is weak. Jesus Christ is Lord and He has come in the flesh.
In Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen
This letter is about the eternal life that all believers have been granted at the time of regeneration when the old sinful nature was crucified with Christ and a new heart and spirit was granted to them. This process of regeneration has taken place through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. We have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life (Rom 6:4). We have died and our lives are hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then we also will be revealed with Him in glory (Col 3:3-4).
Prior to our regeneration, we were darkened in our understanding and excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that was in us because of the hardness of our hearts (Eph 4:18). But the will of the Father is that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and the Father Himself will raise him up at the last day (John 6:40). Just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes (John 5:21). Indeed, God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life (John 3:16). The Father has given the Son authority over all flesh, that to all whom He has given to the Son, He may give eternal Life (John 17:2). He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him (John 3:36). Remember that we have discussed in the past few letters that all who truly believe in the Son will obey Him. For he who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal (John 12:25). As God told Baruch, “But you, are you seeking great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I am going to bring disaster on all flesh,’ declares the LORD, ‘but I will give your life to you as booty in all the places where you may go.’” (Jer 45:5)
Many people associate eternal life with our entrance into heaven’s glory and the everlasting retention of our souls in the eternal Kingdom, but the Scriptures tell us that our free gift of eternal life can and surely will start at the time of regeneration for every person who has true saving faith. Eternal life has been promised long ages ago by the God who cannot lie (Tit 1:2). Being justified by His grace we are made heirs according to this hope of eternal Life (Tit 3:7). What exactly is eternal life? Jesus Himself is eternal Life. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Him (John 14:6). The night before Jesus was crucified He lifted up His eyes to heaven and prayed to His Father, “Father, the hour has come; glorify Your Son, that the Son may glorify You, 2 even as You gave Him authority over all flesh, that to all whom You have given Him, He may give eternal life. 3 This is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. (John 17)”. Dear saints, eternal Life means knowing Jesus Christ. This is our only and all-sufficient inheritance as children of God. God has raised our Prince of Life from the dead (Acts 3:15). For the Bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to all the world (John 6:33). Christ’s life is the eternal life that is manifested to all of the children of God (1 John 1:2). God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son (1 John 5:11). If anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever; and the Bread also which He gives for the life of the world is His Flesh (John 6:51). Jesus Himself is the Word of God. And remember that man shall not live on bread alone, but on every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Matt 4:4). We do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to us, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal (John 6:67). The Words which Christ speaks are spirit and life (John 6:63). The Jewish teachers of the Law searched the Scriptures because they thought that in them they have eternal Life, yet they refused to come to the very one whom the Scriptures testified about (John 5:39). Whoever drinks of the water that He gives shall never thirst; but the water that He gives us will become in us a well of water springing up to eternal life (John 4:14). All who eat His flesh and drink His blood have eternal life, and He will raise us up on the last day (John 6:54). He has given us eternal life and we will never perish, nor shall anyone snatch us out of His hand (John 10:28). The thief comes only to steal, kill, and destroy; Christ came that we may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:20). For in Him is a fountain of Life and in His light we see light (Ps 36:9). He has made known to us the ways of life; He makes us full of gladness in His presence (Acts 2:28).
Why do we need eternal life? We need eternal life because while we were helpless sinners, we were under the wrath of God. Just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned—for until the Law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is now law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam until Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the likeness of the offense of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. While we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, and much more, having been reconciled, we are saved by His life. And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. Our free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification. For if by the transgression of one man, death reigned through him, that is Adam, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, and through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men. Through one man’s disobedience many were made sinners and so through the obedience of Christ many will be made righteous. Just as sin reigned in death, even so grace reigns through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 5:6-21)
Now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, we derive our benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome is eternal life (Rom 6:22). In fact, God’s very commandment is eternal life (John 12:50) and by the Spirit’s regenerating work, we are able to fulfill the Law of love and experience eternal life therein. As we abide in the love, life, and Word of Christ, we are truly living. For everyone who hates his brother is a murderer; and we know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him (1 John 3:15). The Biblical tests of assurance, loving, forgiving, and walking in the Light, given in the book of 1 John were written to those who believe in the Name of the Son of God, so that they may know that they have eternal life (1 John 5:13). Experiencing the eternal life of knowing Christ and obedience to Him always occur together; they are inseparable. We know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life (1 John 5:20). For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life (Gal 6:8). The mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace (Rom 8:6). We are to keep ourselves in the love of God, waiting anxiously for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to eternal life (Jude 1:21). The Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in us; He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to our mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in us (Rom 8:11). When we see our brothers committing sin not leading to death, we should ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death (1 John 5:16). As regenerated people, we experience ongoing eternal life, and when we sin, God continues to forgive us as we repent and grant us the ongoing knowledge of Christ. For He Himself has promised us eternal life (1 John 2:25). Already he who reaps is receiving wages and is gathering fruit for life eternal; so that he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together (John 4:36). Even if our Gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the Image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as bond-servants of the saints for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Light shall shine out of darkness,” is the One who has shone in our hearts to give us the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the Face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves; we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying about in the body the dying of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. For we who live are constantly being delivered over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. (2 Cor 4:3-11)
Dear saints, now God calls us to fight the good fight of faith, to take hold of the eternal life to which we were called, and to make the good confession in the presence of many witnesses (1 Tim 6:12). God will render to each person according to his deeds. Remember, we are not saved by our deeds, but deeds are the evidence that we have been truly saved by grace through faith. To those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality, they will receive eternal life; but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the Truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and indignation. There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who does good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For there is no partiality with God. (Rom 2:4-11) Jesus says to us, “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. (Rev 21:6)”.
Please avoid the writings of Charles Finney which I recommended earlier. Anand informed me that he had some dangerous doctrinal errors.
Love in Christ,