The Eternal Life

The Eternal Life The world is a cosmos of commodities. Daily the planet buzzes with the activity of trading materials of worth. Nations s...


The Eternal Life

The world is a cosmos of commodities. Daily the planet buzzes with the activity of trading materials of worth. Nations shore up the value of their economies with stockpiles of gold; individuals amass wealth by their clever manipulation of things as common as soybeans. But all
this is in vain. Regardless of how many commodities we possess, how much wealth we amass, ultimately our lives fail and we pass away. We are limited by the supply of what is most precious and valuable—life.

Life is what is most in demand on this earth, but there is no market for it and no amount of wealth can acquire and keep it. Sadly, the supply of life diminishes for each of us, and each of us on a certain day will die. God alone gives life. All creation testifies that He is a God of life, and He freely gives life to His creation. However, all forms of life are transitory; everything ultimately succumbs to death. Only God Himself is eternally living, for God’s life is eternal.

Eternal does not merely denote everlasting in time. God’s life is eternal in nature, in quality, in quantity, in space, and in time; it is without beginning, without end, and without limitation, as God Himself is. What we need most is this eternal life. No greater gift can there be to man than the eternal life of God. All our wealth, all our possessions, pale in value when we are presented with God’s eternal life. The greatest news is that God indeed wants to give His eternal life to man.

The Bible, God’s inspired record, tells us clearly that the life of God is embodied in Christ the Son and made available through the Spirit to all who believe in Him. The Father as the Source of Life The Bible reveals that the true God is triune; that is, He is one God (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4), yet He is the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (Matt. 28:19). These three coexist eternally; They
are distinct but not separate. There are not three Gods but one Triune God. This is beyond human understanding, as indeed God should be.

In the Godhead, there is an intimation concerning the eternal life of God in that the First is called the Father and the Second is called the Son, both pointing to a life relationship. Even the name of the Third of the Trinity, the Spirit, implies the life of God, for in the original languages of the Bible the words for Spirit also mean “breath,” which sustains life in God’s higher creatures. The names of the Three of the Trinity, therefore, point to Him as the God of life. Among the three, the First is the Father, and as the Father He is the source of life in the Trinity. As the apostle
John says, “The Father has life in Himself” (John 5:26). All life ultimately goes back to the Father, and for that reason He is the Father of everything in creation (Eph. 3:15). In a more personal sense, He is the Father of every human being (Mal. 2:10; Luke 3:38; Acts 17:28). But no creature of His is by nature like Him, for all His creatures die. However, He desires to beget many sons, who will possess His eternal life (John 1:12-13) and partake of His divine nature (2 Pet. 1:4). These are the believers of Christ, and through regeneration God becomes their genuine Father, and they become His genuine sons. Through their receiving of the eternal life of God,
God becomes their Father in the most intimate and truest sense.

Christ the Son as Life The Gospel of John, the fourth account of the life of the Lord Jesus Christ, presents this marvelous Person in a wonderful way: It shows that He is God the Son, that is, the Second of the Triune God, coming as life to man. The word son expresses a life relationship with a father, and Christ, as the Son of God, fully embodies the life of God the Father. John, referring to Christ the Son, writes, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men” (John 1:4). Christ is the embodiment of the eternal life of God. When Christ became a man, He became the source of the eternal life to man.

That eternal life is a life that conquers death; it is a resurrection life. The Lord Jesus once told His disciples, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). He is the indestructible and incorruptible life (Heb. 7:16; 2 Tim. 1:10). This indicates that He Himself is the life of God, not merely the living God, and as the life of God, He is the resurrection that overcomes death. For this reason, after He died for our sins on the cross, He rose from the dead, since it was not
possible for Him to be held by death (Acts 2:24). As God, He brought
the eternal life to man; and as a man, He wasthe first to overcome death and enjoy the life of God in resurrection.
He opened the way for the rest of mankind to enter into the eternal
life. In another portion of the Gospel of John,
Christ tells us in plain words why He became a man and why He came to
man: “I have come that they may have life and may have it abundantly”
(10:10). Christ certainly came to die for our sins, but this was not
the full cause of His coming. His death accomplished the forgiveness
of our sins and our eternal redemption (Col. 1:14; Heb. 9:12), but His
resurrection regenerates us with the eternal life of God (1 Pet. 1:3).
Through His death and resurrection, the life that He is becomes our
life. If we believe in Him and accept His salvation, we will enjoy the
eternal life of God (John 3:16; 20:31). He as a man was the first to
overcome death and enter into the enjoyment of the eternal life. Now
He offers man the same victory over death and entry into the eternal
life through faith in Him. The Spirit of Life It is wonderful that the
life of God is embodied in Christ the Son and that He desires that men
would have this eternal life. But we should ask how this life can
become our life. Christ has risen from the dead, but how can we, who
still suffer the woes of fallen mankind, enjoy God’s resurrection
life? According to the Bible, in resurrection Christ became the
life-giving Spirit (1 Cor. 15:45). The life of this life-giving Spirit
is Christ as life, the eternal life of God; and when this life is
given to man, it is given as the Spirit. The Spirit is the reality of
all that Christ is. The Lord Jesus told His disciples that the Spirit
of reality testifies concerning Him (John 15:26) and guides the
believers into all the reality of Him (John 16:13). This means that
Christ is made real to us through the Spirit.

When
the Spirit comes to man, the life of God the Father, embodied in
Christ the Son, is made real to man. Because the life of God embodied
in Christ is made available to man by the Spirit, the Spirit is called
the Spirit of life in the New Testament (Rom. 8:2). This phrase the
Spirit of life is unique in its expression and should be understood in
the same way that we understand phrases like a vessel of gold or a
table of wood: the vessel is gold and the table is wood. When we read
of the Spirit of life,

we should understand that the Spirit is life. This accords with our
understanding of the Spirit and of the eternal life. The eternal life
is God Himself; and hence, just as Christ is life, so also the Spirit
is life. But particularly, the Spirit is life because He is the
reality of Christ as the embodiment of the life of God the Father. The
Triune God is the God of life, and through Him as the source of life,
the embodiment of life, and the reality of life,
we mortal human beings can participate in and enjoy the immortality of
God. When we turn from our fallen condition, confess our sinful
situation, and believe in Christ as life, we are regenerated with the
eternal life of God and enter into immortality as His very sons. His
divine and eternal life becomes our greatest treasure and uplifts us
to the eternal plane.

Bible verses are taken from the Recovery Version of the Bible and Words of Ministry from Witness Lee, Both are published by Living Stream Ministry, Anaheim, CA.

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